Shooting the Wind

Challenge topics help produce interesting results. If you’re serious about your craft as a photographer, competition is a good way to seek to produce images that you might never otherwise create. Sometimes these images can be some of your most interesting work.

Ominous Wind was just such an image. How do you photograph wind? We all know wind itself is invisible, while the effects of wind are often quite recognizable. The elements of Ominous Wind needed more than just an interesting cloud formation. The scarf blowing up in the air along with the wild hair tell the true story.

In creating this composite, I was fortunate enough to have a willing subject and a windy day that was cloudy to capture my foreground. The landscape with the distant bluff and prairie comes from an excursion into southeast Wyoming. The cloud was a storm over our house, minus the twisting turbulence.

Compositing such a picture is really quite simple. The sky is the background. The twirl is selective. I used the oval marquee to select an area, then feathered the selection about 100 pixels. The twirl effect is a filter found under distort. The mid ground, the distant bluff and prairie, don’t pull your eye away from the subject, but at the same time ground it. The scarf connects the action. The direction of the wind is purely artistic, for it could have blown either direction, given the irregularity of wind.

The most important element in the image is the girl watching the sky. If you saw such an event, how could you ignore it?

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