Thursday, January 6, 2011

SkyWatch: Winter Wonderland and Clearing Storm


I very nearly made the mistake of going out for a walk the other day without any photo gear.. the weather had just barely let up after snowing all day and it was still gray and dark when I left the house. Luckily I relented and grabbed my SLR, because 10 minutes later, the local fog had lifted and I had a few minutes to capture some spectacular light on the dissipating clouds far below.
This was shot from a forestry road that runs around the town just below our house. Someone had amazingly driven their truck up the road earlier, providing me a couple of nice tracks through the deep snow to walk on, otherwise I probably wouldn't have bothered to hike to this spot.. one of the few nearby that offers a view out through the dense trees to the lower elevations. That's the luck element, I guess.. I have gone out many days looking specifically for light and clouds that look like this, and come up empty, then this day unexpectedly, it's right there and I just had to be ready.
That is actually not the sun you see shining THROUGH the cloud, but a bright reflection ON the cloud, as the sun in this scene was way off to the left and just a few minutes from setting... the resulting touch of orange/yellow against the soft blues is really important to the scene, don't you think? A painter would know that and simply add it in; for a photographer it's a more elusive thing, but that's the fun and the challenge of landscape photography.
Check out the SkyWatch homepage every weekend for more great sky images from all around the world.



19 comments:

Patrick said...

Wow Mark, splendid. You live higher than me that's easily seen in the vegetation. No need of tripod ?

LauraX said...

beautiful..has such a painterly quality.

Al said...

Gorgeous. It's a good thing you had your camera - you never know when a great shot might come along.

Mark Alan Meader said...

Thanks guys..

Patrick: No, I simply didn't have it with me, so I had to make it work. 1/160 sec. is normally o.k. hand-held, just breathe deeply and hold steady:) Also I used a 50mm prime, which is always razor sharp.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Dreamlike quality, simply gorgeous scene. I always like the softness to your images. Happy New Year~

morememes said...

I say...
Some capture.
It isn't just the luck of having the sun come through, but the way you dealt with the foreground.
Incredibly lovely image.

Deej Ecdao said...

Breath-taking photo you got here. Thanks for sharing this to us! Expect more visits from me.

Deej
deejspeaks.com

Kim, USA said...

Wow these shot is amazing!! Love it!
Winter sky

chubskulit said...

That's gorgeous!

Barbara said...

Glad you did not forget your gear as this is a beautiful capture.

Kristin said...

It's a gorgeous winter wonderful. Just like a page out of a children story book. As pretty and beautiful as in a fairy tale.

Highton-Ridley said...

Making your own luck again I see Mark. I love the composition and painterly feel you've achieved. And, yes, the sun's golden reflection off the clouds is vital to making this scene work so well.

It isn't just that it's complementary to the greens but also hints at relief from the cold spell. It works on a good few levels for me. Nice one :)

icedgurl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
icedgurl said...

TrEK mY SiTe tO WarM YoUr HeArT!

HaPpY NeW YeAr! CheErS tO EvErYoNe! :]

Romeo said...

truly so beautiful and gorgeous photographs. I am expecting more winter photographs from you. I am also trying to put some excellent photographs in my site. You can visit simpletutors. Hope you will enjoy it.

storybeader said...

it's so beautiful, with the snow one the foliage. Glad you brought your camera {:-D

Catherine said...

Absoultely great as birthday gifts

Mario said...

this one was well worth the wait. And the reflection on that cloud is really a wonderful imposter of the sun. Very nice.

Chudexs said...

Nice picture, thanks for shared.