The Run for the Border


It was early Friday evening and I just could not make up my mind.

Should I go, Should I forget about it, should I go?

I checked the high res visible satellite image and it looked like it just might be ok, but still I could not make up my mind. Finally I grabbed my backpack and headed out the door. "No guts, No glory" I said to myself.

Come on, it's only about time, it's not like I would lose life or limb or lots of cash, only time.

I always have an eye on the sky, waiting for the conditions that might be right for a really nice sunset. Perhaps it's because I live in a state that is frequently overcast and gray. Unlike Arizona for example, sunsets, and especially dramatic ones, can be very rare in the southeast corner of Michigan.

I also know that a lot of good photographs have, in addition to attributes of lighting, color and texture and the like, what we call the RPRT factor.

That's Right Place, Right Time.

A little less than a year ago Mrs and I went over to Canada for the day and finally got back to Windsor about nine or ten o'clock, long after dark for late October. Mrs remained in the car while I fired off a round of images trying to capture what I thought might be an "award winning" panorama of the Detroit skyline.

I thought the image was nice, but it didn't win the "photo of the day" award and the thought of going back to shoot round two has been rolling around in my head ever since.

But it's at least 40 miles one way to get down to the border, and in fact, if there are any customs tie-ups then the trip can take a lot longer than the usual hour or so for just one part of the trip. I figured that I would need to leave the house about 2 hours before I actually started taking pictures, and therein lay the dilemma.

Those same high ice clouds that light up the sky are also moving, frequently at speeds in the neighborhood of 30 to 50 miles per hour. That would mean that I would have to depend on clouds that were not even on my horizon yet. And as is frequently the case here, the sun slowly lowers into a opaque overcast and that's the end of any hope for a sunset.

Something inside of me said to go for it, so after one more check of the satellite image, I finally made up my mind.

Eighty miles and three to four hours of time is a bit much to head out for to come back empty handed.

But as you can see, I didn't really come back empty handed.

Between my two cameras I took 175 pictures, and then spent a lot of hours, just getting them all put together. The red sky panorama for example, is a blend of 6 separate images.

It was exactly what I had hoped for, and the freighter passing by, well, I guess you could call it a bonus.

Sometimes it really is about being there at the right time.

Larger images linked in the gallery.