Dean M. Chriss
Factory Butte, Light in the Storm

Factory Butte, Light in the Storm

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This photograph was captured on a cloudy, chilly and very windy March morning in 2020. There was little hope of capturing a good photograph. The light was terrible and it was too windy to get a sharp photograph regardless. Occasionally a drop of rain would hit my face. Knowing that anything can happen I decided to set up my tripod and camera anyway. I wanted a relatively high vantage point for the scene I had in mind, so I got myself and my equipment up on top of a large boulder. The cold wind seemed even stronger up there. Oddly, I had previously thought about using the boulder to shield myself from the wind, but I wasn't there to be comfortable. I could feel the tripod vibrating strongly as the wind blew. As the sun came up the wind gusts grew more fierce, but there were occasional brief lulls during which the air seemed still. Then the sun shone through a break in the clouds. I was too slow to trigger the camera the first two times the wind paused, but I got the third one. The scene turned drab and lifeless a few minutes later, putting an end to the day's sunrise photos. I made a hasty hike back to my vehicle where I had a thermal mug full of hot tea waiting.

Also see a very similar photograph I took one year earlier.