This was one of those trips where I was intent on making miles and not photos. My sojourn in Florida was a little longer than anticipated, and I was supposed to pick up Curator Jessica in Louisville on May 22 so we could collaborate with Carla Jordan on some photo exhibits for the Jackson Cape County History Center and the Altenburg Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum.
The sun was starting to hide as I was on the downhill side of I-24 heading into Chattanooga. I had logged a little over 500 miles for the day, and needed to push on another hour or so to put me withing striking distance of Louisville the next day.
I liked the way the sunlight was glinting off the median divider and trees, but there was an 18-wheeler woofing on my tail, so I didn’t have time to do more than wave and push the button without messing with exposures or framing.
When you live in Florida, you forget what changing seasons look like. In fact, you divide the world into two classifications: hot and hotter. Today’s ride from Cullman, Alabama to Cape Girardeau reminded me of how pretty this time of year can be. I ran across the first really striking trees around Huntsville.
By the time I got north of Nashville, the colors were starting to get pretty enough that I decided to risk death by shooting some windshield pictures. Now, before you take me to task for not concentrating on my driving, these aren’t carefully composed photos where I hold the viewfinder up to my eye and wait for just the right composition. I stick the camera up in front of me and hold the button down, glancing at the LCD screen on the back every few frames to see if I’m pointing anywhere close to the right direction. It’s gangbanger-style photos where you spray and pray.
Still a lot of green left
My eye was drawn to the farm coming up on the right, the clouds and the patches of sunlight on the road. I clicked off eight frames. The first one was the best. That’s frequently the case. I might shoot multiple frames of a subject to bracket the exposure or to make sure the picture is sharp, but it’s almost the first shot that has the best composition. That helped form my philosophy of “shoot it when you see it.” The longer you fool around, the better the chance that the magic is going to leak out.
Clouds look menacing
By the time I got off I-24 at the Cadiz exit, the clouds were beginning to take on an Armageddon appearance. Despite their menacing look, I covered about 350 miles Sunday with just a handful of sprinkles.
Here’s the last plug for my preview show at the Altenburg Museum on Tuesday night at 6:30. I have to cut my presentation down for the formal show later in the month, so I’m looking for folks to tell me what works and what can be jettisoned. I’ll be talking about stories I’ve covered interesting folks I’ve met and what it’s like to have a job where you work a mere 300 seconds a year.
Last leg photo gallery
Here are a few more windshield grab shots from the last leg of my ride to Cape. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.
We cheated death once more. pulling into Cape in late afternoon. I tried to shoot a few frames of the Nashville skyline at the split, but decided that I didn’t want the last photo before (or during) the wreck to be of the Nashville skyline.
Kentucky reinforces safety message
Had I seen this memorial to Kentucky traffic fatalities BEFORE I got to Nashville, I might not have tried to shoot the skyline photo from a moving car. I pull into that rest area on almost every trip, but I don’t recall seeing the memorial before.