A blustery front blew through Scranton yesterday evening; it ramped up during my mid-afternoon class. I grabbed my camera with its wide-angle zoom lens and walked up to campus once my class was over.

Figure 1. Archtecture building in gathering storm. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

At first there were scattered clouds and stuff gusts of wind. I got some good shots with the dappled light, though I was buffeted enough by the wind that you’ll notice that my focus was imperfect in almost every shot.

Once the front proper, with its rain, came, it got really dark and I had to use ISO settings of 1600, 3600—far higher than I normally do. So forgive some noise on top of my buffet-y focus problems.

Figure 2. Archtecture building in gathering storm: detail with old oak tree. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

Still, the atmospherics were dramatic, and both heavens and earth were captured at some of their best.

Figure 3. Wee Copse in gathering storm. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 4. Wee Copse in gathering storm. Detail of wind-tossed branches. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 5. Learning Commons and Wee Copse in gathering storm. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

Figure 5 is brighter than the sky actually was; I wanted to pull detail out of the charcoal-grey ceramics of the Learning Commons. That’s the storm front proper in the background, and from this point the day got quite dark and the ISO setting rises dramatically.

Figure 6. Storm front over Italianate Garden. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 7. Squall hits Italianate Garden. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 8. Squall over Italianate Garden: enlarged view. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

If you look attentively at figures 7 and 8 (they are the same but for cropping) you’ll see the rain frozen in mid-air and clusters of drops falling, especially by the closest Marywood banner. I had to back off under the porch of the Rotunda to clear water drops off my lens.

Figure 9. Rotunda after storm. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 10. Rotunds steps after storm: sketch club drawing. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

It’s like the Nazca Plain on the steps of the Rotunda where the Sketch Club has advertised its existence with some fine drawings. The rain brought the colors of the chalk out beautifully.

Figure 11. Storm front departing eastward over Learning Commons. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 12. Storm breaking up over Italianate Garden. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

Figures 12-14 represent attempts to capture the striking effect of the rays of the sun coming through the broken clouds. Figure 14 shows the effect as it appeared best to me.

Figure 13. Sun emerging over Italianate Garden. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 14. Sun-ray money shot. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 15. Storm approaching over Nazareth Hall parking lot. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 16. Trees—and colors—saturated after storm. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 17. Bonus image: clouds after storm over mountain. Photo: author.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Arlington, VA

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