Monday, July 25, 2016

Timing Is Everything

I was treated to a rare lightning storm show this past week. I drove for 100 miles or more with the spectacular flashes right in front of me. It was almost a continuous display of lighting, or lightning, with brilliant blues and orange. It’s been a while since I lived where this is a regular occurrence and I actually kind of enjoyed watching. Of course, it helped that there was no rain accompanying the lightning. I’m sure it may have been raining somewhere but the road I was traveling stayed dry as a bone. Which was fine with me, I don’t really like rain.

While driving along, amid the storm, I noticed a guy pulled over on the shoulder taking pictures. He had a tripod-mounted camera and appeared to be snapping photographs as fast as he could. With the clouds in the night sky and the mountains as a backdrop, I’m thinking he was getting some good shots.

I hadn’t thought of taking any pictures myself, until I saw him, that is. So, I grabbed my phone and started clicking away. I must have taken twenty-five or thirty pictures and only after the show was over did I look to see what I had captured. And... nothing. I had several photos that fit into one of two categories—white and black.

I had figured not all of the pictures would turn out but I knew that depending on the timing, I stood a chance of getting a couple of amazing shots. But no. Apparently, I either snapped too late (the black category), or at the split second, the lighting flashed (the white category).

Disappointed, I put the phone away and continued driving, thinking I was not much of a photographer. Obviously, a good photographer would have better luck in his timing, I told myself. I brooded on that a while and then, out of the blue it hit me that I had impeccable timing. What were the odds of that many photographs being taken at the exact moment they wouldn’t turn out? Especially with the amount of lightning I was seeing.

While I’d like to say that I had another chance on the return trip, it was not to be. The thunder and lightning had moved off to the distance and the only thing I could see in the night sky was the stars. But next time, say in two or three years (or more—remember I said it was a rare thing), that we have a lightning storm, I’ll give it another shot. I doubt I can duplicate my feat of snapping every picture at the wrong time. But you never know, I seem to be pretty good at it.

Or, maybe I just need a real camera. The guy I saw taking pictures from the side of the road happens to work at the same place I do. I saw a few of his photographs a couple days later. They were pretty dramatic and dazzling. I talked to him a bit (without divulging my little attempt at picture taking) and he said he’s been waiting years for the opportunity to get those shots. And what’s more, he seemed fairly confident he’d never have another chance like that. Well, so much for my idea of next time. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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