Monday, May 28, 2012


Greensburg, Kansas

I've never encountered anything like the Kansas wind. I've been through a couple of hurricanes that made it up to the mid-Atlantic and New England states, and many years ago, southern India in Monsoon season, but those encounters were brief incidents. This wind is constant, but swirling and buffeting. Not a steady gale but a constant pounding from different directions, quartering from the south and west. It took me several hours to figure out how to keep the car on course without constant effort—you have to let it rock and roll with a light hold on the wheel allowing a little bit of course deflection. The alternative is continuous fighting to hold track. Gas mileage is down over 15% from the effort of fighting to move through.

Holding a camera steady is a problem. Even at high shutter speeds I'm cranking off multiple frames to be sure of some crisp ones. Working with a view camera is utterly out of the question. The only way would be to have a sturdy three-sided portable shelter to work from.

Greensburg, Kansas

Greensburg, Kansas

Last evening the wind seemed even worse than the past two days, but I wanted to try some work with the slightly rolling agricultural land here. I finally worked out a system, of sorts. I decided to use the car as a shelter, then dug out the Lumix 45-200 lens, which has the narrow angle of view needed to work from the confines of the car. It also has image stabilization. When I first tried it for a moment I thought something was wrong, the car was idling incredibly rough...oh, of course I'd shut the engine off. The jumping and bumping was just the wind jostling the car. Sitting in the hatch with the back up provides some shelter, and a good field of view. Sitting in the driver's seat and looking out the window provides more shelter, but limited framing options unless you want to park sideways in the road. Today I'll experiment with the big Gitzo tripod.

1 comment:

Mike Mundy said...

Bottom photo reminds me of this one.

Don't know if you could get that price, though.