Dramatic Albany Clouds
Sunday 8 April 2012 — Category: Shooting
Most days I’m occupied in my office, with the blinds and curtains drawn in order to reduce the light reflecting off my computer screens. These working conditions mean that I’m often out of touch with the hourly changes in the Oregon weather. But a couple of days ago I had some errands to run around town, so I was able to see firsthand the amazing clouds surrounding Albany that afternoon. The variety of shapes and textures and shading seemed out of the ordinary, and well worth photographing. The problem was, though, that I was driving around town rather than at home with my camera equipment.
I kept resisting the urge to rush home to capture these clouds before they disappeared. I reasonsed that, by the time I did get home, they would be gone, or at least be different, and so there was no use heading back until all my errands were done. Once I did arrive back home, I saw that the houses and trees in the neighborhood were blocking a lot of the great views I had seen earlier. At this point I had to resist another urge: to pack up my equipment, and head out looking for good shots. It seemed like too much time and effort for a subject that’s always there. It wasn’t like this was the last day there would ever be clouds in the sky!
I went up to my office to work for a while, but my mind kept drifting to the drifting clouds — they were haunting me, beckoning me. Finally I couldn’t take it any more — I HAD to give in to that nagging voice deep inside. Resistance was futile! So I pulled out my camera equipment, mounted my Sony G-Series 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom lens, and headed downstairs. But before going outside, I took a detour to the garage, found my six-foot step ladder, and took that to the back patio first. Then, with camera in hand, I went out and climbed a few steps of the ladder so I could get a better view over the fence.
Pretty much the only unobstructed view was to the east, and fortunately there were some fantastic clouds hanging out in that direction. I spent the next fifteen minutes taking 28 photos of various clouds, at various focal lengths, with various compositions. I think some of them turned out pretty nice. I've narrowed them down to the best seven, which are available for your viewing pleasure in the Albany Clouds 2012 photo album.