Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In A Lightning Instant

Storms Over The Everglades
Big Cypress, Florida

"The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box. "

--Henri Cartier-Bresson

Summer has arrived, and with it comes the birthing season of storms. The Everglades, that vast ocean of amazing vistas, becomes the maternity ward for our afternoon storms.

I love to drive out into its deceptive emptiness late in the day when the evaporative tension builds into oppressive heat and air so full of water it rolls down your face in rivers. Swamp lilies push up through the wet muck in wild flotillas, dotting everything in view with bold splashes of white. Then the wind kicks up in step with the bloom - the boom! - of black clouds. And there it is - that first cacophony of thunder rolling over the sawgrass, echoing off distant hammocks.

You can feel the fury, that huge rush of fury from across the swamp, standing miles away trying to capture your first exposure of lightning. It's exhilarating beyond description; so many senses triggering at once, there's barely time to squeeze the shutter.

Some nights don't need photographs to imprint the magic.

Nikon D2x, Nikkor 18-200 VR, wild skies and two willing compadres/storm chasers

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