Yesterday morning the sky was filled with clouds from the rain we had during the night. So after breakfast I headed out to take some pictures. Seeing large billowy clouds to the south I headed that way. It has been quite some time since I've been out around Nibley and Hyrum in south Cache Valley but I was sure I could find some unobstructed views down that way. I drove south on Main Street which in Providence becomes Highway 165. When I reached Nibley I drove west a few blocks and then turned south on 640 West. Success. I my views of the mountains to the south were stunning and I could see clouds, dark with rain, hanging over the mountains at the south end of the valley. Pulling off on a small gravel road on the west side of 640 West I stopped and took pictures of the landscape framing the image with glowing stalks of wheat growing alongside the little road.
Taken near Nibley, Utah beside 640 West looking south.
Next, I turned around and looked to the north where I saw more clouds low in the sky like a gray blanket over the open fields.
Taken near Nibley, Utah beside 640 West looking north.
Beside the fence where I took the above picture was a fast running irrigation ditch. I love the way the wild weeds, wayward farm plants, and isolated clumps of trees grow along the sides of these small streams. To me these little scenes form what the photographer Eliot Porter termed, “intimate landscapes.” The perfect description for what I found along the side this farm access road.
Taken near Nibley, Utah beside 640 West looking west.
I got back into my car and then drove south just a little further and turned off onto another gravel road just across the railroad tracks on the east side of 640 West. In the distance to the southeast I could see more clouds billowing high above the mountains that form the eastern wall for the valley. The subject was really the clouds so I just included the tops of the mountains for context and tried to capture the amazing sky. While processing this image black and white seemed the most effective way to reproduce the many shades of gray within the mass of clouds above the mountains. I love black and white photography. When I first started taking photographs seriously as a young adult I learned how to develop black and white film and make my own prints with an enlarger. Now with digital cameras any photograph can be processed in either color or black and white. The key to a beautiful black and white image in my opinion is a scene where the color is unimportant and that has a full range of contrast between the shadows and the highlights.
Taken near Nibley, Utah beside 640 West looking southeast.
As I am writing in “Cache Valley Views" this morning I am wondering more about the direction I should go with this blog. My original intent has been to first, document the wonderful landscapes, objects, and on occasions people here in the valley. Second, to express my feelings about what I'm seeing and photographing. And third, to show others places they can go and visit for themselves so that they can experience firsthand the beauty there is all around us in this amazing region.
Some people however have mentioned that I might also want talk more about how I took the photographs I'm posting. Things like equipment, settings, and maybe even post-processing. I'm going to think more about that but if anyone reading this blog would like to comment either for or against this idea I would love you to read what you have to say.