Send In The Clouds
I wrote a few months ago about shooting in less-than-clement weather and how broken clouds can contribute to more-than-usual images. (You can revisit that here.) Today I'll put the clouds into the picture because that can be a good thing too!
Clouds as Background
Whereas my earlier piece was how cloudy weather can lead to interesting lighting, here I'll look at clouds as the actual backdrop or accent to the subject. Clouds bring their own energy and eye-catchingness, but with a softness that doesn't compete with the typical crisp details of an aerospace subject.
Clouds can play a more active role, accentuating the drama of a composition. This C-130J slipped into NAF El Centro as the sun was dipping behind the horizon and storm clouds scudded overhead. I've beefed up the contrast and colors and textures with quite a striking result.
You might have to squint to see the Boeing 737 against the cumulus cloud, below, but it's coming our way and, in the video from which this frame is grabbed, the result is 25 seconds of gentle aviation cinematography. Despite the scale of the aircraft against the towering clouds, it is still that object that commands our attention. The clouds are billowing and shifting in the winds, but their graceful dance is easily overshadowed by this tiny metal tube racing through the sky.
Lastly, a storm rolled through Williams Gateway Airport (now Phoenix-Mesa Gateway) as I waited to photograph a Western Airlines Boeing 737 on its inaugural flight into the airport. The bad weather didn't deter me from bringing back some very nice images in the golden light. Allow me to set the scene.
Keywords: airplane, aviation, backdrop, background, cloud, clouds, cloudy, composition, inclement, photography, rain, rainbow, storm, weather
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