Mulholland Night by mbrutus

Mulholland Night

You know how it goes. I have driven this stretch of road daily for the past twenty five years. Several years ago, possibly because I had recently joined 365Project.Org, it struck me that, under the right circumstances and with the right gear, this particular spot might lend itself to an interesting nighttime photo. But at that time, I did not yet possess the telephoto lens that would be required to take the shot I envisioned. But then, two years ago, I did buy an appropriate telephoto lens, primarily for the purpose of shooting bird and nature photos. Suddenly, I was all ready to grab this shot. Almost. I had decided the shot would be much better if the pavement was wet and therefore shiny for my intended photo. I would just wait to shoot my shot until after it had rained. No problem there. Well, actually, small problem there. California, in general, and Southern California, in particular, were then smack dab in the middle of a six year drought. The first year of my Rain Watch, the total rainfall for Southern California was a mere 2.15 inches. For perspective sake, that was approximately one fifth of average annual rainfall for what is already considered a desert clime. What rain there was usually fell in the daylight hours, so that the streets had dried by nighttime. Other times, it did rain at night, but while I was sleeping, so that it was light outside by the time I discovered it. But I was determined to await my next opportunity to grab the Mulholland shot. Nine months without precipitation would follow, until another "rainy season" would arrive. Again no luck. Just like so many Cleveland Indian fans, I would just have to wait until next year. This year, the SoCal rainfall approached more normal levels. But it tended to rain right through the nights. And I had no desire to shoot in the rain. I merely needed the street to be shiny.

