f/10, 1/200, ISO-200, 28mm

This is one of those photos that I may be revisiting a lot, but as it stands I think it’s one the best I’ve done in quite awhile. Again, I was challenged by getting the exposure right to bring out the cloud’s details. I also wanted to have a decent depth of field, but the sun was low in the sky and there was a really stiff wind, so there was no chance of closing the aperture and lengthening the shutter speed. One of the things I still have difficulty predicting is what I can expect from depth of field at a given aperture taking the distance of the subject into account (somewhere I have a book that explains this, but I need to hunt it down and review it). In this case it worked out very well.

I did a fair amount of post processing on this image to create a more significant contrast between the color of the ground and the sky. I also worked a lot to bring out the detail of an enormously interesting cloud formation. I may have over-sharpened it a bit but I felt the detail was important. And the color of the top of the cloud is very different depending on which of my two monitors I’m looking at it on. Blue tint in one monitor, purple in another. Yet another reason why I really need to get a monitor calibration tool.

I think there is still a lot of tweaking that can be done with this, but I love how it looks now.

This entry was posted in Landscape, Natural Lighting, Nature, Photography, Theatre and tagged , , , .


  1. photosfromtheloonybin April 3, 2012 at 9:15 am #


    • AJBopp April 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Beedie April 3, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    That is amazing! Love the mushroom cloud.

  3. michaeltuuk April 3, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    Looks just great and you did a fine job of exposing the clouds just right. For DOF, while I completely understand the principles involved, I still have to cheat in many situations and use a DOF calculator (lots of free ones online and in phone apps). In this shot, if the house was 100′ away you could get away with an aperture of f/2.8 with a 28mm focal length if you used the house as your focus point — the image would be in focus from 30-ish feet to infinity (depends a little on whether you’re using a full-frame sensor or not). Hope that’s a bit helpful.

    • AJBopp April 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

      Thanks for the tips. I really need to look up that info and create a cheat sheet for myself. I find myself out of net coverage too often in the field to rely on that. I should just create a document and keep it on my storage card for easy look up. Glad you liked it!

      • michaeltuuk April 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

        FYI. If you happen to get the iPhone app you don’t need to be connected (maybe true for other phones as well). I use it all the time…

  4. Stephen L. Tyler April 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Looks like you nailed it! Great capture!

    • AJBopp April 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

      I hope I got close anyway. Once I saw the cloud formation I was scrambling to find something to put in front of it before it went away 🙂

  5. Cee Neuner April 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm #


  6. Michele April 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm #


  7. Anonymous April 3, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    I love this!

    • AJBopp April 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

      I appreciate that, anonymous! 😉

  8. Bella Remy Photography April 3, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    This is absolutely fascinating, and you did a wonderful job pinning down the exposure. Gorgeous!

  9. Jawahar April 4, 2012 at 2:49 am #


  10. Tuxedo Sophisticated Cat April 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    Love it. It looks like it’s ready to explode.

  11. ndjmom April 7, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    Love this, I would be interested to see the before picture on some just to see how far the image came. Clouds are amazing.

    • AJBopp April 7, 2012 at 10:04 am #

      Oh man…now you’re going to ask me to dispel the notion that I’m a wizard with the camera! 🙂 But I’ve sent you a link to where you can see what post-processing did for the image.

  12. ndjmom April 7, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks for the link, I really need to get into Lightroom more, had it on an old computer before it crashed. I’m using GIMP for RAW and it’s not doing what I’d like. Maybe it’s just the user (ha, of course it is) I’m going through archived images and experimenting. My problem, what looks great on the screen doesn’t translate to print. Tends to get noisy, do you convert to TIFF and work from there or do you go from RAW to Jpg?

  13. AJBopp April 7, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    I go from RAW to jpg. I haven’t printed much but I have had a few of my images done up as 16x20s to dress up my office a bit, and I’ve been pleased with the results.

  14. dianne May 28, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    fanstatic.. : )

  15. John Todaro June 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    I much enjoyed your description of the work involved in fine tuning your picture.
    Congratulate yourself– you came up with an image here that has a palpable sense of place and mood. (Nice job on your site also!)

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