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Tornado Warning, El Dorado Hills, California

Posted by
Gary Hart (California, United States) on 14 November 2009 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

I returned from my fall workshop blitz (five workshops in five weeks) on Tuesday with the best intentions of immediately processing my images and reviving my blog. But I've been a little under the weather, and tomorrow I'm back to Yosemite, so my new fall images will need to wait for a few more days. In the meantime I've mined the archives for an image to hold you over until then. (A few weeks ago I posted this image and a poem as a sample from my book, but thought I'd re-post it with a conventional discussion.)

California's weather is routinely dull compared to most of the country--great for regular people but frustrating for photographers. So when I heard there were tornado warnings near my home, I grabbed my camera and headed for the door. (Much to my chagrin) I didn't find a tornado, but I sure found some great skies.

This might be a good time to point out the importance of the sky in a landscape image. If you take a look at my portfolio it should be immediately apparent that an interesting sky is a huge priority for me. When the sky is interesting I emphasize it as much as possible, putting the horizon line (the break between land and sky) in the bottom third of the frame; conversely, when the sky isn't interesting, I minimize it by putting it in the top third of the frame or eliminating it entirely. I doubt you'll find a single image with more than 1/3 sky that doesn't have something interesting going on there (either clouds, color, the moon, and/or stars). You may also notice that exaggerating this top-third/bottom-third "rule" by putting the horizon line even closer to the top or bottom of the frame can create a quite dramatic image.

So don't be daunted by wild weather--bundle up and go have fun.

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Thanks for visiting. Even if I don't respond, your comments are always read and appreciated.

Babzy from Besançon, France

Awsome sky !

14 Nov 2009 7:26am

Dulcie from Danville, CA, United States

This is most definitely an "interesting" sky. I'd say, smashing.
Sounds like you are happily occupied with all things photographic, one way or another.
Good travels, .... again.

14 Nov 2009 7:28am

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

That's really scary... but photo is of course marvelous :) Well done !

14 Nov 2009 8:33am

Vitor Martins from Lisboa, Portugal

Storma is coming:). Fantastic shot. The sky and the light over the green are superb.

14 Nov 2009 9:37am

pernilla from Andonno, Italy

Stunning sky! You can feel the storm's coming. Beautiful intense colours.

14 Nov 2009 11:37am

dideban from mashhad, Iran

4 star's my frind

14 Nov 2009 1:26pm

zOOm from Paris, France

Wow ! I live these contrasted and threatening skies ! Really impressive.

14 Nov 2009 1:37pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

Stunning, Gary.

14 Nov 2009 4:34pm

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Wow Gary this is absolutely amazing, great drama and a massive array of tones.

14 Nov 2009 5:00pm

Judy from Brooksville, Florida, United States

Superb, Gary ... and I don't envy you the hours and hours of editing you have ahead of you. <grin>

14 Nov 2009 10:54pm

Lambspun from Madison, Maine, United States

This is a very powerful photograph! The contrast of the sky hanging over the beautiful green of the landscape is incredible! Very nice :)

15 Nov 2009 3:43am

Scott F. Schilling from San Martin, United States

Wonderful skies and I always love these green hills and the oaks! I sometimes wish it could look like this year round - but I guess I would get tired of the rain!

15 Nov 2009 5:42am

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria

Stunning sky, great!

15 Nov 2009 8:16pm

Anina from Auckland, New Zealand

WOW!!! This is breathtaking! The sky is very impressive and very well captured by you :) Well done

15 Nov 2009 11:21pm

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

Killer clouds! It is hard to believe that we actually got some of these in California!
Hope you're feeling better soon.

16 Nov 2009 3:23am

Didier DE ZAN from somewhere, France

Beautiful sky

16 Nov 2009 5:46am

Babzy from Besançon, France

Stunning sky , i love the way you shot it !!

16 Nov 2009 7:31am

Celeb from Madrid, Spain

I like the composition very much...

26 Nov 2009 8:20pm

Monique from Netherlands

You can feel the storm building up, fantastic atmosphere and also in awe for the power of nature

28 Jan 2010 9:01am

Claus Petersen from Herfølge, Denmark

Looks like it's time to head for cower ;-)

27 Jul 2010 5:53pm