This morning, I slept in. Knowing there was nothing that needed to be done and that the entire day from beginning to end was mine was a powerful thing. I thought about going for a drive, maybe a hike somewhere, but after a brief deliberation with myself about having negatives to develop, staying in won out. The daisies would be around for a while, yet. After puttering around the house a while fiddling and straightening up, I took my place in front of the computer and immersed myself in Lightroom, developing digital negatives. Although an arduous, time-consuming, sweat-provoking, mind-changing, undo-redoing task, it is one I love. Such pleasure is derived by my heart and soul to see the images, remembering each shutter click as the photographs emerge onto the screen, raw and ready to have their potential to be a keeper determined. The picking, culling, selecting, rejecting, editing and saving are pleasures that, in my mind, only a photographer can appreciate. I’ve noticed, in my personal pursuits, that people who take pictures just to be taking them, even the ones with the “latest thing” in cameras, find the process to be one of the dumb things they’ve got to do. Not to pick on anyone, but my sister fits that category. While she enjoys taking pictures when she remembers to bring her camera or phone, she is perfectly content looking at them through the tiny window of the view screen. I love taking photos with my Droid as well, and even though the editing capabilities are limited, enjoy fiddling with them, too.But taking photographs wasn’t on the agenda today, looking through the ones I had already taken and uploaded to Lightroom was. So I began, immediately rejecting the obviously flawed negatives, those blurred beyond recognition. If they are a colorfully flawed, they can sometimes be softened and enhanced to make a nice greeting card. Outside, the sun was bright and the air hazy. Through my living room window, I can look out lengthwise across a field to the road. The plants and trees glistened in the sun and seemed to droop slightly from the heat and humidity. I remember thinking at that moment there was likely to be a storm, but for now, it was a nearly perfect summer day.While I was working, the thunder began to echo from the west. As the photographs passed along the screen, I was taken so many places. One of the truly magnificent joys I get from editing photographs is that things that I had forgotten are suddenly forefront in my mind. The barge ride across Bays Mountain Lake that I took a few weeks back with my oldest niece, Sophie, is as bright as it was on that day and I remember how much fun we had. She laughed and talked like a little girl should and for that moment, thought I was the neatest person in the world. So immersed was I in the photographs, that I didn’t realize the weather had changed, the sun had hidden and it was coming an all-out storm… not, at least, until the power went off. The sky was dark, the lightening slashed straight and deadly from the sky and the rain pounded, also straight, diving into the dry dirt. As I watched it, noting the time, I changed to my wide angle lens, hoping that the sun would come out in time to make a rainbow. As I watched, the first rays began to shine through. I grabbed my Pentax, slid on my shoes and ran out into the rain. It was pouring and after only a couple of minutes, I was soaked, but I had to see. Then, there, before my eyes, the brilliant arcs of color began to form. I could tell already that, on foot, I would never make it to where I needed to be to get the entire arc. Turning, I ran through the rain, my camera around my neck, back to the house to get my car keys. Dripping wet and not caring less, I traipsed through the house to get the keys then barreled down the driveway to the place I had in mind, jumped out and started shooting. This day, I was blessed with many things. An entire day to myself, a phone call from my daughter, a trip through my mind back to Bays Mountain with my niece, a fine example of a summer thunderstorm, piercing lightening and, mayhaps most magnificent of all, a double rainbow. I always hope for blessings, but never cease to be amazed when I’m given one.
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