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Edition #122, March 15, 2010


Photographer: Charlie Dischinger

                                                                                 Photo by Charlie Dischinger


Twilight. That magical time of day after the sun has set and still light enough to see everything. Twilight has always fascinated me. I think it is because of the fact that while you can still make out most of the details in the surroundings, it is dark enough to provide a hint of mystery of what lurks in yonder shadows. Not to mention that the glow of lights provide a twinkle and bright spot to an otherwise dark scene. Then if you had a little rain so the lights reflect off of many different surfaces, it gets even better.

On March 10 of last year, there was an eastbound parade of four trains coming to Springfield from Tulsa with a projected arrival in the early evening. It was raining lightly and everything appeared to be coming together for a shot I had thought about for some time. So I headed west to the town of Billings, Mo. to catch the trains in that magical time of day. When I got there, I set up and listened to the scanner for a hint of when they might actually arrive. While I waited, the situation continued to worsen weather wise. It got darker, began to rain harder and harder, and lightening was cracking almost continuously with the thunder providing a deafening roar. With tripod set up and in place, I patiently waited in the truck listening to the scanner for the detector just west of town to give me warning that the first train had actually arrived. I waited. And waited. And waited. All the while trying to hear the scanner over the now deluge of rain pounding the truck between the lightening bursts and cracks of thunder. But no train. 

Finally the rain began to lighten up as the storm passed to the northwest. Dark clouds and lightning were now over the old stone bank building. If only everything would come together at the same time I thought. The lightening stopped. The rain stopped and the streets were beginning to dry off. Only then did the first train show up about an hour and a half after its projected passing through Billings. I took several shots as the train passed and then waited for the second of the four trains that never did appear before it got so dark that you would not have been able to see them in the picture without a flash. So I headed home, pleased with what I did capture, but disappointed in knowing what I could have captured more, had the timing been just a little different.

After being back home for a week or two with the one picture that I did get, I couldn't help but think about the implications had everything come together instead of being separated by about fifteen minutes. It was about this time while working on another project; as I was looking through some of books and magazines I have on Photoshop, I stumbled across an article about how to create lightning. The light came on, so to speak. This is how I could create what I had envisioned while sitting and waiting in the truck at Billings. While I did not have the ability to bring the forces of Mother Nature together in the way I wanted, I did have the ability to bring them together in my picture, just as I envisioned the scene that afternoon. The resulting picture captures the mood and feeling that I experienced, quite well. 

Charlie Dischinger

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