Beautiful But Deadly

Southern California experienced a deluge of rain today - my house saw 3.5 inches in a little over an hour. California (where I live) is basically very dry and arid - so rain like this can't soak into the ground and has no where to go but wherever gravity takes it.

Water is deceptively powerful, dangerous, and unpredictable. A mile from my house a mud slide buried an intersection I travel through regularly with over a foot of mud and debris as a river of rainwater rushed down the mountain - covering a field, overfilling a LARGE culvert (around 10ft wide and deep) and spilled out into the road.

I stayed indoors for the worst of it - shooting photos out of the windows of my house with my Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AF-S II lens - it's the lightest 300mm f/2.8 Nikon has ever made - so it's actually not too heavy to shoot hand-held.

I then ventured downstairs after hearing about the local devastation - opened my garage and shot photos of my soaked car... normally it's in the garage - but I was lazy and left it outside when I ran some errands earlier...

I played with shutter speed to capture the miniature explosions of water caused by raindrops on the surface of the water pooled in my driveway. Then I waited for the rain to slow enough I could risk taking my camera and lens out to my car. All of these photos were shot hand-held. You need to keep your shutter speed above 1/4000 second if you really want to capture water splashes and rain drops mid-air. By having such a short/fast shutter speed, you can shoot super telephoto lenses like the 300mm hand-held without fear of getting a shaky-blurred image.

I took a short drive about a mile from my house to get the amazing clouds and rain against the mountains. This is a VERY RARE sight for the area I live in. Where I grew up in Tennessee and the Great Smokey Mountains - not so much - this sort of clouds and mountains scenery is common there - but here in SoCal - this is a special treat.

I'm a director of photography (cinema), commercial illustrator, & Nikon Professional Photographer. I'm the Founder of Summit4CAD.org - Cyclists Against Coronary Artery Disease.
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