How the Art Happens - The Hand of God

May 22, 2019  •  1 Comment

The Hand Of GodThe Hand Of GodRed rain and lightning at sunset near Delta, Colorado create a wonderful way to end a summer day.

The Hand of God

I moved from Oklahoma to Colorado over 30 years ago. Chasing amazing skies was a frequent occupation while I lived in Oklahoma. It is well known for putting on impressive aerial displays of colorful clouds and storms. The mountains of Colorado are spectacular in their own right but the clouds up here can rarely compete with the skies of the plains. But, occasionally there are exceptions.

While traveling to Grand Junction one late summer evening I approached this singular cloud reflecting amazing sunset colors and dropping red rain. I had to get a picture of this!

I was driving on US 50 between Delta and Grand Junction. The two-lane road was narrow back then and had no shoulders. It was tough to find a place to get off the highway. The light was changing really quickly. I was in a panic that I might not get this photo. Eventually, I did find a spot to pull off the highway.

I quickly grabbed the camera, a Nikon FM2 which already had my 28mm wide angle lens on board. I put the camera on the tripod and set it up. Did I mention that the light was failing fast? I didn't feel like I had time to meter the scene so I set the exposure to "A" for aperture priority, allowing the camera to choose the shutter speed. The lens was stopped down to f11 or f16. The film was a new ISO 100 product from Fujifilm called Reala. I pressed the shutter button. The exposure was about 5 seconds or so. That's when it happened.

During my exposure, there was a lightning strike. I heard the shutter close. I couldn't believe my luck. So, I pressed the shutter button again. And again. And again, until the light completely failed and the sky was dark. There was no more lightning. There had been no lightning before either. The only lightning strike from this little storm was captured on my film! I'm the luckiest photographer on the planet!

I don't really believe in luck, however. I believe in planning, preparation, and patience. I also believe in gifts. This evening, I was given a gift, a once-in-a-lifetime photograph that no one else saw or captured. It had almost nothing to do with planning, preparation, and patience. It had almost nothing to do with me! It was a gift. And that's why it's called "The Hand of God".


Meegan Mitchell(non-registered)
The photograph is sensational; but the back story is a testimony of your spiritual experience! Love your gift from God! ❤️
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Crested Butte, Colorado photographer, Dusty Demerson creates fine art photography displayed as prints and canvases and provides private photo tours in and around western Colorado.

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