As most of you know, Hurricane Harvey produced its most significant rains only a little over a week ago. The statistics are 100,000 homes flooded with some 500,000 vehicles totaled. 15 trillion gallons of water fell on the region from landfall till it moved off east. The storm may have left, but the watersheds to the west are still holding incredible amounts of water and are still releasing into the bayous. Continuous flooding along Buffalo Bayou The graphic below from the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) shows the Lake Houston watershed peak flow totals from my area. These numbers are unprecedented and represents a 1000 year flood (0.1% chance of happening). Kingwood and Humble both received in the neighborhood of 30"-40" of rain. The devastation is unreal.
What you see in these images below are what remains of the Union Pacific Railroad bridge over the San Jacinto river in Humble, TX that is about 2 miles from my house. At peak flow during the storm, this river was carrying 130,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) of water through its channel. It crested at 69' (feet) in height. Least to say that this bridge and the surrounding banks did very well to handle the water with only this level of damage. Highway 69/59 which runs parallel to this bridge had feet of water on top of the roadway.
Tuesday, a Union Pacific SD70ACe passed my house on its way to fill up ballast cars for replacement roadbed. Thursday, a massive crane was assembling a portable work barge to float equipment out toward the missing bridge pieces. Most debris has been cleared from around the bridge pylons and repairs look to be happening very soon.
This was a tremendous storm and so many people were displaced and lost so many things. My family was fortunate to make it out relatively unscathed. We have donated our time and money to helping our friends clean up and rebuild. Were not just Americans or Texans or even a certain political party. We are human and when the cards are down, we help each other.
(looking north from the southern bank)
(long lens shot of the washed out portion)
(looking north along the line)
(looking south along the line, majorly washed out sections)
(washed out section of roadway, southern bank)
(long lens shot of initial repair work)
This past weekend in the Houston area was a scorcher, as usual, for this time in July. Feeling the creative energy flowing, the lovely woman who I share my life with, threw herself in front of my camera on a Saturday evening. One of the awesome things about living in a mid-rise apartment complex is having open access to the six floor garage, which allows for 30+ mile views in any direction you look. As the sun was setting and some high altitude clouds were drifting past, we leashed up our husky, Luca, and took the time to knock out a quick set. With the setting sun as my main light source, my 30" Westcott 6 in 1 reflector was going to be the only other tool I would need. The idea behind these is harsh edges with a soft look by shooting at a low depth of field. Prime lenses have been a go to for most of my creation lately and in this shoot I used three different ones on my Sony A7R II. The first was the Zeiss Loxia 35mm F/2 Biogen. I absolutely love this particular lens just because it delivers such an astounding look. To me, its iconic and draws me in from sharpness to bokah. The second lens was another Zeiss, this time the Loxia 50mm F/2 Planer. Yes, I know this is a Zeiss weighted shoot. I chose these lenses because I love the look they deliver. The 50mm is no exception with its wonderful fall off and just how tack sharp it is at F/2. The third lens is more unique to this line up and is a personal choice. The Canon FD 50mm F/1.4 SSC with a metabones adapter combines optics from a by gone era with a look that can not be found on any other lens. While its 45-50 years old at this point its still razor sharp but also extremely soft when combined with the high megapixel sensor on my Sony. This lens and I are on a quest to achieve perfect focus at F/1.4 (note: I do realize with a lens of this age that there is probably some back focus/focus issues even for a full manual focus lens). But I babble on about lenses. Truth be told, the setting sun always holds a unique feeling that I always love to see in images. I guess I have an attraction to warm light or is it possible that I am just a matron of a lost sun worshiping religion? Who knows. I'll let the images do the talking. (FYI you can click the images for a larger view)
Till next time. Keep shooting.
Rheanna against wallSony A7R II w/ Zeiss Loxia 50mm F/2 @ 1/800s, f/2, ISO 80 Rheanna standing w/ LucaSony A7R II w/ Zeiss Loxia 35mm F/2 @ 1/2000s, f/2.5, ISO 80 Rheanna with sunSony A7R II w/ Canon FD 50mm F/1.4 @ 1/640s, f/1.4, ISO 125