Clunk. Normally a clunk is not that alarming. However when filming at night in an area with 60mph wind gusts, the first thing that comes to your mind, microseconds after “What was that?”, is not printable in polite society. Having never been a member of polite society, I will just omit the entirety of the next 20 seconds of thoughts in my mind. Seeing a smashed lens and a pano head that is bent is not good for your stomach. Or I suppose your bank account. $1800 down the drain in one fell swoop.
At least I’d put away the Zeiss lens a few minutes earlier as the winds shook the stars far too much. Somehow this pre-crash photo was acceptable and this is it. Surprising given the circumstances.
Hope Arch is the name of this fine arch on Navajo land. It is really hard to find and the road such as it is, is heavy sand, impassable to all but 4×4 and even then a 4×4 that may receive tough and destructive frontend damage in the massive ruts. Once I found it, just as night fell, I camped out to wait. Surely these wind gusts will die down. I mean its 4 hours from now.
At 1 am I got out and started to setup. Sand and grit pelted me during this image. The wind would abruptly stop for 30-45 seconds to a gentle breeze and its seemed perhaps the worst was over. It then would suddenly howl with what seemed to be increasingly ferocious abandon. The temperature had been fine without the wind, but when it blew it was bone chilling. After the crash I ended up in my Jimmy 4×4 shivering. I’m not sure if it was the cold or the crash that caused that.
As had often happened on this trip I was forced to flee the clouds of El Nino that covered almost the entire west. I found this spot that was scheduled to be clear but never checked the wind speed.
I have to say I am quite glad I have the Jimmy for this shot as I would have certainly been stuck in sand several times. Enjoy everyone!
Technical: Canon 6D, 50mm f 1.8, 42 images, cropped slightly on left.

Hope Arch 3 Ground Final flat 2

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