Monday, July 11, 2011

Dark skies and photography

click photo to enlarge
After a very dry, sunny spring and early summer, with plenty of warm weather - at least in my part of the world - things have changed and we've had quite a bit of welcome rain. At the time of writing this blog post thunder is booming around us and heavy showers are queuing up to drench the fields and gardens. All this is very welcome to someone who likes to cultivate his patch, and the result of the precipitation can be seen in the increased growth rate of the grass on the lawns, the blooming of the annual and perennial flowers, the heavy crops of strawberries and raspberries that we've gathered in, and the bountiful lushness of the vegetable garden. But it's not just the gardener in me that has been pleased by the rain and changeable skies, my photographic side has welcomed them too.

On a recent day in the East Yorkshire countryside sunshine fought for supremacy with fleeting showers and dark skies. The result of the conflict was a draw, but for me personally it was, as they say these days, a "win-win" situation, with the sky with sun and clouds lending itself to photographic compositions just as much as as the dark, glowering skies. The main photograph, showing the beach at Hornsea with a groyne and the high water groyne marker, would have been less of an image without the black clouds that were above my head and heading out over the sea. They change the tonal values and the mood of the photograph. Interestingly no rain fell from them onto our heads, but rain was around, and distant showers can be seen on the horizon.

On one of the days of my recent visit to London the sky was behaving in a similar way, and it gave me an opportunity to get a different kind of shot of Canary Wharf. The grey blanket above subdued the colours and brightness of the gleaming towers, and perhaps more clearly reflected the mood that much of the financial community has experienced over the past few years. By the way, on this occasion we did get caught in a light shower and had to beat a hasty retreat for cover.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Photo 1
Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 28mm
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/1000
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On