There are lots of reasons to love clouds. After all they bring needed rain and block out direct sun on hot days. But I love clouds for their beauty and unpredictability. Clouds are especially beautiful after a storm, and sometimes before a storm. In other words the best times to get interesting clouds in your pictures is when the weather patterns are in the process of change. Then clouds can become the main subject, as in the picture below, or they can add interest to some terrestrial subject as background or frame. So watch the clouds, and enjoy this gift from the atmosphere of our fragile planet.
See more cloud pictures in the Nature Landscape gallery.
It used to be that serious photography had to be done with large Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras. But the times “they are a changing.” All of the major camera manufacturers are now producing high quality compact mirror-less cameras, many with digital sensors as large and sharp as those in the full size SLRs. These are light, sometimes pocketable, and many have excellent selections of lenses. They make it possible for even the professional photographer to have always on hand a quality camera. You never know when the next photo opportunity will reveal itself. For some of us these newer compacts are opening fresh vistas in our photographic lives. We no longer need to look at that large, heavy SLR and ask, “Do I want to carry that around today?” And for those of us with back problems, or other motives that make us want to travel light, these serious compacts are a blessing. I have been using the small cameras for about a year and a half now, and would not be without them. I have tried several, including the Panasonic GF1 and LX5, the Ricoh GXR, the Fujifilm X100 and X10. But my favorites these days are the Sony NEX5N, and the Samsung NX200. Both of these have sensors as large as my NIkon D7000, and they use interchangeable lenses. Here is a shot taken this morning with the NX200 while on a morning grocery run.
I have done a little street photography in New York where everyone has a camera. It is easy there since there is a tourist atmosphere and plenty to see. For the most part people do not acknowledge the cameras. But in a small down, like the ones I live in and work in, the story is different. It is difficult to get candid shots without being noticed. Some may even question with words or gesture what you are doing. In this shot these three men were sitting around outside the small market and gas station, resting on the bags of deer corn.
As you can see one of them noticed me as I took the shot. His gesture along with body language and facial expression was asking why I was photographing them. I just smiled, and gave him a “thumbs up” and walked away. No problem for me, but anyone who wants to do this kind of photography will have to settle for themselves in advance what they will do when questioned.