I just KNEW it was going to be an epic sunset with incredible light after the DV guru David "Breezy" Thompson tormented me with a snap of the sunrise I'd missed. Usually The Breeze goes out with me on my Vegas trips, and I sorely missed his company. True to form, however, he hooked me up with several great options for locations and fed me weather intel all afternoon. There is simply no substitute for good friends.... especially when the guy shoots like a pro and knows where to send you given the changing weather. Huge thanks for the location ideas my friend.
At any rate, I was wrong about the light. Shocker. I'm always wrong about the light. You'd think a pilot would know what the weather is doing, right?? I'll let you in on a little secret... the standard joke in flight operations is "don't bother checking the weather because you're going anyway." Kidding of course; sort of. We DO check the weather. But we ARE going anyway. So dead light or not, I was charging back and forth around Death Valley trying to find a hole on the horizon that the light might peek through at the last second. Breezy was feeding me satellite images, and I finally realized it just wasn't going to happen that particular day.
And then it started to rain. Hard. In Death Valley. The forecast had been for partly cloudy skies all day. The weatherman had nailed it. *smirk*
The rain built in intensity, the wind picked up, and the whole valley started to look like a giant bruise - all black and blue. Between waves of rain, some ominous clouds would appear, so I figured it was worth at least pulling the camera out of the bag. And then the storm hit. Full force. The excitement started to flow, and the adrenaline was pumping. It was just me and mother nature facing off. She was laughing because I forgot my freaking lens hood. I found this rude, and vowed not to be deterred. And then the light bulb went on. I'll confess it was the dim bulb... the 40W. I've never been a 100W kind of guy - ask around. Storm. Salt flats (operative word, FLATS). Metal camera. 6'5". Hmmmmmm.... The math didn't add up well. Bravely, I sprinted back to the car.