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2007/08/16

Light Rain

The assignment: Get some basic art to go with a story about the city closing off access to one of the main roads from a side street to help reduce traffic flow problems and accidents. I got there mid-morning and the light was just acceptable. Nothing special and the images were pretty basic. The crew was waiting for the city to come and check the amount of compaction before they could pour cement for the curbs, and so I decided to come back after lunch break.

When I did I noticed that clouds were rolling in from the south, so instead of shooting with the sun to my back or side, I shot facing the clouds, giving me a great rim-lighting and back-lighting effect on the workers, while still allowing me to keep the background under control. No blown-out sky. The result is that the workers really popped out of the scene and gave me much stronger images than the firts frames from this morning.
A.S. Horner employees smooth over freshly poured cement Thursday afternoon as they work to permanently close off the access from Wilson Street to Maloney Avenue along 1th Street in Gallup.

For this top image I selected my 50 mm lens to get in a little bit tighter and isolate the workmen as they smoothed out the cement for the new curb and gutter.

This second image and third image were done with my favorite lens - my 12-24mm. I like the way the lens lets me get in close to the scene and show a large amount of the situation without having to work around obstructions on the foreground that would be there if I shot with longer glass and backed up.


Of course, those clouds rolling in meant rain. And it also meant lightning. The rains today were nothing near what we have been having in Gallup and the surrounding area earlier this summer. The flooding we did have in town was because of a lightning strike knocking out the power to one of the drainage pumps and the water backed up. The rain had pretty much quit when I got to the scene and I made some images of the large puddle covering the road. Suddenly the Dept. of Transportation guys got the pump running and I was shocked at the speed which the water drained away. You can get a small sense of the current by looking at the water flowing past Jeremy's feet in the image below.

Water rushes over the feet of New Mexico Department of Transportation employee Jeremy Cobb as he uses a pitchfork Thursday afternoon to check for any debris blocking the drainage grates on Maloney Avenue after NMDOT and city employees worked to reset the water pumps. Eastbound traffic was temporarily re-routed after a lightning strike in the area caused the pump to shut down, but it was quickly turned back on and the road opened back up.

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