Lightning #36M

Lightning #36M

November 22, 2014

This photograph was taken somewhere around fifteen years ago, down on the farm. Needless to say, it was shot on film, then the 4×6 inch print was scanned onto my computer where some digital adjusting was made to greatly darken the original print. In this particular image, I was able to add some additional lightning along the right side of the photograph, copied from another print, shot during the same storm. I also removed two very small, funky looking bolts long the top border. For years, these two bolts have stuck out like a sore thumb in the 20×30 enlargement hanging in my office (i.e., what should be my dining room). During the past year, I have worked with this print many times, as I now have nine different photos of the original image. I have yet to decide which photograph I like best.

This image, most likely an once-in-a-lifetime photo was shot as my band (i.e., my brothers Brian and Willie, though Willie was technically an ex-brother-in-law. Sadly, Willie passed away a few years back from a work accident) was loading their equipment into the SUV. They used to come out every other Saturday (visitation rights every other weekend, as we were all divorced) for a day of rocking, rolling, and drinking, in addition to cooking a big feast. Some sessions, a guest musician would sit in with the band. It was during those five years of playing rhythm guitar as they both played lead and sang, that I learned what little rhythm I now have. My talent level may be questionable, but I can keep time.

As they were loading their guitars and amps, and I was getting my farmhouse back in order (I am a neat-freak and perfectionist, and making matters worse, I now have OCD), I remember Brian coming back inside, telling me that I needed to go out and see the lightning. It did not take me long to go back inside to get my camera, tri-pod and cable release cord, set up and start shooting. It was the perfect storm, to borrow a pun, and since it was a good distance away, it wasn’t raining at my house. Shooting a whole roll of film that night, this image was the last one on a thirty-six exposure roll of film, which was a good thing as the very large bolt of lightning spooked me. The farmhouse sat up on a small hill, and I was out in the middle of the backyard attached to a metal camera and tri-pod, standing in the middle of two yard lights high up on telephone poles. That bolt was so huge it seemed like it came from way back over my head.

Perfect timing!

Steven H. Spring

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