Why do clouds fascinate us so? It's impossible to not see the important part they play in our lives and quite simply how we see the day ahead. To take a photo of a sky and not include a cloud is almost unheard of. We would all admit that clouds are a big deal, and not just for how they improve our photographs. Will it be a clear sunny day? Are storms moving in? Can we picnic today or will we stay inside and read a good book as rain pour down outside? The photographer Alfred Steiglitz experimented with capturing clouds at a time when accurately recording them on the film stock that was then available made it quite difficult. As film improved, and the colors and subtleties of clouds became easier to photograph, he didn't lose his fascination with them. He went on to a celebrated career and continued to successfully photograph clouds throughout his life. He explained himself in an article he wrote in 1923 for the magazine Amatuer Photography. He wrote, "Clouds and their relationship to the rest of the world, and clouds for themselves, interested me, and clouds which were difficult to photograph— nearly impossible. Ever since then clouds have been in my mind, most powerfully at times, and I always knew I'd follow up the experiment made over 35 years ago. I always watched clouds. Studied them. Had unusual opportunities up here on this hillside."
Clouds fascinated him just as they do us today, long after digital technology has pretty much made capturing them in all their inexplicable colors and formations near commonplace. Really seeing them has not changed. After all, we are still humans trying to understand and explain their appearance overhead.
Do visit Skywatch Friday to see the beauty and wonders of the world's most magnificent skies. It's always an amazing show.