Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tech Talk Tuesday - Storm in Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah

I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again:  when the weather is dramatic, when the clouds are ominous and low, when it's lightning (at a safe distance), or rainy or windy,  you will be well rewarded if you grab your camera and head outside to brave the elements.  (Of course you need to take safety precautions and be prepared to protect yourself and your equipment from moisture and lightning.)

I wanted to capture the 'feel' of power and intensity as the storm descended on the cliffs in the background.  I did this by using a wide angle lens to capture a large amount of sky, making the storm the focal point of the image.

 Here I used a telephoto lens to bring the background closer and to make the beautiful light in the foreground, the subject of the image.
 (These shots were taken on the same day and in the same storm as my previous post of Horseshoe Bend, Arizona.

When I find myself with this kind of 'weather' opportunity, the first thing I think about is how I 'feel' about the scene.  What is it that 'moves' me when I look through my viewfinder that I want to remember and also convey to others.  In this scene, I wanted to show how the weather dramatically affected the lighting, colors and mood of the landscape.  I wanted those who viewed these photographs to have a sense of opposing forces.  I wanted to show how 'mother nature' can cause a powerful and ominous spring storm to blacken the skies and at the same time allow soft, magical light to scrape across the beautiful desert landscape.  (I hope I succeeded with these two shots.) 

One thing to consider when deciding how you will photograph such a scene, is the focal length you use and how much of the scene you will include in the frame.  Both will affect the 'feel' and mood of your photos.  If you notice, I am standing within the same vicinity when I took both of the above photos, yet each one gives a vastly different interpretation of what I was seeing from my vantage point.  Of course which one you favor, or which one you are drawn to, is a personal preference.  There is no right or wrong image.

For me, both of these images capture what I was seeing and feeling at this moment in time as I watched the storm unfold, gather intensity, and transform the landscape with ever changing patterns of light and color.

P.S.  I thought this was the highlight of my day.  Of course I was unaware of the adventure I would have at Horseshoe Bend a few hours later!!