photo of the week

Up Ahead Is the Chaos

Mr. Dynapak is idle, but has the orange barrel standing at attention while the culverts are at dress right, dress.  They are in the median of a section of I-40 being reconstructed northwest of Little Rock, Arkansas.  A mile or so further, the scenery dramatically changed as we observed damage from the recent killer tornado that tore through central Arkansas.

Brunt of the Storm

Sunday, May 4, 2014
Pine Buff, Arkansas

Six days after a late April killer tornado blasted its way through central Arkansas, I had occasion drive on I-40, which runs through the big middle of the storm-devastated area.  Before I arrived in the storm area, I decided to attach a wide angle lens to my favorite Nikon body, balance it at the bottom of the driver's side window, and hit the shutter button at the right time.

When that happens, the camera records six frames per second.  Mind you, this is not an aimed photo session.  The trick is to balance the camera with your left hand, keep your eyes on the road, and wait until your peripheral vision tells you that it is time to hit the shutter button.

As a warmup exercise, I tried the technique on some construction scenes  It worked well enough, so I kept those because they show reasonably clean images of what is normally a blur as we zip down the interstate.

When I arrived in the storm damage area, I was able to record images which one normally sees only in the blink of an eye.  In some cases the focus is a tad fuzzy, but given the circumstances of the shoot and the imagery I captured, a bit of fuziness is probably acceptable.  The following images are sequential.



After investigation, experts classified the tornado that leveled this area as F4, one notch down from the top of the tornado food-chain.


Total Damage

The damage was total with few if any man-made structures left standing in the main path of the storm.



On the right side of this image you can see a small part of a metal building which was flattened.


A Twisted Wreck

Here you get the first glimpse of the entire building, which is a complete twisted wreck.


A Closer Look

Here is a closer view, which gives you a closer look at the destruction.


A Wide Swath

The storm cut a wide swath.  What you see here is just a portion of the width.


In the Median

Not far from the building, this trailer wound-up in the median with nothing left but the wheels and frame.


Business as Usual

Just a few miles down the road, it was business as usual.

When you see a set of conditions like this, you quickly gain appreciation that fate did not put you in the path of destruction or send it your way.  Be grateful, for there are no guarantees.

Photo Notes

Nikon D7100, hand held, ISO 200, set to program mode. The camera selected apertures from f9 to f11 and speeds from 1/320 to 1/500. Post processed in Photoshop CC.


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