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Tag Archives: clouds
The Oregon Coast has a special character. It’s rugged, wind swept, lonely. A series of lighthouses still stand today, icons of the coast standing sentinel silently as modern electronics guides ships through the harrowing coast.
As a photographer, storms are your friend. As we drove into the Coquille River Lighthouse my excitement grew as the bright, squat lighthouse stood starkly against the billowing clouds. In the foreground, the wind swept the foliage growing directly out of the coastal sand dune.
The image was one of several hundred I made in a short time, scampering around the dune searching for the best vantage point. It was photographed with a Nikon D300 with 10-24mm lens (at 24mm), f16 at 1/320th on ISO200.
The Coquille River Lighthouse stands silently along a weed covered sand dune jetty outside Bandon, Oregon on the Pacific Ocean coastline. Built in 1896, the 47 foot tower guided boats safely across the shallow beach at the mouth of the Coquille River up to 1939. It is the newest of the eight remaining lighthouses on the Oregon Coast and is on the National Register of Historic Places. (c) 2012 Tom Kelly
Umbria was a magical land of diversity in central Italy. From mountains to valleys, castles to rolling hills – all under a mystical, swirling sky.
On an afternoon drive from Todi to Spelo we came across this storybook scene of rolling wheat fields with a villa on the horizon.
It was the perfect symbol of a remote and peaceful land framed by clouds in the Umbrian sky.
One of my longtime photographer friends, Rod Hanna, got me thinking about clouds several years ago in Utah’s redrock country. Nothing against a clear blue sky, but clouds make a photograph.
Sadly, puffy clouds in the morning are a rarity in the desert. So I was delighted early one morning in Moab when the sky began to fill with cumulous clouds at sunrise.
The Courthouse Towers in Arches National Park are very accessible, located right on the main drive. They are massive redrock reflectors in the morning. But on this day, they were enveloped in some of the most beautiful, puffy white clouds I had ever seen.
Knowing my interest in HDR, most think this is a multi-image photograph. It it not. It was just an amazing morning with fast, racing clouds ripping across the sky.
The photograph was made with a Nikon D300 fitted with a Nikkor 16-85 on a Manfrotto tripod.
This was an amazing afternoon! We were on a Sunday drive on the alpine loop between Cascade Springs and Sundance on the backside of Utah’s Wasatch Range. It was a stormy day with the skies opening and closing, back and forth.
Along the drive, we stopped at a scenic overlook with a view out to the southeast. The clouds were dancing with the mountaintops as brightly blooming wildflowers whipped in the breeze.
Despite the breeze, somehow I was able to capture the scene with a four-image HDR – requiring some special work on the wildflowers that weren’t exactly standing still. The fast-moving clouds were also a bit of an issue.
What was also impressive was the scene of the shoot. I was able to take partial shelter under the edge of the Audi hatchback, with the camera pretty much out in the elements – sheltered with a shirt to protect it ever so slightly from the driving rain.
Most notably, this photograph is my wife, Carole’s, favorite of the year. It was one of those photographs she encouraged me to make and knitted patiently in the Audi while I got soaked for 15 minutes. Her creative eye is often an inspiration and I think of her every time I view this scene.
Storm chasing on flat prairie and desert is a blast! You can see them coming for dozens of miles away. Our drive today on route 20 through Idaho was filled with weather events from hail to raging downpours to bright, sunny skies. Late afternoon there were some particularly treacherous storms. As we pulled over to look at an historical marker, there were beautiful sunflowers lining the road. It made for a wonderful photograph as cars dashed by and the wind whipped the flowers. (c) 2011 Tom Kelly
Early mornings in the desert are a special time. What’s even more special is when there’s puffy clouds floating against the blue western sky. Such was the case this past May during the Moab Photo Symposium in Courthouse Wash of Arches National Park.
It was a lazy morning. A day earlier I had driven in the pre-dawn hour to be in place at Mesa Arch. Today was going to be a bit easier. My favorite morning spot in Arches has always been Turret Arch through the North Window. But as I drove up the switchbacks as the pre-dawn light was tickling the sky, I could see I was in for a treat.
The clouds were racing across the sky, high enough to not block the sun as it crept up over the eastern horizon. The speed of the clouds diminished the opportunity for an HDR. But it wasn’t necessary.
As dawn broke, the clouds initially blocked the sun. But it looked hopeful, so I setup. Then – boom – the skies broke, the sunlight painted Courthouse Tower, and the puffy cumulous clouds literally flew across the sky.
No, it’s not an HDR. But the combination of white clouds against a deep blue sky and the brilliant redrock of Courthouse Towers made it a photograph to remember.
Summer storms and sunsets are a perfect combination for photographic opportunities. But they can catch you off guard.
It had been a particularly dark, overcast evening. While I should have known better, I gave up the thought of photo chasing for the evening. Until just minutes before sunset when the sky literally broke wide open while continuing to rain. It was a perfect combo for a rainbow.
With the ridgeline of Glenwild to the west, sun sets in our Silver Creek neighborhood a bit earlier than other nearby areas. Knowing that, I dashed to a location two miles away – all the time watching a double rainbow form to the east.
Rainbows are great. But you need another subject for perspective. The church in the Trailside neighborhood was a perfect partner.
I quickly pulled out the legs of the tripod, screwed a polarizer onto the Nikkor 10-24 and clicked it onto my D300. I shot for HDR – just in case – and created frame after frame of a perfect horizon-to-horizon rainbow, capturing wildflowers in the foreground.
In three or four minutes, it was all over!
On a drive back from Sun Valley to Park City, we took the scenic route, following ever changing weather patterns across the barren Idaho landscape. This old, stone house stood out on the prairie. The light was in and out on the house, but painted brightly on the mountains in the distance. Most importantly, the clouds billowed up into the deep blue sky.
My favorite photograph was a three-image HDR using a polarizing filter to deepen the blue in the sky.
Deer Valley Resort is a magical place for photography. With five separate mountains and micro-climates, there’s great diversity from the top of the Deer Crest gondola to the ridgeline above Empire Bowl.
The days before Christmas saw five to six feet of heavy, wet snow which clung to pines creating pillows of white on the green branches.
This wonderful landscape of white was literally a few steps outside the Deer Crest gondola, looking back through the trees to Bald Mountain in the distance.
The shot was made with my Nikon D-300 using the Nikkor 17-85 and no filter. While I often like to throw on a polarizer for a shot like this, it seemed like the sky was cooperating and the end result was a nice photograph of snow and sky.
This has been a favorite barn of mine for a few years, located near the tiny village of Peoa about 15 minutes east of Park City. But as many times as I’ve driven by on photo tours of the Kamas Valley, this is the first time the light presented such a wonderful opportunity.
Grandaughter Hannah and I were on a photo drive a couple days before Christmas. She was attracted to the menagerie of buffalo, horses and llamas (or alpacas). I was attracted by the wonderful light on the barn and the texture of the new-fallen snow – plus Lewis Peak in the background.
There was reasonably even light, but it still somehow begged for an HDR opportunity. So I produced a five-shot (one stop per shot) HDR that worked well to fill in some of the lighting imbalance and create a fantastic winter scene.
The shot was mid-afternoon, maybe two hours or less to sunset. It was photographed with my Nikon D-300 with the Nikkor 70-300 zoom on a tripod.