The Wind and the Mountain

Capture the Wind

The Wind and the Mountain

Do you put your camera away when it gets windy? Or do you pull it out and let the wind paint a picture for you?

Here’s a shot I took in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. Those of you who’ve been around for a while know that the Rocky Mountains always feel like home to me. I absolutely love the mountains… and the lakes and rivers and pine forests that surround them.

I took this shot with the help of a tripod and a long exposure. The beautiful glow on the mountain was awesome, but I wanted to tie it in to the foreground. So, I used the blowing thistle flowers in the foreground to add another touch of purple to the scene. Here are a couple of tips for working in very windy conditions:

1. Use a tripod to keep your camera steady. I sometimes hang my camera bag on the hook on the center column of my Induro CT113. It adds some weight and stability when I really need it.

2. Use the wind to get creative. I always see photographers putting their camera away when it gets really windy… but you don’t have to. Play with the wind and see what you get! I love shooting flowers in the wind because I can use a long exposure to make the colors blur. A small flower can make a big blur of color with a few seconds of exposure time.

3. Try to avoid bracketing in windy conditions if you can. Blending a shot like this is very difficult. You’ll get a “ghosting” effect when tree branches and other objects sway in the wind. This shot didn’t require blending because I was shooting away from the sun – so the scene is relatively evenly lit. A reduced the brightness of the sky in post production – and brightened up the foreground a bit for a more even and natural finished product.

So, there you go. Every now and then, I get to capture the wind. Fun! 😉


About Author Varina Patel

There is nothing more remarkable to me than the power of nature. It is both cataclysmic and subtle. Slow and continuous erosion by water and wind can create landscapes every bit as astonishing as those shaped by catastrophic events – and minuscule details can be as breathtaking as grand vistas that stretch from one horizon to the other. Nature is incredibly diverse. Burning desert sands and mossy riverbanks… Brilliant sunbeams and fading alpenglow… Silent snowfall and raging summer storms… Each offers a unique opportunity. I am irresistibly drawn to the challenge of finding my next photograph, and mastering the skills required to capture it effectively.


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