Monday, October 13, 2008

Instructor's Tip: Include Clouds For Impact

REMINDER - No Photo Tip Of The Week next Monday as I'll be getting ready to head to Monument Valley and Capital Reef.

Include Clouds For Impact
Clouds can be integral components of landscape photographs. They provide dramatic color at sunrise and sunset, they take a featureless blue sky and add interest, they cast shadows and highlights upon the environment, and they impart mystery to impending storms. As nice as clear sunrises and sunsets can be, there’s nothing like the drama of color blazen skies or carefully placed cumulous or lenticular clouds. They can often be as important as the key element in the landscape.

FAIR WEATHER: Fair weather clouds add interest to blank blue skies. As mornings progress, fair weather clouds begin to billow. It’s at this point they make the best subjects.

STORM EDGES: As storms draw near, banks of clouds roll in and leave the sky dreary and dull. But right on the cusp of the incoming storm, cloud structures are often quite dramatic. Sometimes seen as cotton ball patterns, they add a lot of drama to images.

RISE + SET: When I run my photo tour to the Oregon coast and there are no clouds in the sky, my tag line is, “The coast is clear.” Yet this is not what I want to say. Shooting into the setting sun with nothing to diffuse its brightness causes flare. It is also associated with a lack of color or drama in the sky. When the right amount of clouds is coupled with clear skies below the horizon, the sky can go electric.


Enjoy this week's "Instructor's Tip" by award winning nature photographer Russ Burden. The photo(s) in this post were taken by Russ Burden. To learn more about how Russ captured this image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.

To take a class with Russ or a fellow Digital Photo Academy instructor in your area, check out the Digital Photo Academy. I took Russ' intermediate and advanced courses last year, and he continues to be a strong source of knowledge and encouragement as I progress in my photography.

Don't forget to check Take Great Pictures for Russ' most recent tips. On the home page, click on the "Photo Tips And Techniques" button in the left hand column. Additionally, check out his "Digital Tip of the Month" found by clicking on the Digital Photography button.

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