Foto Friday X

Pictured above is the electricity cable on the top of a tram in Amsterdam.  What I managed to capture was the brief moment that electrified arm passes through a junction with other hot wires, creating a bright spark.  Funny story behind this picture actually.

I noticed one evening that this spark happens, and made a mental note to try and take a picture of it.  Only I always forgot to try and take a picture.  Then one evening I remembered just as one went by and emitted a HUGE spark.  I waited with my camera ready for the next set of trams to come through only to learn that not all trams spark equally.  So I waited for the next set of them, and then naturally had the setting wrong on my camera so I missed another good one.  Once I figured out what I thought would be good settings, including my rapid-fire function, I again waited for the next tram.  My hands were almost too cold to function at this point, but I was determined.

Not long after I was approached by a cab driver asking if I was the police.  We had a lengthy discussion about how I was not the police, but a tourist looking to capture an interesting photo.  He was still convinced that I was taking pictures of the cabs illegally standing at an intersection.  Somewhere during our discussion I missed yet another tram, but I invited the guy to wait with me to witness the next one.  I even showed him the other pictures on my camera.  So the next tram comes by, and of course, no spark.  I gave up.

The following day was the last day of the trip and my camera got plenty of good use with other subjects.  Just as I was about to jump on the bus to head to the airport, I saw a tram coming and thought, why not give it a shot.  But my settings weren’t quite right and the tram was very rapidly approaching.  I only had enough time to drop the aperture and focus on what I thought would be the junction of the two wires (remember it is dark, and I’m looking through a darkened lens).  The tram whizzed by and I had only one chance to take the shot, as my continuous shooting mode was not on.  Luckily I had watched a few of them go by in the same spot the night before, and I got lucky and timed it right.  Although it isn’t the optimal picture, I’m happy with the result, especially because of the journey it took to get there.

1/60s f/20 70mm ISO 3200.  Cropped but no adjustments, au revior until next week.

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