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May 17, 2012

The Sky’s Calling

I had no particular plan to go photographing this day. I was sitting in a coffee shop in Beaverton, OR reading a book about speedlighting on a Sunday afternoon when I looked up at the sky and noticed high clouds rolling in on what had been a mostly clear day. I knew there was going to be a great sunset in about four more hours. At that point, the thought of going out photographing came to me. Just with that thought, I ended up hitting the road around 6:30 to get out of town in search of a good area to take photographs.

I was about 22 miles southwest of Beaverton in a town of Dundee, OR when it was about that time to pull over and start snapping some photos due to the light. There was really no point in time where I said to myself, “This is the spot.” I was on a dirt road when I just stopped, got out of the truck and set up a scene.

One of the first shots I was able to get was of an open field with a big tree just sticking out with the clouds just in a beautiful formation. The line of trees and the darker clouds coming from the left leading to the big tree was the start of my composition that drew my eyes in. I decided to put the bigger tree about 2/3 into my photograph, which seemed to be be a perfect placement along with the little swirl of the clouds I saw above and to the right of the tree to bring my eye back into the scene to complete the photograph.

This second image was the last decent image I was able to capture before the sky just mellowed out. It is during these times that I, in a photography frame of mind, rush to set up and find a good area to shoot before the light is lost. Again, a scene just didn’t pop out at me. I basically did a quick 360 to see what I can shoot and went at it with the camera; I had to make the photograph work with whatever scene I was in with the short time I had left. Sometimes it just works out and sometimes it doesn’t. This image happened to be my wife’s favorite from this outing.

After this shot, I just called it an evening. I definitely wouldn’t classify the photographs I took from that night as my best work, but I found the outing was successful on a day when I was just sitting at a coffee shop a few hours earlier. I just went with my gut and hit the road with my camera equipment in the back and my wife in the the passenger seat to assist me. It made for some good practice with the camera and a great evening for my wife and I. We enjoyed the drive back home before heading to work the next day.

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