Summer in Switzerland really rocks. Every year around this time you will read the same on all newspapers weather forecasts: sunny days, rapid build up of cumulus, light and sound show by the end of the day. Of course, non photographers are not happy with that. Swimming pool and/or barbecue days can be counted with the fingers of your hand, but those bitten by the photography bug are busier than ever.
This two last couple of weeks I had been scouting the countryside region looking for potential photo opportunities to depict the typical harvest time that takes place in summer. Rolling hills, layers of different colours, wheat rolls scattered around the landscape, an isolated tree in the distance, lots of yellows, reds and oranges…What else can a landscape photographer ask for? Stormy skies. Dark blue skies that complement very well with the warm tones of the land, blooming clouds that depict the summer heat, sun rays briefly peeking through the clouds giving you those instants of pure golden light. So, when a few days ago a big storm was announced, i headed for one of the points i had previously selected, with a panoramic composition in mind, hoping the wheat rolls would still be there waiting for me.
I arrived and there they were. The only thing missing was the golden light. The skies had been loading with big cumulus during the day, now the sky was a heavy and apocalyptic mass of raging water in suspension, looming over the land. I spent almost three hours there, under the umbrella, waiting for that light that makes all waiting worth. During that time, i could see strong curtains of rain falling across the landscape, the whole sky changing all the time. Would i get something? I had no idea. You never have. But the skies played ball, and at the end of the evening, the sun found a window at the west giving a few minutes during which i could take some panoramas, focusing on the wheat rolls, the different layers of the land, and a big space for the sky. Some minutes later, all was gone. Wet but happy, i left the area and arrived home with some film to develop and files to download.
The following day I read the newspapers. That “photogenic” storm had caused damages of several million swiss francs all over the area. Hail of the size of golf balls had been falling at less than 2 km from where I set my tripod, denting cars, breaking windows, flatting trees and ruining crops. I dont want to imagine what that would have done on a 617 camera or Nikon D3x, a photographer head and his poor car. For what “bad weather is good weather”,… till it hits you :)
Thanks for reading and good light to you all.