Chaos in the sky

I played with a bunch of the images that I screwed up in camera on Monday night. It took a bit of time experimenting, trying to decide the direction that I wanted to take this image. It never would have worked in color, at least not without the extra bracketed exposures. I tried and the colors shifted badly and the tones started flattening and noisier the more I tried to bring out the detail that I otherwise would have wanted.

I think from the final image how much chaos there was in the sky. If skies can have a mood, this was an angry sky. This was the tail end of the storm as it was moving from left to right. If I would have done a panorama you would have been able to see the leading edge of the storm. For those of you from Edmonton, the tail end of the storm is over Sherwood Park.

I’ve been toying with the idea of trying my hand at more black and white images if only because sometimes what doesn’t work in color practically screams in black and white. It’s two different ways of processing the same image. Who knows? I surely won’t sell this one but then again, I never shoot anything with the intention of trying to make money from it.

Happy shooting,


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~ by Dan Jurak on July 25, 2012.

13 Responses to “Chaos in the sky”

  1. I agree. With my Nikon D300 I can snap off a color shot and quickly change the “Set Picture Control” from vivid to monochrome, snap the same image. Gives me quick feedback how the scene would look as BW. There is an art, so to speak, to seeing if an image will be a great BW. I’ve yet to master it (-: Just need more practice.

    Thanks for the post & image!

  2. I love this image of a shelf cloud, Dan! I think that storm clouds, being white-grey-black, lend themselves to monochrome. i also was out storm chasing on Mon, down in the Millet-Leduc area. the west side of the storm was dark grey, with little definition, and the storm was moving northward very quickly. i ended up taking photos of the ragged clouds behind the storm. a few came out pretty good. luckily i was able to find a few canola fields still in bloom

  3. I’d say you captured that sky rather well. And you’re right, these types of images do lend themselves to monochrome.

  4. Wow! The sky was incredibly awesome that night. You did a wonderful job with that B&W, wise choice. ;)

  5. Rick Diffley… Olivier Du TrĂ©, a Cochrane-based photographer who writes a great blog, wrote some tips re how to shoot in monochrome…

  6. @ Rick, I’m not sure that the black and white preview is a good indicator of how the image will work. Usually when I convert to black and white the first thing I do is look at the individual channels to see if one of them has better tones than the other and then copy that channel to a new image and take it from there. There are so many different ways to convert an RGB to b&w.

  7. @ Steve, I saw a photo yesterday of the front end of this cloud as it approached St. Albert and it was very impressive. That might have been the best side for picture taking. Fog tomorrow morning. :)

  8. @Dan… darn, the one time I head of of town is when the best shot would have been had at home. oh well, that’s photography for ya.

    I just got back from a drive north of you, up toward Westlock. there was a promising line of storms and I thought I might get some good late evening shots; alas, they died down too quickly. yeah, could be some fog in the AM, as long as the remaining cloud thins out. I might try to get up. not an early morning person!

  9. @ Steve, it’s 4:27 a.m. and it looks promising for this morning. :) Pays to be a morning person. LOL

    I’ve seen those tall clouds collapse the moment it starts to cool down. Kinda frustrating when moments early they looked so promising. Enjoy the sleep. :)

  10. @Dan… well, I *did* get up at 4:40 and headed north toward Fort Sask. no fog in Sherwood Park, but thin layers covering low-lying areas just SE of FS. I got a few shots, but nothing spectacular. I find that even fairly thick fog doesn’t “show” well in photos; i.e. the camera seems to see through it more than that human eye does.

  11. @ Steve, I too was up early this morning. When the sun first came up it wasn’t very good but ten or fifteen minutes later it was wonderful. Lots of low lying fog where I was which was just north of town. I’ll post something later today or tomorrow for sure. Laundry morning for me. The joys of being retired. LOL

  12. I’ve posted a few images on my Flickr website…

    have a good’un!

  13. Steve, that looks very much like what I saw earlier today. Enjoy the weekend.

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