What makes you want to get out and photograph? Interesting skies do it for me, every time. I’m extremely fortunate that where I live in northern Colorado, we have clear thin air, low humidity, and monsoonal storms in the summer, all of which help to create consistently wonderful displays of clouds in the sky. I’m constantly gazing at the sky, trying to anticipate how the conditions will come together, judging the opportunities for a good photograph. More than once, I’ve been doing something completely unrelated to photography and have had to stop and get my camera on account of a dazzling display coming together in the sky.
The image in this post, “Black Trees No. 7,” began during the mid-afternoon, when I was completely preoccupied with something else entirely and had no particular plans to photograph that day. I happened to notice these interesting cloud shapes developing, where large swaths of clear blue sky were being punctuated with patches of billowy, drifting clouds. The combination of such open spaces ringed by the natural frames of the clouds immediately had me imagining all kinds of compositional possibilities, and I felt the restless, irresistible urge to get out with my camera and see what I could make of it.
Is there something that calls to you action, that you can’t ignore when it comes? It doesn’t have to be for photography, it can be for anything. I think some of your best work gets done that way, when you have a strong connection with what you’re doing. It gives you purpose and insight when you’re called to do something, that’s different from doing things in the ordinary course of things. Don’t ignore it when it comes calling for you. If you have it, you may be a skygazer, too.