•COMING IN SEPTEMBER, 2015•

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Waiting for the Clouds 8:20:03 AM, April 27, 2010

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: I'm still following the weather. I continued shooting through yesterday and part of today as well. Both afternoons produced "theater lights," the condition in which the spaces between the clouds beam sunlight onto features of the landscape. In its way, photographing under theater lights can be a bit like chasing twisters only considerably safer. The results can make it all worthwhile. I'm still learning how they work, but I'm trying to identify some things I've found worth considering.

1. CLOUD COVERAGE: How much white and how much blue is there? It's easy when big, discrete, cotton-ball clouds float by, but it often gets more interesting when clouds are layered and of varying tonalities and colors. Often under such conditions the beams that come through are few and far between. These two days tried my patience, and the resulting photos were not worth the effort, but the tender spring leaves of the oaks have started to open which means the Monet leaf moment will soon be gone. That, and the beauty of the cloudscape, convinced me that there was rare potential now. All things being equal, which they seldom are, as the angle of the sun declines, the gaps get tighter, less frequent, and infinitely more beautiful to photograph. Never-the less, it became clear the odds of such a miracle happening on my watch were declining quickly, and I went home early.