Sunday night is the time we are supposed to put out our trash cans for collection on Monday morning. But when I arrived home that evening after seven hours traveling to, from and attending a rain soaked funeral, the last thing I wanted to do was drag out the trash cans in the raging downpour, while wearing my funereal suit. I decided to wait for the predicted end of the showers to take out the cans. Several hours later, when I finally did take out the cans right before bedtime, it occurred to me that the rain had stopped, the pavement was still wet, and it was still dark. If it wasn’t so darned late, or if I wasn’t so damned tired, I would have packed my gear in the car right then and gone to take the goddamned photo. But then, the guilt sank in and I thought again. After all, after all these years, if The Great Photo Enabler in the Sky is finally presenting me with all the conditions necessary, God must really want me to take this photo. So, I bid goodnight to my beloved Mrs. Brutus and headed out into the chill evening air. Only after I drove to the anointed spot, parked my car in the closest legal parking space, lugged my gear to the desired shooting location, setup my tripod, mounted my camera and extra-long telephoto lens, did I realize that God not only wanted me to take this shot. But that he thought it would look better if it was pouring. It seem everybody has an opinion.
HAHAHA so as well as the picture of the pig, your story also had me in giggles! I think the man upstairs was right...it needed some rain for drama...I like it and worth the extra trip!
February 5th, 2019  
I have a similar shot I want to take which I have driven for the last 3 years on my way to work, except at 0600 in the morning I'm never in the mood to stop and I don't have my camera with me as I'm not allowed to use it at work. This gives me some hope that I will take the shot at some point. This is a nice atmospheric picture and narrative 🙂
February 5th, 2019  
haha m, i did enjoy your story! and i think the rain adds a certain little something. nicely done! and congrats on your patience :)
February 5th, 2019  
this is striking, great that you finally stopped!
February 5th, 2019  
My very first thought was “It was a dark and stormy night last night, bitter dark. Rain fell in torrents, stabbing it’s ghosts through the cold, and straight through our hearts.” Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Such an awesome photo, made even greater by your awesome account of arriving at this instant in time.
February 5th, 2019  
Great photo and a great story. If you still need rain, we have plenty
February 5th, 2019  
A fabulous story to enhance your photo fav
February 5th, 2019  
Making me a little homesick my friend. Beautiful shot and your commentary is equally fab! Home will always be a little bit of where we grew up 😊
February 5th, 2019  
Great story and fabulous shot, I think that driving rain just adds to it. Hope you didn't get too drenched 🙂
February 5th, 2019  
Wonderful leading line, composition
February 5th, 2019  
OMG you are so funny, Marshall and such a superb writer!!! For your efforts, God, and your many friends here, have rewarded you with faves for a photo that absolutely reports perfectly the quality of that night!!! Bravo!
February 5th, 2019  
Well, you certainly accomplished a wonderful image!
February 5th, 2019  
A fabulous image and a wonderful story to go with it! It’s a shot from a movie! Love it - especially the rain! When it finally happened for you all the elements came together!
February 5th, 2019  
haha, your god is a true photographer, He knows the bad weather makes excellent photograph. Truly outstanding.
February 6th, 2019  
I don't know which I enjoyed more - your picture or your story! Both were fantastic - it was everything you wanted to capture - plus a little help from above. It looks wonderful on black. Fav
February 6th, 2019  
Dedication! brilliant narrative and shot.
February 6th, 2019  
Great atmospheric night scene....complete with rain!
February 6th, 2019  
Exquisite! Patience and determination are virtues that the photographer must master, and I think you've demonstrated that in the utmost of manners. I only know of one person who waited years to get the photo he was after.....and now I know another!
February 6th, 2019  
Wow, how fab is this. Everything about it ticks all my boxes. I love the atmosphere, the rain DOF and the story with the car approaching.
February 6th, 2019  
What a great photo!
February 6th, 2019  
Stunning shot and a great story. Fav
February 6th, 2019  
Your determination and patience certainly paid off and the rain and a special touch to great image :)
February 6th, 2019  
I admire your vision for a certain picture and to wait six years!
February 6th, 2019  
I really like it!
February 6th, 2019  
Well my friend l don't know which l enjoyed more. The story or the photo. However the photo is that more incredible knowing the lengths and time you waited to capture it
February 6th, 2019  
@huvesaker So glad you enjoyed the photo and the story. Yes. The rain does add something to the mood. Soon I will post a similar shot but without the rain. You will see the difference.
February 7th, 2019  
@johnsutton Yes it is hard to get motivated so early in the morning. But I'm sure you will work up the enthusiasm soon. What kind of job does not let one take a camera?
February 7th, 2019  
@pistache I'm so glad you enjoyed both the story and the photo. I agree that the rain does add something. I can't believe I didn't want it from the beginning. But I think that I just did not want to hassle with taking so many photos and risking my gear to the weather.
February 7th, 2019  
@koalagardens So glad you liked it. Many thanks for you comments and support.
February 7th, 2019  
@louannwarren Aren't you kind to say so. I like that bit of prose you quoted for us. I feel badly that I've never heard of that talented writer before this. But sadly, I read slowly and am not particularly well read. So thanks for sharing that passage with us.
February 7th, 2019  
@christophercox So glad you enjoyed both. And many thanks for your kind offer regarding the rainfall. I'll bet you do have enough to share.
February 7th, 2019  
@Dawn Thanks so much for your kind comments. I never know how anyone is going to react to any of my stories. Particularly since some readers used to tease me over their occasionally generous length.
February 7th, 2019  
@elatedpixie I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed both. I didn't know, or had forgotten that you grew up down here. The Central Coast seems so much more picturesque to me, though I don't get up north of Santa Barbara that much. Not nearly as often as I would like. I haven't been to Pismo in almost forty years. I enjoyed your tale of how you got into photography. Thought it was funny how Rebel cameras were so much more advanced than the first 35 mm cameras that I began with.
February 7th, 2019  
@inthecloud5 Thanks. Glad you enjoyed both the story and the photo. And no, I didn't get too drench because, while I did leave it out of the story, I did bring an umbrella with me. Though I was pretty sure I wouldn't need it. The weather forecasts had said that the rain was over. But it's impossible to set things up, make adjustments and hold the umbrella all at once. I had to wipe the gear down very well with a towel when I got back to the car.
February 7th, 2019  
@seattlite - Thank you for your kind comments. Particularly since this shot was not cropped at all. It is what we used to call cropped in the camera. Back in film days, it was too expensive to pay for someone to crop your shots. So one would always endeavor to compose and crop the photo while taking the shot. Today, there is no real need for this discipline. In fact, there are many good reasons NOT to shoot this way anymore. But old habits do die hard.
February 7th, 2019  
@Weezilou Thanks, as always, for you kind words. Actually, the funny thing about today's cameras is that they are so capable of compensating for bad shooting conditions, that they tend to make every shot look like it was taken at 12 noon. So I actually had to work fairly hard to degrade the end product, so that it would more closely resemble the weather and the scene the way that I actually experienced it.
February 7th, 2019  
@danette Thanks so much for your comment and support.
February 7th, 2019  
@pamknowler Thanks so much. That's such a nice compliment. And yes, indeed. All the elements did come together... In more ways than one. ;-)
February 7th, 2019  
@yaorenliu Thanks so much. Very kind of you to say so. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
February 7th, 2019  
@milaniet Thanks so much for you kind comments and your fav. I'm so glad you enjoyed the photo and the story, too.
February 7th, 2019  
@yorkshirekiwi Thanks. I am very glad that you enjoyed both.
February 7th, 2019  
@amyk Many thanks for taking the time to view my photo and your kind comment.
February 7th, 2019  
@stray_shooter Thanks so much, Ron. That is quite a kind comment.
February 7th, 2019  
@moonmtn Thank you so much.
February 7th, 2019  
@merrelyn Thank you so much. Many thanks for your kind encouragement.
February 7th, 2019  
@phplananh I am either praiseworthy for my patience and determination OR pitiful for my procrastination. Probably, a bit of both.
February 7th, 2019  
@kork Thank you.
February 7th, 2019  
@bkbinthecity All I can say is that I'm glad you enjoyed both. They were each a little frustrating to do in their own ways, but fun too.
February 7th, 2019  
has a nice feel about it
February 7th, 2019  
It's the rain that makes it for me. Super capture FAV! (and the story - of course)
February 7th, 2019  
@mbrutus A place where cameras are banned and in certain areas electronic devices e.g. mobile phones aren't even allowed.
February 7th, 2019  
Wonderful Marshall. I only ha e a question for the Power Above. How come this photo is not on PP?😊
February 7th, 2019  
I see a great black and white movie. The car coming is to.....
You have painted a picture that invites us into it to watch.
Very pleased with your technique and your hanging in for twenty five years.
February 15th, 2019  
Haha! Loved the story too. fav.
I did hate the movie Mulholland Drive. :)
March 17th, 2019  
Nice story and a great capture to get the feeling of a dreary Sunday night. Glad you decided to take the opportunity to get the shot.
June 24th, 2019  
Leave a Comment
Sign up for a free account or Sign in to post a comment.