Don't fret, it's just Charles Ford's photography blog.

Posts tagged “Clouds

Sky Fall




A little strip of fall color and sky at Sedgwick County Park, Wichita, Ks.

The Backyard Sky



There were some fairly interesting clouds in the area yesterday evening, as small rain showers popped up here and there.  One was blocking the western sun, so I spent some time in the back yard shooting.   I have a dream to someday live  in a house with mostly unobstructed views to the horizon, at least towards the west, with perhaps some rolling hills and/or an interesting tree or two for foreground interest.   Unfortunately that is not the case at present.  Still, the clouds are nice no matter the setting.




I kind of like the one above in black and white.




And finally…






This is from a slide, probably the late 1980’s.   There were some incredible clouds forming right overhead, lit up in shades of bright orange by the setting sun.   I remember I was having to shoot basically straight overhead, no foreground possible.   This was one of the most vividly colorful cloud displays I can ever recall witnessing.

Waiting for Fireworks


Once again I am shooting for the Wichita Riverfest photo contest.   Using Google Earth I drew some lines based on the launch sites  and knew where I wanted to set up this year.   Going by previous years, I decided when to arrive in order to secure my spot.   Unfortunately, the  rainy and cool weather earlier in the day must have thinned the crowds.  I found myself with one and a half hours of waiting.  Early on it was a lonely vigil.   I was almost directly under a huge steel power line tower, and half expected security from the power company to come out to get rid of me.   Turns out no one ever spoke to me except one guy who asked me “What time do the firecrackers start?”  🙂

What to do while waiting?  I shot a few bracketed sets here, one of which produced  a nice little HDR image with the rising moon above the clouds.    This image will not be in the contest, as it doesn’t really show any of the Riverfest.   (HDR is probably a no-no anyway for the contest.)

Once the show finally started, the fireworks rose above the saddle in Exploration Place across the river as expected.  I can’t post any of those until after the contest concludes.

Storm Sky No.1


Usually when there is threatening weather, you will find yours truly at home, where all good citizens are supposed to go when the skies turn angry.  Last Saturday however, things did not turn out that way.  My wife and I had planned on a little trip out in the country to find and photograph a particular barn I knew about.   Severe thunderstorms developed west of Wichita however, and I decided the responsible thing to do would be to take a short drive out to the park where I often photograph, which is much closer to home than the planned barn trip.  (Responsible is a relative term, I was running around with my tripod near a tall steel windmill, with lightning in the area.)   The image above is from the park.   Expecting to go home at that point, my wife surprised me by suggesting we drive west, out where we had seen some golden wheat fields earlier in the weekend.  West would be  driving into the storm, but I love a challenge.  (Turns out she did not know the storms had been dropping tornadoes one county to the west.)   We hit a couple more locations, on one I found myself under some gigantic power line towers.  I must be an idiot.  Anyhow, I will post more as the week goes by.  No photographers, or their spouses, were hurt during this excursion.

In Search Of A More Perfect Sunset


This one looked very  promising.  The windmill was even pleasingly aligned.  But alas, the hoped for super-spectacularness did not unfold.  But it was still pretty, just in a more subtle fashion than I had initially hoped.

Summer Afternoon


Sure, it looks peaceful, and it was.  The sky was finally looking interesting on Sunday afternoon so I took off for the country.  That sounds more photographer-ish than the truth, which is that this is taken at a local county park which I believe is within the city limits of Wichita.   What this photo cannot convey is the searing heat during which it was taken.  What we are left with then, is a tranquil summer scene, minus the heat.  This is a three exposure HDR, processed in Photomatix and Lightroom as is my custom.   I am putting this location in my hip pocket for future use, it should be a nice spot for anything happening in the sky to the north or northeast.  This is one of those photos that I think looks better the larger you are viewing it.  Please feel free to click for the jumbo version.

Clearing Storm #52

Nothing says Wichita like Exploration Place and the Arkansas River.  A brief and welcome rain shower had just passed, and the clouds were breaking up as sunset approached.  The part of the puzzle usually missing, which is me actually being there with camera and tripod ready, was miraculously present on this occasion and much feverish HDR bracketing mayhem ensued.   The river is extremely low at the moment, so sandbars normally under water are now visible.   I’m not sure if a full river would have improved this image or not.

By the way, would it be a mistake to admit that Clearing Storm #1 through #51 do not actually exist?

Riverfest Sky

While standing along the riverbank during the seemingly endless wait for Wichita Riverfest closing night fireworks, I amused myself by monitoring the sunset.   I swung the camera around (didn’t want to lose my fireworks spot by moving), and fired off a bracketed set of exposures. Combined in Photomatix, I thought the result makes for a fairly pleasing little informal landscape.   The sunset itself never developed into anything more spectacular than this, but it was a welcome diversion during my wait.

Angry Sky

I’m not intending to turn this into a weather blog, however it may appear lately.  A strong line of thunderstorms marched their way across Kansas Monday evening.   These are mammatus clouds, they were hanging well off the back of the actual storm.  This is a three exposure HDR, finished off in Lightroom.


Saturday evening there was a thunderstorm brewing just east of Wichita, illuminated by the setting sun.  I didn’t have time to go anywhere to find a nice foreground, so this is a tight crop.   I tried HDR on this but I actually ended up liking the straight version best, so that’s what you see here.   This was cropped and levels adjusted in Lightroom, no HDR shenanigans this time.   I’m always looking for nice cloudscapes, an interesting sky is irresistable to me.

White Blossom Spring


There are some beautiful trees in Wichita right now, with brilliant white blossoms.  I think these are pear trees, however I may be mistaken.   These trees have that infrared look, without the need for pesky IR filters or expensive camera conversions.

I searched the city on Saturday for one or more of these trees in a pleasing setting, but had no luck.  They all seem to have been planted along busy roadways, parking lots, next to power lines, etc.   There are a few of these trees along my walking route so I isolated part of one against the blue sky with a few wispy cirrus clouds.   This is another example of what the little Canon S90 can produce, the jpegs look quite good right out of the camera.   Spring is here and I for one am quite happy about it.

Pink Dawn

In the ‘ I’m too lazy to move 10 feet from my back door’  department, I now offer a dawn from this morning which was much more on the red/pink side than the orange I posted last time.

Snow is in the forecast for Sunday and Monday,  I’m hoping to get inspired by that and get some wintery images.

Sunset In The Bermuda Triangle

Sunset in the Bermuda Triangle

Sunset in the Bermuda Triangle

Here’s a landscape without the land…I suppose that would make it a seascape.   In any case, this was a sunset in open ocean somewhere in the vicinity of the Bahamas.   I would have preferred a rocky seacoast, interesting island, tall sailing ship, or something similar for the foreground or mid-ground, but alas –  none were available.    This one had very little post processing, just level tweaks and a small saturation boost to the flat RAW file.