Look To The Sky

The sky. It’s all around us. You look out a window or go outside, and there it is. You don’t have to make much of an effort to find it.

I love the sky. Sky is an important part of photography. But, I often only think of the sky as one element of a photograph. And the sky is not usually the subject of the photograph. They sky is “just the background”.

A lot of the time when I am creating photographs when and if I think about the sky at all it is just making sure that the sky does not ruin a photograph.

During my 2021 One Photo A Day project I experimented taking some night time photos and I like how the cloudy sky turned out in this long exposure at night.

Often times the only time I consciously think about the sky and trying to make the sky look as beautiful as possible is during very specific circumstances. Is there a beautiful sunrise this morning? When I look out the window after dinner do I see a serene sunset? If I can answer those questions yes. Then I set about getting outside with my camera to create an image where I really want to have the sky be the subject and I want to make sure the sky is beautiful.

The view from the overlook at Cornell Botanic Gardens.

I want to start being more conscious of what the sky looks like. What does the sky say in the image I am creating. Why am I including the sky in my photograph?

I started getting much more curious about the sky when I began learning about astrophotography. I experimented in creating some night photos, but I don’t think that I will likely pursue a lot of astrophotography opportunities in the near future. But I am happy that my mindset towards what a sky does or does not do for my photography has been expanded.

Cloudy skies on the coast of Alaska.

I now have a more expansive framework for considering the sky as part of nature and how I want to represent that in my photography. Hopefully I will be successful in making this a more present feature in my photography going forward.

Sunset cloudy skies over the coast of North Carolina.

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