Hill Top Storm

Pentax 645z with 45-85mm f/4.5 @ 45mm
1/125 sec @ f/11 @ ISO 160. Hand Held 

I had been out driving though the Ontario farmland and countryside, shooting old barns and early fall colour on a September afternoon. 

As I neared home the thunderstorms which had been forecast started to form, and it wasn't long before massive rains and thunder started. Within 20 minutes my car's outside thermometer showed that the temperature had dropped from 29C to 19C, typical of a major front passing through.

What caught my attention though was that there was a distinct edge to the front, with clear skies behind it, and I immediately thought of a hill top stand of trees and farm house nearby which might provide a foreground.

Raw Image 

I drove to the hill, and was rewarded with the view seen above. I knew that this was obviously going to end up as a silhouette, and so shooting in Live View I adjusted the exposure so that the hot spot in the sky was just below clipping. F/11 for optimum sharpness, and 1/125 sec for a good hand-holdable exposure using a 45mm focal length. (The only way to get the shot was to stand in the middle of the road, with lightning threatening – so I wasn't prepared to use a tripod).

Post process was little more than some tonal adjustment and a slight crop on the right and a bit off the top to bring the composition tighter together.

Finally I decided on a monochrome treatment (the only colour in the shot was the dark blue of the clouds), and in the end I added a slight warm tint using Hue 50 and Saturation 9 in the Highlights using Split Toning in Lightroom.

100 % crop


This image and its analysis may be discussed on the LuLa Forum