Power Lines Over the Water, Mountain View, California

Power Lines Over the Water, Mountain View, California
Photo Details
Title:Power Lines Over the Water, Mountain View, California
Caption:High voltage power lines extend over the water at the edge of the salt marshes near Stevens Creek.
Taken:21 February, 2018
Location:37° 26.1032′ 0″ N 122° 4.1194′ 0″ W
Camera:NIKON D810
Focal length:45mm
Shutter speed:1/50s

Whenever I travel to California for work, I usually leave my camera behind. My work trips are always packed, and I know I just won’t have much time to take photos. I feel bad about this, so on one of my recent trips I made it a point to take my camera and put photo time on my trip schedule. I picked an evening when I knew I would be near the Stevens Creek area, and after my meetings I set out to capture some photos. At least, that’s what I intended.

Shortly after heading out, I got a last minute phone call in the middle of the salt marsh from a coworker about an important deal. I took the call while watching the sun set, seeing my photo opportunities set with it. The call was important, but work really was conspiring against my desire to take photos on this trip. When the call finally ended, I took a few muddled photos of the marsh, decided that wasn’t going to work, and then sprinted to the edge of the water to see if I could find a good combination of the remaining light from the sunset with the power lines.

The light was perfect but fading fast. I didn’t even set my tripod, pull out any filters, or do anything else. I set my ISO to 400 to allow me to shoot hand held, let out my breath, and then snapped the shutter. The first two exposures were crooked and cut off the tops of the towers, but the third was spot on and looked perfect. Of course, I still took several more photos from different angles, with the tripod, plus some filters here and there. And while they were ok, this quick fire one I took at the very beginning stood out as the best of the day with the most color in the sky.

Two lessons learned:

  • Take my camera on more work trips. It’s always possible to find photos if I can schedule the time.
  • Even if I get distracted, I can still sometimes find photos in a pinch.


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