I’ve been having a great deal of fun sorting through some of my film work, and I ran across this one recently. I remember it as if it were yesterday, in large part because I took the time to make a series of three photos at slightly different exposures to try to ensure that I would be able to capture the details in the churning cloud formations. It was about an hour after sunrise and I was geared up in waders for a quiet morning of fishing for brook trout in my favorite little stream in northern Minnesota. Rain was predicted, so I was protected with a waterproof jacket and my favorite fishing hat, and I wasn’t worried at all—until I saw the clouds and started to appreciate the turbulence that was going on overhead. I considered postponing my fishing but persevered and, as it turned out, things calmed down over the course of the next hour and only a few scattered drops fell. I have no memory of whether any fish came to my fly, but that hope was only part of the reason why I was there.
When I had a look at my photographic results later, I found that, by capturing the information in the sky, the details in the bushes, trees, grasses, and water were so dark as to be nearly unrecoverable. I have tried converting it to monochrome before, but it’s consistently been a disappointment. But now I’ve had a new go at it with some of my favorite after-capture tools, and this is—at long last—is far closer to the image that I envisioned when I made the initial exposures.