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portrait Patrick Born
Gulf Energy: Morning of Hurricane Rita @ Corpus Christi, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
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Copyright © 2005 Patrick Born, All Rights Reserved
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Today is September 24, 2005. It's 7:30 AM Saturday morning, about 15 minutes after sunrise. It is very different from any other Texas coastline morning because today Hurricane Rita, the 3rd most powerful hurricane in history is making landfall in Texas.

It's hard for me to comprehend that while I'm photographing the images for this panorama, Hurricane Rita is pounding her final destination about 300 miles north-east of where I'm standing. Earlier this week, a mandatory evacuation order was issued, Hurricane Rita had Corpus Christi in her sights! Fortunately for us in Corpus Christi, Hurricane Rita was destined for another city.

The sun is rising over the warm Gulf of Mexico waters. The moon which affects tides is high in the sky (drag up, and look carefully, it's tiny) and a gentle cooling breeze is blowing... This panoramic virtual reality (VR) photograph is an attempt to capture the elements of energy that make up a hurricane, namely: sun, warm land, warm water, and air. Gentle breezes, when combined with the correct ingredients, become a havoc wreaking, land eating, and people killing hurricane.

I had intended to photograph the Gulf waters from Padre Island's Whitecap beach, but had to revert to my contingency plan and use the seawall instead. I couldn't access Whitecap Beach because it was under water! Waves were lapping at the base of the sand dunes.

Look carefully at the horizon, see if you can see the oil rigs, which today, are taking a break from sucking up ancient energy (oil/gas) from far below the seabed. The rigs are idle, they too, like the Island, Flour Bluff, and Corpus Christi have been evacuated because of Hurricane Rita.

Hurricane Rita hailed from a combination of sun-baked Western Africa, warm water, and the Trade Winds off of Africa. She headed north-west and became a category 5 hurricane, the 3rd most powerful hurricane in history and she was coming my way.

Location Map Geographic Coordinates:
Latitude: 27° 36' 04" N
Longitude: 97° 12' 35" W
Elevation: 3'
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Date/Time:
07H30 / Saturday 24 September 2005

Equipment:
Nikkor 10.5mm lens
Manfrotto 303sph pano head
Photoshop CS2, PTGui, pano2qtvr



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