It’s beginning to look like this might be one of those summers here in the northeastern U. S. that is remembered not for hot days and sunburns but for gloom and sogginess. Things could turn around, of course. It’s only early July. If the weather gods decide to shift the jet stream north into Canada, then the current pattern will change very quickly. This coming week, for instance, should see the sun’s return and temperatures into the low 80’s. But where are the 90’s?
I’m not complaining, mind you. My wife is, but I’m not. I prefer cool weather (although the daily rain is beginning to get a little stale). This stuff definitely makes photography easier, at least with respect to dynamic range. If you don’t mind getting a little wet, anytime of day is a good time. There is no harsh light and no sun induced shadows to contend with. And if you happen to find yourself at a place like Taughannock Falls, there are very few people to get in the way! On a bright sunny summer day, this spot would be crawling with people, all trying to take a picture of the falls even though the afternoon sun would literally be in their faces.
I guess that makes photography sort of like fishing. If you want the best chance of “catching” something, don’t go when the weather is absolutely great for a picnic. Go when everybody else is at home in front of the TV because the weather sucks.
Not to mention the fact that anyone currently sitting at home in front of the TV has got to be getting just a little tired of hearing about Michael Jackson. So you get to avoid that, too. Heck, Popes and Presidents don’t get this kind of coverage when they die. I’m not denigrating the guy – I liked him too. The “Thriller” album was an absolute gem. But saying things like “he changed the world” (Al Sharpton) is silly. And was he the “best ever” entertainer? I don’t think so. He might not even make the top 10. The Beatles have to be at the top of the heap, followed by people like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Sammy Davis, Jr., Bob Dylan, and a few others.
Call me a cynic, but I think all of this soap opera is designed to accomplish one thing and one thing only – to generate revenue for years to come. First you create the myth, then you sell it. It’s American capitalism at its best.
All of which, of course, has nothing to do with photography. Sorry for the tangential editorial. But with all the real problems we face (two wars, health care, unemployment, global warming, etc.), it bugs the hell out of me that even “news” channels like MSNBC spend most of their time talking about who’s going to get custody of the kids, who is in the will and who isn’t, and what drugs he might have been taking when he died. I mean, who cares?