Feb. 12, 2005

Even on a heavily overcast morning when there won't be a sunrise and there won't be a golden hour, it's still better to be early than late. As I came up the hill from Mill Creek valley to the first overlook along Fly Gap Road, I got to see the last of the morning fog churning northward and dissipating. By the time I made it to the overlook at the head of Cove Creek valley it was gone.

Still, the yellow glow along the southern horizon and the stiff southerly wind were good signs that there were some interesting times ahead. Clearly, far to the south the cloud cover ended, and since everything was being driven north by the wind, in the next few hours I should be able to view the grand landscape spread out before me in a variety of weather and lighting conditions, as the cloud cover changed from a solid blanket to scattered clouds with blue sky predominating.

And that's what happened. Ultimately I ended up lying down on my back with the photo pack for a pillow and shooting straight up into the sky trying to catch the sun just as it was emerging from a cloud or as it was making an interesting cloud pattern seem to glow with its own light. As you might guess, with the wind pushing and swirling the clouds along, photographing them was a hit or miss proposition. And as you may have noticed, normally I shoot stuff that doesn't move around very much.

A word of caution, though, to any photographers out there who might decide to try something like this. Shooting the sun when it's high in the sky is dangerous to your vision. I was using clouds to shield my eyes from the sun, and even then I had to be careful because the clouds were moving so fast that I could suddenly lose my shield. Luckily, my eyes seem to have come through intact, but I wouldn't want to make a living doing that, because sooner or later you would get nailed.

Today's Back Light photo was taken in the fall of 2002 along Lick Branch.