Just as I got the shot, I realised I was going to get wet! No time to put on the wet weather gear, I just grabbed my trusty fold-up umbrella & held it low over my camera. The wind was blowing the rain pretty much side-ways and perched high on Malabar Hill on Lord Howe Island there was no-where to shelter.
Earlier I was sitting among the Banyan trees and Kentia palms trying to figure out how to best capture this amazing forest. The trouble is for the most part it is very messy and chaotic. With our eyes we are able to filter out the clutter, but our camera does not. This is the challenge. I could see all these wonderful forms and textures, but when I looked on the back of my camera it did just look as good. So feeling a bit frustrated I just found a nice clear spot and sat down.
Maybe I had dozed off, I certainly was tired after all the 4:30am starts, but I became aware of subtle sounds in an otherwise almost silent environment. Wood hens seemed oblivious to my presence and happily scratched around the forest floor within arms reach. I looked up and immediately saw the shot of the Banyan tree I had in mind. The location I had chosen favoured the morning light, so I locked that spot away for the shoot for the next day.
The day before our group had climbed to the summit of Malabar and it seemed I was 20 seconds too late with all my shots. If I went one way the light was not as good by the time I relocated. Yes, in hind-sight I maybe just should have been more patient and waited – however, it is impossible to sit still when you see amazing light, you just have to try to capture it. Also, those places that were beautifully lit up were actually one-off occurrences, so waiting int the one spot would (on this occasion) not have worked.
So sitting in the forest on a fairly sunny, but windy day I was wondering if I should bother lugging all my camera gear to the top of Malabar again? A sensible person would have probably thought, just walk back to the resort if you hurry you might just make it back for afternoon tea. Determined to try to get some shots that I missed the day before, I headed off to the Malabar Hill trail head.
It is a steady climb up the well-defined track. The walking guide suggests it is a class 4 walk, but carrying too much camera gear and a tripod for the second trip feels otherwise.
When I reach the summit the light is just bright sunshine, and fairly uninspiring. I can see the thick band of cloud hanging on the horizon as it has for the past few days. This band of cloud has been problematic. No sunsets or wonderful late glows but the light just shuts off, like someone flicking a switch. Feeling totally uninspired and maybe thinking that the afternoon tea might have been a better option I look around to see what are my shooting options. I am actually a bit early, so I decide I will push on and head off to Kim’s lookout. When I arrive there the wind is blowing so hard, it almost knocks over my tripod. I am sure glad I a good grip of the camera strap. The light still is horrible, so I get a quick shot looking down the western edge of the island and head back to Malabar.
I sit down and have a bit of a rest for 10 minutes since the sun has gone behind the cloud bank and decide that the light is not going to co-operate so I will get a couple more “record” shots and call it a day. As I finish and pack up my camera I suddenly notice a large rain cloud sweeping in. Not sure where it has materialised from! Just as I clamp my camera onto my tripod the sun breaks through the clouds and illuminates the rain cloud. WOW!! I flick off a few frames and check all is good. However I soon realise I am about to get wet. I quickly get out my fold up umbrella and after wiping raindrops off my lens shoot two more frames before the rain hits. The light shuts down as quickly as it appeared. Turning to shield my camera, the wind catches the umbrella and flips it inside out. Out of the corner of my eye I see a rainbow behind me. Actually it is a double-rainbow! No time to fiddle about I put the umbrella on the ground and stand on it to stop it blowing away. A quick wipe of the lens and fire off 3 or 4 frames. Already the rainbows are starting to fade.
Whew – I reckon this all occurred in under a minute! I have another quick check on the back of the camera and smile to myself that I am glad that made the effort.
I remember reading somewhere “Bad weather = Good photos” I am sorry I cannot credit the author, but how true is this?
How often after a huge storm has light broken through the clouds or as in my case sun shining through rain. This creates magic and dramatic light.
If I was not determined to try to get that shot, I could have easily just had a rest and not have worried. Sure, the weather could have just been nice and sunny and boring but it wasn’t. One thing for sure if I wasn’t out shooting I definitely would NOT have got anything!
So is it better to be stubborn or determined? I would like to think I am just determined, but I know many (including most of my family and friends) know that I do have a certain “stubbornness” when I set my mind on something, so I guess its ok to be both!
I know I got wet, but I also know I got a couple of great images.
#lordhoweisland #Malabar #rainbow #storm #landscape
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