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Put Some Clouds In Your Photos !

Updated: May 13, 2019

A good photograph needs composition; a foreground, mid ground, and background. It needs a specific object of interest, clearly focused, etc. And a really good photo will have some sky interest. A colorful cloud formation, or dark, foreboding, low hanging clouds, etc.  A clear, empty, blue sky often does not add much to a scene.

My first thought was " Ah, Seaside hearts ( loves ) me ! "

Sometimes a cloud formation can be the photo, as seen in this photo I took while walking on the promenade at Seaside Oregon.  I looked up and saw what I initially took to be a “ heart “ figure. Then as I continued to watch it, it became an angry owl ! This exemplifies several of the good qualities of clouds. They are open to your interpretation, they can be anything you imagine.  And they are constantly changing, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, depending upon the wind.


Another cloud picture I have is of wispy clouds blown over the top of the Sierra Nevada mountain crest near Carson City, NV. The wispy clouds intercepted a “ sun dog “. The clouds and the sun dog were the picture, without any other significant elements.  


Wispy clouds intercepting a sun dog

And sometimes a dramatic cloud formation can take a so-so scene and turn it into an impressive picture. This picture of Beverley Beach on the Oregon coast was just another beach shot without the clouds; with them it becomes dramatic and more interesting.  


Beverley Beach, north of Newport, Oregon.

This next example was taken in Arizona about 6 years ago, I had just retired and was getting back into photography.  Many evenings we were treated with colorful cloud formations and beautiful sunsets.

The cactus and flat topped mountains add elements to these clouds that tell you it is Arizona.

Clouds touching the peaks of the Wasatch Front

 I hope I have given you incentive for keeping a close eye on the clouds while out on photo outings. And I would like to encourage you to not look down at your smartphones quite so much, and turn your eyes to the skies, take in life instead of texts.  Being retired, one of my favorite things is to sit in my chair next to my RV trailer, dog at my side, and watch the clouds float by, touching the tops of the Wasatch Front peaks as they pass on to who knows where.    

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