A drive-by shooting (picture shooting, that is!)

File this one in the category of “you never know where you’ll find news.”

On my way to Sandy Point State Park for an interview at noon on Friday, I encountered a traffic tie-up.

I know, I know — that’s not really news. There are always traffic problems on Route 50 on Fridays in the summer.

As I crawled along, I realized that the backup was due to some kind of wreck in the left lane.

I figured I might have a chance at a shot of the wreck.

I pulled out my camera (which is almost always on my passenger seat) and clicked a test photo. My camera told me my memory card was locked, so  I popped open the compartment with my thumb and pulled the memory card out.

I used my teeth to slide the lock to the proper position (please don’t try this at home) and popped it back in. I had just enough time to fire off eight frames, and this is what I got:

Accident on Route 50, photo by multimedia journalist and environment reporter Pamela Wood.
A boat slides off a trailer on Route 50, causing traffic trouble. It's a rare successful attempt at a drive-by shot.

That’s right, a poor guy’s boat slid off the trailer and onto Route 50. Talk about a bad day for that fella!

I didn’t look through the camera at all when I took the pictures, so I had no idea what was getting into the frame or how well the camera was focusing.

I had no clue what my camera’s settings were, and I lucked out that they worked.

My camera was set to ISO 200 on aperature priority at f/7.1. The camera selected 1/640 for the shutter. The white balance was set to direct sunlight. The autofocus was on the centermost point. My camera was set that way from shooting on a fishing boat earlier in the week.

Now, the picture has problems, mainly because I made a rookie mistake and forgot to roll down my window. The coloring was off because of the window and if you look at the right side, you can see reflections from my car’s interior. (The diagonal lines.)

But hey, it’s not often you can nail a drive-by shot. It’s not the safest thing to do, of course, but it was a neat little photo that ran on our website. And I was glad I had my camera ready for it.

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