The View in the Narrows

Sunday, August 25 , 2007

It's Sunday morning and I'm going to take a minute to throw an image or two (ok, so I lied) up here because when I don't write, I forget.

Over two weeks have gone by and in that time I spent a week in Michigan working, bought a new (used) car the Saturday before I left, and finished the first week of my last semester of law school.

So I've been busy, attending to all kinds of things, including (if some of you remember) dealing with my favorite office of the DMV. Things went well this time, and there was no repeat of my teetering on the edge of becoming the local version of Michael Douglas in "Falling Down."

The first week back was pretty dry but thanks to some of the remnants of Hurricane dean south of us, moisture got thrown up into the New Mexico sky for some classic late afternoon, early evening thunderstorm activity.

Mrs and I sat on the side balcony during the twilight and watched a storm roll over the mountain to our north. I probably shot 40 or 50 images and only caught one strike. It's especially hard to catch strikes during the daylight, unless they are multiple strikes and for this storm, there were few.

I came into the house and was working on another project for the law school when I noticed quite a few flashes of light through the blinds to my right. Another storm was rolling in, this time, aimed right at the house.

In this and the next entry you can see the point of origin where the lightning leaves the cloud, but as the storm gets closer and closer the point of origin is above the plane of the camera.

The shutter closed just as the strike on the far right of the photo above hit the ground and missed the glow from an exploding transformer.

Most of these strikes hit about 4 to 5 miles away, and I'd estimate that each arch of lightning is at least one to one and half miles in length.

After I was chased off the balcony by the approach of blowing rain, I again went downstairs and worked on my law school project, which I might nickname, the narrow view.

You see, sometime this summer I dropped into the IT office for some computer issue with my computer in my summer "office" and was asked to "check out" the new web site design for the law school.

I made some suggestions that the programmer accepted, for backgrounds and the like and then we discussed the issue of images that they wanted to use for the web site. The programmer and I looked at the overall design specifications and I told him that I could provide images to fit the new format.

Within a day or two I fired off a set and have added 3 more groups of images in the following week.

As the evening wore on, another group of at least 7 or 8 storms was active on the horizon and I brought out my other camera to see if I could add any images to the narrow view that fit the new web site.

The image above gets uploaded on Monday.

Meanwhile, it's kind of cool to see students log into the web site at school and watch various images of mine pop up on their computers.

Although I didn't get paid for the effort, I'm quite happy with the results, especially since the format lends itself to panorama views, of which I do have more than a few.

If you are curious, you can go to the web site and just hit the refresh button on your screen, and if you ignore the quirky screen movement,(not in Mozilla, not sure about Mac) most of the images you see are mine. I didn't do any of the school, or the people you see (yet) so that leaves the landscapes, all the flowers, sunsets and lightning.

The photos come up in random order, and it's most likely that anyone looking would only see maybe a third of what are posted there. I think I have over 175 images in the pool of 200 photos.

*Edit January 2008* Someone at the school in their infinite wisdom and knowledge about all things marketing, decided to take down almost all of the "landscape" photos of New Mexico and in focus primarily on student photos. Now I don't mind the idea of student photos on a law school web site, but the photos that were thrown up there were, for the most part, hideous. I told them to take mine down, so whatever is now on the web site has nothing to do with me.

It's a banner, and a narrow one at that. It's virtually impossible to get good people photos to stretch out over such a wide length, and "someone" also mandated that composite photos were not allowed in the banner.

It's ok, I don't go there anymore and I don't access the site 20 times a day like I used to so it's not big deal that I don't see my images all over the computers in the classrooms.

It was fun for a season.