Windy Morning


This photograph almost cost $4,000! The wind was so strong atop Hawk Hill this morning at sunrise that it tried to push my camera and tripod over the cliff. The fall would’ve been about 25 feet, far enough I think that the heavy end of the rig would’ve hit first. At just the wrong angle, BAM, busted lens mount on D700, glass in 24-70 f/2.8 lens, and so on. If the tripod and head had also suffered damage, it would’ve been a very unhappy call to my insurance company.

Fortunately, the reflexes in the old dog are still quite keen in this situation, and as the tripod was about halfway over the railing I caught one of the legs to keep up the whole thing from going over. A close call! I’ve since come up with a scheme to use my backpack and a velcro strap as an anchor the next time the wind is up.

A few moments later, after my heart had slowed down, the clouds were pretty fantastic and I made a 7-shot panorama that I expect will be quite nice indeed after some work in Photoshop to assemble the final image.


  • scott

    i think you mean selective reflexes — i don’t recall them being quite keen when that 100 lb. sack of coffee fell on top of me. but all is forgiven. glad you got this great shot and saved your gear, too.

  • As I recall I was distracted and unable to act with such swiftness because I was laughing so hard. And anyway, we’d both have chronic back trouble now if we’d taken that job.

  • Jan Lee

    Yikes!! At first I thought you were referring to the old dog Charlie. Glad you made the save and glad you didn’t go over the railing, too.

  • OK already, it’s been 18 hours since you were up in Yosemite for Firefalls. So, where is it, where, where! 🙂

    Nice sunset, nice grab.