Wait, the sky is the subject.

This scene was found while scouting the Palouse for new locations. Initially, I was frustrated because I could not find a worthy foreground subject for the amazing sky.  In the direction Dan (my tour partner) was shooting, the sky was not near as interesting.  He was shooting with a long lens and isolating his subject.  I was drawn to the wide angle opportunity because of the tremendous sky.  Then it dawned on me, THE SKY IS THE SUBJECT! I know this, and actually tell people this all the time, however, I too can become sidetracked by my expectations. I didn’t need a killer foreground because the sky was so good.  Don’t get me wrong, I would have preferred it, however, this foreground was all I had and it was my job to make something of it. I liken this unto being out for a drive without your camera and you come across a killer scene with cherry light.  What do you do?  Drive on, or shoot it with the iPhone in your pocket?  Well, if the best camera at that moment is the iPhone and its the only one you have?  I’d encourage you to shoot it.  That is what I did with this scene in Italy.  

Again, we were scouting and running on a schedule.  I purposefully left gear in the car so we would stay on task.  All I had was the iPhone. It turned out to be a favorite of the trip and is hanging on a friends wall in her office.  Someone else has made a painting from it and is winning awards.  I’m glad I had the iPhone to make the capture.

Lets go back to what Dan was shooting to make yet another important point.  Here is Dan’s image, taken within moments of my image with the sky.

He was pointed in the opposite direction and was shooting with his 70-200mm lens as that is his comfort zone.  My point is, you need to shoot what you are attracted to.  Shoot was appeals to you and do not worry about what others are excited about.  Stay focused on and follow your vision.  Dan ended up with a KILLER image and I’m pleased with mine. Trust me, when I see Dan focused and working a scene, it is VERY hard not to run over and see what he is doing because he does it so well.  That said, I have learned to follow my heart, my vision and my instincts.  And then I run over to see what Dan is shooting!  🙂   

This entry was posted in Palouse, Tour, Uncategorized, Workshop and tagged , , .


  1. Barbara Lee June 17, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    Right on John! Thanks for a good read this morning.

    • john8276 June 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      You’re welcome and thanks for reading!

  2. Dano June 17, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    JB, Well said. You are right on the money as you and nearly always go a different direction when we shoot together. Now, can I still be your tour partner? 🙂

    • Dano June 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

      OK, who put up the lavender pattern? Not me.

    • john8276 June 17, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

      Oh, I guess….

  3. Gary Cain June 17, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    The iPhone Italy shot is wonderful. What processing did you use to achieve the lovely painterly effect?

    • john8276 June 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

      Thank you Gary. I used the Autopainter App.

  4. John Heise June 17, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    Great lesson and great shots, and that color is you Dan.

  5. Daniel Ruf June 18, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    You just can’t beat a great sky. Outstanding work. You guys weren’t driving up and down the field looking for a better spot, were you? LOL

  6. Brenda Tharp June 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    Right on, John! And if I were with the two of you, I would be following my heart/vision and then running over to see what you AND Dan were doing, and maybe while I was doing that y’all would be running over to see mine – ha ha. It’s hard not to do that when in such good company all around… 🙂

  7. john8276 June 19, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Funny Brenda. Thanks for visiting

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