When I arose this morning the skies were almost perfectly clear. Not so good for photos. At least not for me.
I checked the forecast like I usually do and surprisingly there were thunderstorms forecast for the afternoon. Hmmm.
This early it seemed like a waste driving out of town so daily chores got done. Groceries. Laundry. The usual and boring and mundane that everyone has to do. A big difference being that as I am retired I can usually go out when I choose.
By noon the sky was dotted with tiny puffy clouds and the wind was picking up. There was also and Environment Canada weather advisory. Thunderstorms were imminent sometimes later.
What the heck I thought. I grabbed one camera body and one lens along with the tripod and a handful of neutral density filters. Ahh, the joys of shooting black and white. It’s been a long time it seems since I was up at 3:30 a.m. to beat the sun rising in the country to a fog covered morning. This was truly taking it easy. No groggy eyes. No dragging myself out of bed. Just get an idea and off I go.
And so I went. As I drove out of town I could see that the spotty clouds were quickly filling in with heavier cumulus clouds all around me. It wouldn’t be long before the sky was completely overcast. I had gone maybe ten minutes and came upon a familiar location that has been shot by me many times before. This very same hill was featured on a magazine cover a few years ago. The autumn sun was setting after a powerful storm had passed leaving golden streaks splashing along the recently harvested wheat. Today was different. One o’clock. A glaring sun. Lots of wind and clouds coming in from the west. Ahh, those westerly winds that bring us most of the weather here.
I took just one exposure. Four minutes @ f11 with a 16 stop neutral density filter and already the clouds were becoming heavy. Because the wind was blowing in my direction, I am facing westward, the clouds have streaks on their upper sides. This is to me both a mystery and delight. I haven’t done this long enough to accurately predict what the camera will see and after four or five minutes the clouds you saw just moments ago have moved or are gone. So very unpredictable right now and that is why I probably love this so much right now.
It always surprises me when I get home and open up the RAW image to begin the real creative part of it in Photoshop. This photo can look a hundred different ways. You get to decide which way it goes.
Right now I am still finding a “look” that I want to pursue for lack of a better term so the next year will be filled with lots of experimentation trying to find which way the winds of Alberta will take me.