Waves above the water

ISO 100, 1/25 sec., f/11, 33mm

Surprise, surprise – winter finally showed up in eastern Nebraska.  And since we don’t do mild weather around here the 30-40 MPH wind roaring from the north to carry winter was no surprise.

We’ve had so little precipitation in the past couple of months there is little to hold down the soil, sand and other detritus left by the Missouri River flood so those pounding bursts of wind were picking all that up and lofting it into the air.  No grand landscapes today – too much haze in the atmosphere for distant images.

Instead I wandered down to one of Omaha’s favorite photo spots near the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Missouri, not because the bridge would be acting up (it’s shape and engineering make it very solid even in the face of today’s weather) but because I remembered there’s an unusual installation down there.  It’s a “garden” of long steel rods sunk into the ground and topped with clear plastic cans.  They are spaced apart enough to move freely, even in a high wind, without interfering with each other’s movement.  The effect is a wave visible both horizontally and vertically.  I knew the pieces would be highly active today and wondered what thay would look like against the solid bridge.

The sky was very overcast but while I was there a few breaks gave me a little texture in the clouds and a nice highlight near the horizon.  I’m hand holding this, which is not a problem with the image stabilization in my camera, but I was worried that 1/25 sec would not be slow enough to show the movement of the rods.  With the gusts thundering down the river that turned out to be no problem.  I got just the amount of blur I wanted, juxtaposed nicely against the taut wires of the bridge and the solidity of the pillars.  The curves of the bridge and railing, along with the line of the sidewalk and river, are just benefits to the composition, helping to both frame and break up the linearity of the lines from rods and cables.  A little adjustment in NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 and I have the sense of wind blowing across a cold landscape.

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