Do you remember the old "Moral Dilemma" joke?
Here's a moral question for you. This is an imaginary situation, but I think you will find it beneficial to think through this exercise.
The scenario: You are in the Middle East, and there is a huge flood in progress. Many homes have been lost, water supplies compromised and structures destroyed. You're a freelance photographer for a news service, you're traveling alone, looking for particularly poignant scenes that you can shoot. You come across Osama Bin Laden who has been swept away by the floodwaters. He is barely hanging on to a tree limb and is about to go under. You have to make a choice. You can either put down your camera and save him, or take a Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of him as he loses his grip on the limb.
So, here's the question... and think carefully before you answer it:
Which lens and shutter speed would you use?
I was reminded of this joke yesterday when the HUGE line of severe thunderstorms was covering Central Michigan from the south-west to the north-east. We were watching the storm coverage on TV, and now, instead of just thunderstorms, there were several circles starting to appear that meant tornadoes were forming. They were not yet in our county, but the storm was moving this way. A couple minutes later, the announcer said there were two potential tornadoes that were headed right for Holly, Mi. That is exactly where I am (but not in the RV, I am staying with my friend Peachie and her husband, Jim).
So, before heading to the basement, I had to decide what was important and what was not. I grabbed my camera (of course!) and realized I was going to be in trouble if the tornado hit -- I totally had the wrong lens for snapping tornadic activity! A quick run to my truck parked in the driveway and I was all set, lens-wise. I grabbed the essentials -- fresh camera batteries, extra memory cards, and a bottle of pinot noir, and down to the basement we went! Guess I'd know what to do if faced with the moral dilemma of the joke!
The worst it got here was "white out" rain and moderate wind. Two tornadoes did touch down nearby -- one did a lot of damage in Fenton, about 5 miles away. The other touched down about half a mile away (a bit to close for comfort!), and damaged one house and some trees. We drove through Fenton shortly after the storm hit, and found traffic lights out and the streets blocked by police and firemen. In one picture, you can see one of the two town's Christmas Trees has been pulled out by the roots. The other Christmas Tree shared a similar fate.
After leaving this area, the storm continued south-east to Detroit where the 7:05 Tigers/Yankees game was postponed due to the incoming weather. They actually did play the game starting at 11:05 P.M. The game was 11 innings (of course this one would go into overtime!) and ended at 3:45 A.M.!! You have to be a real baseball fan to make it through that game! The Tigers won, by the way. Sorry, Val!