I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now…” Judy Collins Play this while you read the post for some ambiance…


cloud photoPopcorn Cloud formation.

During monsoon season here in Arizona we get cloud formations to beat all… The three images that accompany today’s post were all photographed during one morning hike… and I probably could have gotten more cloud combinations it I tried a little harder but I was out for the exercise after all.

wispy cloud imageWispy cloud formation.

Why cloud photos? I shoot them for the files to create artwork. The right set of clouds can make or break a scene when you are working on images as art pieces. I have a pretty large collection of cloud images that convey all kinds of emotion. Angry clouds. Popcorn clouds. Soft wispy clouds. Colorful sunset clouds. Ominous clouds. You get the idea.

open clouds photoFull sky of combination clouds.

You  need to think about clouds quite a bit when adding them to photos. A good selection along the horizon is imperative. A bad selection screams “DROPPED IN CLOUDS!”. If you want to make sure they are believable you need to have the clouds fit the scene. The light on the clouds needs to be from the same direction as the foreground scene. Lighting needs to be correct in the scene. If you are working on a sunset scene and drop in some clouds that are firing off in oranges and magentas you will need to add some of that color to your scene as the color of the landscape will reflect the color of the light on the clouds. As you drive around study the clouds and grab photos but also study the effect of the clouds on the landscape so you can recreate a believable look.

Now if you are trying to create an image of discordance you can throw most of the information above in reverse. Just know what you are creating and that it conveys the mood you are trying to create.

Images captured with Panasonic Lumix GH4 and 12-35mm f2.8 Lumix Vario Lens.

Yours in Photography,       Bob