Cloudspotting

April 18, 2017

BW photograph of various trees against a clear sky.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

A clear blue sky is a pleasant sight and a joy to experience…

BW photograph of sycamore trees against a clear sky.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

…today was that kind of day.  Earlier this week, Sunday night into Monday, it rained and rained-at times it pounded; at others, it was just a drizzle.

BW photograph of a large white cloud after a rain.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The latter part of Monday afternoon, though, saw the sun open up and create an environ ripe for the development of certain cloud formations.

Different climatic conditions produce different types of clouds, and this process is described in The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History and Culture of Clouds.  When I was primarily a natural history photographer, one of the photogs I followed was John Shaw-I read all of his books and learned a great deal about the art and craft of nature photography.  One of Mr. Shaw’s main points has consistently been that knowing the biology of the subjects being photographed would lead one to be a better nature photographer.  Therefore, I collected and read many different field guides, and that perspective is what led me to The Cloudspotter’s Guide and other cloud-related resources.  Clouds occupy more than just an environmental niche and so the subtitle of The Cloudspotter’s Guide is certainly fitting-it is a highly recommended read.  There is also a functional side to this knowledge-learning to read clouds and paying attention to weather systems helps keep one prepared-that, too, is highly recommended, especially in the era of climate change.

I must admit now, though, that the technical details as to the science behind cloud formations is less interesting.  Part of the reason for this is because a fair amount of that knowledge remains and has been reinforced by attending to weather patterns over the years.  However, the larger issue is one of simple aesthetics-the beauty and majesty of clouds as they exist are captivating in their own right.  I like watching them. I like photographing them.

Get outside and look up.

Take care.

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