Can a photograph be just a cloud or is that not strong enough? I never really had a good answer to it but I always wondered. There are plenty of times where a cloud is not enough but there are certainly times when the clouds are so dramatic that yea, why not just take a photo of it?
Over Christmas break, I had the great fortune of being able to go through some of Grandpa’s slides from his military days. While I was doing this I learned two very important things that make a lot more sense about my family; first my Grandpa would take a camera everywhere. While he was in the Air Force he served in the nose of a B-29 in WWII and served in Korea. He flew many planes during those days and went to a lot of places, some of these things we are still finding out about him. Well, as it turns out while he was flying, while on days off, at home, traveling, everywhere, he had his camera. The second thing I learned is that he loved clouds. Many of his slides were just labelled with a date and the word clouds. It explains where my Dad got his love with clouds. I bring this up because it was going through my mind as I photographing these great clouds over the Bridger’s. Sometimes I wonder why we need the landscape to make a good landscape image? Why not just use the sky as the canvas? These simple shots were taken with the D4 and 200-400 VR, isolating fun patterns amongst the lights and shadows.
You know when you are driving along and you come across a scene that you just have to stop and photograph? Well I was driving between Winnemuca and Elko and I saw these clouds to the south and I just had to stop and take a picture. I have no doubt there is a fancy name for these clouds but I couldn’t tell you what they are. I just thought they looked cool.
I really don’t like grey skies. It seems like all we have been having lately are grey skies and off and on rain showers. It’s great that we don’t have much fire danger right now, and that everything is green. But when it’s four days of rain, it’s hard to get motivated to get out shooting. I have yet to find a good solution for this dilemma. Well it’s been a pretty nice weekend and looks to be a good week.
Sunday was darn right pretty. Windy as usual but a good day to be out. I wasn’t out for long as I was entertaining all weekend but I managed to sneak away for a little bit to cruise around. The nice thing about living in a valley is wherever the clouds are, it isn’t hard to go move around to a location to get mountains in the background. This is one of my favorite loops which never seems to disappoint. Pretty basic shooting, D4, 14-24 and 24-70. I love no having to think through every detail and just being able to click.
Lately we’ve been having a lot of storms come through town which is great because it is mid Summer and more water is always welcome to keep the temperatures down and fires away. I always like watching the storms as they move through, the patterns in which the emerge and disappear I find interesting. Since my office looks south towards the Gallatin Mountains I get a pretty good view of the storm as it moves over the peaks. Sometimes the clouds are interesting and some times they are just black. Well this is one of those occasions where the clouds were interesting but the light sucked. So I kept it simple by just going with the patterns.
In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 24-70 AF-S f/2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film
Why is the foreground always needed? If you think about all the good shots that you run across with a great sky but nothing to put in the foreground, it tends to beg the question do you take the shot or let it go by? Well this past weekend I was thinking about this and decided to take just some quick shots of the sky. It was beautiful so why not. As a Friday thought before going on shooting this weekend think about doing something that’s outside the standard rules of thirds and see what you come up with.
One of last week’s adventures took us up to the familiar Lakes Basin, where i have spent many a time fishing and cross country skiing. There are multiple lakes up in the basin and one of the best for shooting has always been horseshoe. It is also one of the most challenging. Earlier this month i spent some time at that same lake photographing the clouds that were hanging around as well as a picnic bench; well this time had a much more ominous feeling.
We were literally watching the storm move over the crest and then down over Mammoth Mountain. It was a black and white paradise with drama everywhere. It was also a particular challenge to the group to get into, myself included. You could say my mind was elsewhere…where’s the snow gotta ski, gotta ski! Sorry momentary lapse. The storm and the lake brought back good memories of skiing across the lake when it was frozen. Mom loved hearing that.
Knowing that the sun would never set in the sense of giving us an actual warm toned sky, everything shot was in the mind frame of B&W. Well towards the end of the evening which was around 7:30, a small opening popped up and a light color came through. It wasn’t much but it gave a nice finally before the drama disappeared and we were left with grey.