Got one of my bucket shots this morning. Left for work half an hour early, had my 5D2, tripod, ND Grad filter and no excuses to pass this one by. It’s in a field at the top of a hill by an experimental farm where they used to have cows with windows in their stomachs so that you could look inside and see all that stuff that we like to think of as lip-smacking dead animal meat. Only these cows were still alive.
They also make potato beetle jewelry there. Real once-upon-a-time-alive potato beetles that ate potatoes and now you can wear them around your neck. No shit.
So there I am with my car parked in the middle of some kind of traffic island thinking, “I wish I could wake up enough to figure out if it’s safe to leave my car here.” I decided to go with common sense: When in doubt, leave the car, get the picture.
I’d waited a long time to get this shot. This place had teased me so many times, and so many times I’d said I’ll get you someday you hot little visual concept. The light wasn’t exactly ideal. I’d been picturing clear skies with a red glow as the sun spread its gamma rays over the ozone-depleted firmament. But what the hell, there was that tree within reach and there was some open sky in front of the clouds that I could use for a clear silhouette of the upper branches if I got a little closer.
So I trekked into and out of a deep ditch with puddled water that someone had put there to stop me from getting my picture, but today I was unstoppable. I was a force of visual fulfillment. This thought was going through my head as I made my way through long dew wet grass that someone had put there to get my shoes and pants soaked, but just a little bit further and I’d have it.
About that time, a crow flew overhead and cawed out, “What’s up, Biff?”
I cawed back, “Taking a picture of that tree.”
“Kind of boring, isn’t it?” he cawed.
“Hey! I’ve been waiting a long time for this shot. Look…I have wet shoes. Whaddya mean boring?” I cawed back with a sort of New York accent.
“It’s all trunk and branches. Ho hum material. You need a point of interest, something that suggests a story or something going on.” he cawed.
“And just what would you suggest?” I cawed, getting just a little irritated.
“Don’t get your panties in a ball,” he cawed. “I can help you with this.” And he cawed loud and again louder and again sending his voice blistering through the morning air. “Here they come,” he cawed.
“Whose coming?” I cawed, just as I caught site of six more crows heading toward me.
“Your models, Biff,” the crow cawed. And all seven crows landed on the top branches of the tree, making a perfect point of interest for a crow story as they cawed out, “Take our picture, Biff. Do our portrait.”
I set the camera and filter up and took a dozen or so shots from different angles. My feet weren’t going to get any wetter than they already were unless, of course, I stepped into a puddle in the ditch on the way back. Which I did.
But not before taking a picture in the opposite direction to catch the light spreading across the trees and grass. Showed both of them to Dwight, Lorraine and Julie at work. The vote was tied, so I’m posting both.
Lesson learned: Carry a pair of water proof boots wherever you go. And dry socks. And dry pants.