I do not take as many photographs of the sky and clouds as I used to. It takes a smidge more effort. Not much, but just enough to prefer watching rather than photograph the sky sometimes. I will explain below. This photograph was initially going to be written about and then published a couple of posts ago. At least that was the thought I have as I initially walked away from this scene. That was until looking back one more time and seeing El Dorado Hills (CA), Sunset, Oak Trees, Insta Guys. It made me smile to see them enjoying the moment.
It is interesting to think that something as simple as the direction your house faces in the morning or afternoon have a profound affect on how easy or difficult it is to photograph clouds and sunrise/sunset light. If you think about it, this seems rather obvious. I previously lived in a one-story house, surrounded by other one-story houses, and very little in the way of large mature trees. My visibility of the sky was more or less unobstructed looking east, west, and south. This made shots of the sky and clouds for sunrise and sunset very easy. I would walk into the backyard and shoot. There were some occasions where I would get on a ladder if the shot was for something closer to the horizon.
Since I moved a year ago, this has all changed. Now, I am in a two-story house surrounded by mature trees with some reaching 75 feet high. The trees are all great, except for trying to photograph the sky. The best view I have is towards the east for sunrise, but there are some trees to shoot around. Unfortunately, the house faces a hill that begins 2 streets away and sunset is essentially blocked.
So, this means that sometimes I have to take a guess as to whether the clouds I see above may light up or not. That is not evident unless I take a short 2 minute drive through the neighborhood and up the hill that faces the house. A little extra work (and gas money over time) compared to before. There are some days where I am just drained, haven’t walked the dog yet, and I opt to just grab a beverage and sit outside and enjoy the sights, whether it is the sunset clouds or looing towards the east and seeing the purple then blue taking over the sky.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 90mm, f/9, 1/8 sec
El Dorado Hills (CA), Sunset Gradient, Sacramento Valley. Kalithea Park, El Dorado Hills, CA. September 21, 2016. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.