The Drama of Moving Clouds

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Canary Wharf : Canon 5D : EF 17-40mm (20mm) : 69 sec : f20 : Cokin Nuances ND10 filter ND3 Grad filter

You cannot control the weather, but when you have the right conditions the opportunities to capture dramatic skylines can be endless.

On this occasion, not only were there strong cloud structures, but also a lively wind ensured they moved across the sky quickly. Using a long exposure to capture their movement with a neutral density filter and a graduated filter to accentuate their dominance the image presented an exciting set of image creation opportunities.

Of course, there is a significant degree of chance and with long exposures, you can never be sure of the exact effect. You need to take numerous shots and constantly review the impact of the moving clouds on the direction and intensity of the light.

This shot was captured when a break in the clouds allowed the sun to highlight only a few of the buildings, providing a focal point for the image. You can see that the ferry platform is not in focus. This was not deliberate, however, it was also not caused by camera shake or a focusing error. In fact, the platform was being buffeted by the choppy waters of the Thames and as a result of the long exposure appears in the image with a significant degree of blur.