50with50 no. 42
Hurricane Laura’s remnants filled the sky above our driveway with clouds, as seen here in another entry in the 50with50 series. And even in the dark times, there is always hope.
Even though it was only a tropical depression by the time it reached us, Hurricane Laura came our way and even brought some much-needed rain. Fortunately, moderate winds were all that we got as the hurricane-strength winds died out long before the storm reached us. I never have been a big fan of big winds, except if the big winds are coming from a big fan on a hot day, and then I am a big fan of those big winds. But not the big winds from the sky.
You can’t see it here because this is black and white, but much of our grass had turned slightly yellow because of our lack of rain over the last month or more. And the crape myrtle leaves were starting to turn red and fall off of the trees, even though August is a bit early for that to happen. Too much rain is never a good thing, but too little rain can be a problem, too. Fortunately, Laura (the hurricane, not the Burns) brought us some rain. The weather guys had warned of possible flash floods, but we did not get that much rain in our area. We probably could have used a little more rain than we got, but who can complain when God is in control?
Laura (the Burns, not the hurricane) felt rather honored that they named a storm after her, except of course for the damage that it caused back around the gulf coast. She thought about making a shirt that says, “2020: The Year of Hurricane Laura.” I keep waiting for a Hurricane Steve to come our way so that I can get some jokes off of that one, but it hasn’t happened yet.
There Is Always Hope
Those clouds look to be really dark and menacing, but they were not quite as devastating as they might look here. I did add some menace to the scene by making the clouds rather dark. After all, who would want to see a photo of just a washed-out sky? So consider this photo to have a little bit of dramatic effect to make it more eye-catching.
Even though things were not as dark as they might seem in this photo, it is a reminder to me that there is still hope even in the dark times. Things might not be the way that you want them to be, but you can still see good things if you look.
It might surprise some of my high school English teachers, but I did even include a bit of symbolism in this photo. Once again, instead of straight black and white, I used selective color in this photo. It is subtle, but the pink crape myrtle blossoms stand out against the darkness once you see them, and once you realize that they are there on purpose. Maybe you don’t realize that I meant to do that, but I did. And they are there at the right of the photo if you are looking for them. Perhaps I should have composed the photo differently to include more of the blossoms, but the photo is all about the clouds and not the blossoms. I just included them here in color for fun. And for symbolism.
Even with the dark clouds and the rain, hope is still here because the rain will water the grass and the trees. The plants need that water to grow, and they got it, even if that rain came with dark clouds and moderate wind. Since the time the storm has come through, the grass has already started looking greener.
So this is all just a reminder that even when things look dark, we have hope of better, brighter days ahead. Sometimes it just involves changing your perspective from seeing the bad to seeing the good. But this is also a reminder to put your hope in something worthwhile, in something that will last. My hope was not in the rain or the grass or trees here, but rather in God who provides all good things to his children. That is a hope that will not let you down, no matter what happens.
There is always hope.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. - Romans 5:3-5
About the Photo
This is actually one of the few photos in the 50with50 series where I have felt constrained by the 50mm lens. In many ways, this view would have benefited from a wider angle that I could have gotten from my standard lens. And because I wanted more of the image to be in focus, I did not need the f/1.8 aperture, instead using f/5.6 here. So for this photo I used the 50mm lens for the sake of using the 50mm lens. It still worked out okay, but that is a trap that you can sometimes fall into. Don’t set limits on yourself that are not necessary.
I knew pretty quickly that black and white would bring out the clouds better, so I used that. But I did like keeping the color of the crape myrtle blossoms, even though they are small and off to the side. Hopefully, that does not look too much like just an error in processing.
I used the dodge and burn tool in Aurora HDR to make the clouds look even darker and more sinister, because that was the look that I was going for here. I think it works, and no, we were not about to die!
Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Aurora HDR. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: SonyFE 50mm f/1.8
Date: August 28, 2020
Location: Home, Williston, Tennessee