Idaho Moment: An unexpected opportunity

Sometimes in photojournalism, it pays to be bored. A shot I took of a rain-streaked American Flag in July was a direct result of such boredom.

I was on assignment to cover the youth golf clinic at the Hillcrest Country Club before the Boise Open.

Unfortunately, a quick moving thunderstorm hit during the clinic and I was forced to seek shelter in the clubhouse. I didn’t want to attempt a run to my car holding a large metal lens, so I was forced to stay in the clubhouse for more than an hour waiting for the storm to pass.

During that time, I saw the American flag through a large clubhouse window and thought that I could make an interesting picture. I used a 70-200mm lens and a tripod, set my aperture to F22 and took about 100 pictures focusing on the rain-streaked window.

The small aperture allowed me to gather detail in the flag, while still having the rain streaks in focus. The exposure was 1/13th of a second, which is why the tripod was needed.

I loved the way the picture turned out when I got back into the office, and although the picture didn’t make it into the paper it was featured on the Idaho Statesman Facebook page and I have received a fair amount of positive feedback from the image, and it all came about because a quirky summer storm changed my shooting plans.

Sometimes it pays to be bored.