Two Strikes / One that started it all and stands the test of time
While scouring my archives for early images, I came across one that was probably the earliest Fine Art image that I actually specifically worked to create. This image was shot so long ago, it was originally captured on film and scanned to digital for presentation here.
First, as I have mentioned before, when traveling/photographing I always sought out the view with the best photographic potential. In this particular case, the first room available was too low and had palm trees blocking the view (can you believe that I can actually remember that far back?). After moving to a higher floor with an unobstructed view, I set the (Minolta) camera and tripod on the balcony during an evening lightning storm. As explained in previous posts, the trick with lightning is to leave the shutter open until you believe you have recorded the lightning strikes that best fit your composition. In this case, I lined up the beach chairs (lit both naturally and by the building I was in), a wooden storage hut and a small beached catamaran along the bottom of the image. If you look closely, you can actually see a small campfire on the beach, just left of center.
After composing the image, I shot throughout the night, opening and closing the shutter after various lightning strikes were exposed on the film. This, the best image of the night, shows two strikes approximately 10 minutes apart. After visualizing where the two had hit, I closed the shutter (and in those days) had to wait until the slides came back from the developer to know exactly what I captured.
Thanks to Mother Nature, the perfectly fitting composition of the Two Strikes (if I do say so myself), convinced me that I knew what I was doing with this Photography thing and with that knowledge and a bit of luck, I could create images that…stand the test of time.