Holes in the ground at dusk mean one thing, it is going to be really hard to shoot. I didn’t know how big a hole we were talking about. A sink hole can be very small or it can swallow a house. This one was still a small one but it is situated on the slope of a hill and it might get really nasty before all is said and done. One that formed on Interstate 565 in Huntsville a few years ago had to be excavated to a depth of at least 20 feet, probably more, and it was so huge a work that trucks and dozers were down in the hole.
For those of you wondering what exactly a sink hole might be, allow me to give you a bit of a geology lesson. All of North Alabama sits on top of a gigantic slab of limestone rock. Limestone rock is very porous and can be easily eroded over time by flowing, or even by dripping, water. This creates caves and it also creates sink holes. When the limestone rock beneath a piece of ground becomes sufficiently weakened by the erosion the rock collapses into the the eroded rock beneath leaving a sink hole. The ground above it follows suit and you have a hole. As a kid growing up in Colbert County we used to play around sink holes and even a few times in sink holes. This can be a dangerous activity so I hope my mom and dad are not reading this one! In fact, there was a sink hole at one of my friend’s house and we used to swing on vines across it. Legend has it that a guy crawled into a sink hole many years ago and days later emerged in a cave on a bluff above the Tennessee River. Who knows, but my friend swears it was true.
Back on topic now, this hole was dark and there was not much light left anywhere so this meant I needed to do some flash work. My initial attempt ended in my flash falling into the hole and me climbing down into the pit to retrieve it. Yes, I was laughing out loud at my self. Note to self, when laying a flash on a slope it might be a good idea to secure it to something because gravity still works! Eventually I got my flash to be still and I used it to illuminate the hole. A second flash gave some fill to the high barriers and all that was left to do was get some cars in the picture. Viola! A photo of a hole in the ground. May you do as well when a hole you have to shoot, to paraphrase Yoda.
Photos copyright Gary Cosby Jr., The Decatur Daily. The opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.