Still Learning To See

Looking up


Today is a great day, with the buzz about the solar eclipse, to remind myself that nearly every day is a good one to look up at the sky. We just returned from a family visit in Michigan where the wide-open spaces and rapidly travelling weather systems make summer cloud viewing a near daily delight. I particularly loved seeing the billowing clouds behind the backdrop of the grain silos of the Jiffy company in Chelsea, Michigan—a stairway to heaven effect—and marvelled again at how huge clouds can be even compared to the largest of human-made structures.

Tree cloud

Back in Vermont this week the late afternoon build of heat and moisture has also produced some remarkable clouds. Yesterday there were two layers of clouds moving in different directions, all lit by a long, low cast of the sun. I love seeing the juxtaposition of trees and mountains with the sky.


And on days without clouds?  What a miracle a blue sky is! Though most of us see it in similar ways, because we are a rainbow of individuals, some of us—like a friend who now blind—either don’t see it at all—or like another friend who has some color-blindness—see a different shade of blue; synesthetes may see a “blue” sky while also simultaneously feel, hear or taste it!

As a photographer I know I can make a perfect exposure reading off a blue sky or use it to quickly find the dust on the camera’s detector. Days that are overcast are perfect for seeing the many colors of life rich and fully saturated.


But today is a good day to be smart about that powerful golden disc in the sky—without a filter, my camera will be fried or my eyes permanently damaged. When I photographed the Transit of Venus (above, a dot at twelve o’clock compared to the Sun) as it travelled across the face of the Sun in 2012, I did so safely but, honestly there were many much better photographs available instantly online!

We live on such an amazing planet! No matter what is above in the sky, I always enjoy looking up.

This entry was published on August 21, 2017 at 8:41 am. It’s filed under Clouds, John Snell, John Snell Photographer, Photograph, Vermont and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Looking up

  1. Deborah Leu on said:

    Fabulous! Hope the eclipse is auspicious for our house closing today.

  2. Stunning photos-thanks for sharing and reminding us to be careful as well as deeply appreciation of the sky above.

  3. Does anyone else want to dive into (& swim) in the cloud in the first photo? Mashed potatoes lite! In my dreams! Great shot.. Thanks!

  4. ehwfram on said:

    Great post!

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