Pretty Clouds, and the Frustration of Trying to Photograph Them
Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/1250 sec, f/10, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

The clouds, these two weeks while I've been in Ohio, have been wonderful. The weather has been dynamic – clear one moment, thunderstorms the next – and so there have been many types of clouds, mostly really beautiful.

On a typical afternoon, with a deep, clear blue sky hosting towering puffballs of richly detailed cumulus clouds, I marvel at the beauty. Kyoto is normally fairly humid and hazy, so even when it has puffy clouds, they're not set against a deep blue background. Ohio's clouds are better, for sure, but even the locals are commenting at how wonderful the clouds are this week.

With the pretty cloudscapes, I've been trying to capture some of it in photos, but the results are always bland. I really don't know how to take pictures of white fluffy clouds, because the beauty is in both the details – the sharply delineated edges, and the many puffy folds of the cloud – and also in the big picture... the expanse of blue sky dotted by clouds, the trees, the grass, the sun. I don't know how to capture both.

But that doesn't stop me from trying, almost every day.

A couple of days ago, I saw some amazing clouds in the late afternoon, and not having a wide view at my folks' place due to all the trees, I headed out to the local little league fields (where Anthony launched a rocket last year).

The weather was dynamic, and so by the time I got there, the clouds had changed considerably for the worse....

Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/320 sec, f/10, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

At least Anthony was having fun, doing something that involved smashing rocks.

Toward sunset, there were some pretty views, but I couldn't really capture any of them well....

Facing West ( A thunderstorm was coming; we got walloped two hours later ) -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Facing West
( A thunderstorm was coming; we got walloped two hours later )
Facing East ( looks like a touch of rain way in the distance ) -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 26 mm — 1/200 sec, f/10, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Facing East
( looks like a touch of rain way in the distance )
Increasing Cloudiness over the Soccer Fields -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/200 sec, f/10, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Increasing Cloudiness over the Soccer Fields

I actually took the one above while sitting in the car on my way out, having been stopped in my tracks by the sudden “hand of God” streams of light radiating from the clouds far in the distance. They barely show up in the photo, but they were almost graspable at the time.

On the way out, we stopped for a bit at a playground, where Anthony scampered up a big pile of wood chips....

On Top of the World at Sunset -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
On Top of the World at Sunset

The sun had set for us, but some of the big, puffy cumulus clouds were still in the area, far above the lower storm clouds that were starting to roll in. The way-up-there puffy clouds were basking in the golden rays of their own sunset....

Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos

Two hours later, we were blasted by a short, violent thunderstorm. It was nice.


All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

Summer clouds are indeed the best, and unfortunately you don’t really get skies full of them in Japan because the horizon is rarely as far away as it is in the States (Japan being located on a smaller planet and all).

Nice shots.

— comment by Zak on August 10th, 2008 at 10:31pm JST (9 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

I spent 4 years in Ohio and indeed if there is one thing that made an impression on me, it was the enormous amount of visible sky at any given moment. Unfortunately it was usually a very cold and grey one. Thunderstorms have a whole different feeling when you can see that much sky at once.

— comment by Jon Van Dalen on August 11th, 2008 at 9:08am JST (9 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
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