Stormy Spring Lake

I was digging through the archives over the weekend and came across a series of images shot back in August at Spring Lake in Illinois. I had the rented 24mm f/1.4 lens at home when my friend and fellow photographer, Julie Dodge invited me out again to Spring Lake for another round of kayaking. Now, you'll remember from my last post how much I enjoyed this activity, so I jumped at the chance to do it again. I took the 24mm with that night as I was both determined to use it as much as possible while I had it rented and also wanting the challenge of shooting with only one lens. In, truth I think this might be good practice in a kayak anyway. There is enough going on trying to maneuver the kayak, let along fussing with lots camera gear or switching lenses. So, in the name of both safety and practicality, I shot only this lens.

As I was driving out there, the sky started getting darker and darker as big puffy storm clouds were rolling in. I had a few sprinkles on my windshield, but I decided I was still going for it. When I got there, Julie helped me launch out. I saw some amazing skies and a breif sunset before the storm clouds took over. There was so much wind pushing my little kayak around I was struggling to stay in one place long enough to take a photo. I resorted to paddling past where I wanted to be and I'd let the wind drift me backwards past my subjects and I would shoot frantically trying to lock focus as I drifted away.

It was probably a sight to see I'm sure and with an ever darkening sky and no stability to rely on I shot almost everything wide open at f/1.4 and a boosted ISO. It was truly a "spray and pray" technique. I did come away with a few interesting shots that are pure luck. Regardless of the fact that these aren't "portfolio" shots, these images are a fun memory of yet again another kayak experience of Spring Lake as well as a reminder that having the right tools makes a difference in bringing home a shot or not. Any slower of a lens, and I'm certain I wouldn't have anything. I saw some nice light that night and it's yet again a reminder to me that good gear or not, the most important thing about being a photographer is just get out there and shoot. You won't know until you try and even when the weather seems against you, there the possibility of magic to be seen.