Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Chasing the Sunset, with a Half-Open Lens

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Find a picture in your files that is technically bad, but is still interesting to look at. By "technically bad," I mean things like people are partly out of frame, your subject is out of focus, everyone has red eye, people's heads are cut off, there are inappropriate blurs, so on and so forth. But even so, it's still an interesting picture to look at.

The first thing I thought of when I read these words was my problem with the plastic iris over my camera's lens. Sometimes it's stuck closed, sometimes a third or half open; and once it's open all the way it tends not to close again. Last week I showed you a photo that actually benefited from my lens cap problem. Tonight I'll show you a few more.

The Safeway Galaxy
This was one of my Safeway-at-dusk pictures from last week. The half-closed iris darkened the image, and with the help of some rain, left the effect of Safeway being part of a Hubble photo of some distant cloud of stars. Originally I was just trying to get the color of the sky at dusk, with that odd cloud in there. Had it come out right, I would have cropped out the Safeway, because after all, who would normally want a picture of a Safeway?

Half-mindful of this Monday Photo Shoot, and also influenced by recently-posted tips on taking sunset photos (not that the tips did me any good), I went chasing the sunset tonight, driving north. I was trying to get to a good spot that I hadn't photographed a million times, before the colors faded from the sky. It didn't work, but I got a few interesting near-misses.

I cheated the color a bit with this one. I have no idea where the yellow barrier tape comes from in this shot, but I like that it's there.

This photo was part of a doomed attempt to take a picture while driving at dusk, near the McGuireville Rest Area en route to Sedona in April. I know, it's easy to take silly photos of streaky lights at night, but I think this one is kind of spooky and mysterious. I'm thinking seriously of using it to illustrate what happened to Sandy at the beginning of The Jace Letters. There's even something that looks a little like a woman's body at the side of the road.

I took this one an hour or two before the one with the lights, at a different rest area. I'm pretty sure I've posted it before, but I really love it. As you can see, the lens wasn't open all the way. I didn't know at the time what the problem was, but figured it out later.

And just to show you I haven't utterly lost my touch, here's a halfway decent sunset photo from tonight. The main thing wrong with it is the traffic signal controller box at the bottom of the shot. Couldn't be helped. I took the photo from the leftmost non-turning lane at Speedway and Wilmot, while the light was red. I was lucky to get anything much at all.


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Carly said...

When I saw the first photo I thought maybe the Aurora Borealis had made an appearance over Tucson. Your sunset photos always stun me...the last one can't be considered "halfway decent" when it is perfection. Really very lovely my dear!

Bea said...

Karen, that Safeway photo accident is a gem! There appears to be a beam of light originating from behind safeway, like one of those advertising beams that scan the sky and attract our attention... only this blue beam is far more inviting, as to something close-encounterish. Now I'm going to try to find a bad photo... I have lots of them, but do I have an interesting bad photo? We shall see! Bea

Laura said...

the first one reminds me of close encounters. very cool!

Wil said...

I do like the idea of the skies opening in redemption over the Safeway...


The Daily Snooze

Becky said...

OK...call me weird, but I love all your ooops photos. They are abstract and interesting and they don't look like an ooops at ALL. Happy accidents.