Friday, June 17, 2011

In praise of clouds

click photo to enlarge
I sometimes feel sorry for people who are condemned to live their lives in a place where the sky is invariably unbroken blue and clouds are infrequent visitors. I'm not usually of this state of mind in, say, February when a dense blanket of stratus covers the land and the only variation from day to day is wondering whether I'll wake up to fog or to mist. But for much of the year, when clouds cause the skies to change daily, from  morning to afternoon, even hour to hour, then I'm glad I live where we have this life-enriching beauty and I don't rise to the same, all-pervasive, boring blue.

I was thinking about this when I was looking across the Thames during my recent stay in London. This view of the city from the balcony changes with the time of day, the weather, and particularly the type of clouds that drift across the metropolis. I've photographed it a number of times, and on each occasion it hasn't been the buildings that have prompted me (though they add significant interest), but rather the quality of the sky. In fact, what the clouds have offered has often been the main point of my image.

The sky in today's photograph was part of one of the dry spells between a succession of squally showers that were crossing London. The sun kept fighting to make its presence felt, but on this day the clouds and the rain were definitely in the ascendant. "Turbulent" was the best word I could find to describe the clouds, and their magnificent disorder above the man-made order below seemed a good enough reason for a photograph.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 105mm
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/500
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -1.0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On