A mighty sapling: sound and image

As we headed across the open country near Braidwood on Saturday afternoon we drove into a huge storm. Blacks clouds licked the horizon and lightning struck the ground. By the time we descended the escarpment into the Araluen Valley we were in the midst of a deluge. Melody kept on driving her Ford truck, towing the camper trailer across rising streams and fords, down the dirt road running alongside the Deua River.

When we reached Bakers Flat we quickly set up the camper trailer, and got ready to endure a long night of inclement weather.

For nearly 8 hours the thunder did not stop. In a slight break when it was raining lightly, Melody suggested we go out and take some photos.

I set up Chamonix in the tent with an Apo-Sironar-S 150mm lens, grabbed a Grafmatic film holder loaded with Shanghai 100, put a plastic cover over my equipment and carefully headed down to the river. I had seen a she-oak sapling protected by a rock growing in the middle of the river and wanted to photograph it.

After walking gingerly down the track, so as not to slip in the mud, I managed to step into a deep hole at the edge of the river that was clouded by runoff. Although I was soaked, the camera and film which were held aloft stayed dry.

Retreating to the bank, and after covering the camera with a large hat to protect it from the rain, I focused on the glistening rocks and sapling, sacrificing depth of field for shutter speed in the fading light.

I also recorded the sound of the river, rain and thunder for listening to, while looking at the image of this mighty she-oak sapling in the Deua River.

A might sapling

A mighty sapling

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