Scale by Focal Length
Clouds are such an easy subject to bring wow to your photograph. Now because clouds are so universal, everyone can relate to them. This can be a good or bad thing depending on how you bring them to life in your photograph. This is because we’ve all seen amazing cloud formations sometime in our life. The key here that many miss in their photographs are the relationship of the clouds with the earth. Remove the earth and they are just big white cotton balls and a lot of their drama and wow evaporates. So therein lies our photographic challenge.
This is where the landscape becomes so important to our clouds! The clouds need a visual anchor, a means to compare their size with something that we can relate to yet be so insignificant that visually we don’t give them any importance. This is where lens selection plays such a huge role in the photograph. Capturing the right slice of the earth and at the same time bring drama and importance comes down to focal length. Shooting with the D850, it was easy to capture minute detail in that small slice captured in this case using the 70-200f4 at 200mm and the 14-24AFS at 20mm. You can’t loose sight that the subject is the cloud and making sure your viewer knows that, use scale by focal length!