Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Unsettled Weather

This time of year
makes you feel like staying inside. Icy temperatures and wet weather are not really good for photographic equipment (and wimpy photographers like us!) so we often opt to stay indoors where its warm and dry. You can't blame us right?

One thing about storms that is usually true is that, as they approach, the cloud formations will make for some nice imagery provided there is enough light to see by. I live in Northern California where the skies are relatively blue most days, so when a storm rolls in during the Fall or early Spring, the skies take on a whole new depth. Dark clouds add contrast that makes the whiter portions stand out.

In the opening photograph,
I attempted to use the contrasty clouds as the backdrop for this multi-layered image. The shed in the foreground also helps to add depth to the expanse of yellow blossoms in this old orchard in Morgan Hill. Had the sky been clear, the image wouldn't have been nearly as interesting to me.

As the storms pass over us,
they wet the streets and buildings making the light bounce around in wonderful ways. Often times, on movie sets, the producer will ask for a water truck to come by and wet the pavement (its called a "wet down") to take advantage of the reflectivity. Actors and Models take on a more pleasing appearance as the light bounces off the wet surface and into their faces.

As the ground dries out we have
another benefit: Puddles! Puddles serve as little reflectors which can really add a great deal of interest.

In the photograph above, the dark roadway beneath the puddle really helps to cast a blue hue on the reflected sky that make this shot interesting to me. Had it not recently rained, I would have just kept on walking.

Don't be afraid
to go outside when the storms are approaching. You may end up with some fascinating photographs. Oh, yes, remember: Lightning loves tripods, so be careful out there!

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