Chester County Downingtown Nature Photo Journal

Changes in the weather…

Storm Clouds - UHES 266 tm
Storm Clouds - UHES 266 tm

It was another Saturday in the later winter, and there were reports that some rain was on it’s way, but by mid afternoon, the kids were too filled with energy to spent any more time inside.

So we packed up the car with Madison’s scooter and Logan’s bike, and we head up to Uwchlan Hill Elementary School to get some fresh air and exercise.

When we got there, we noticed two other families also had the same idea, and were enjoying the usually warm day.

As we walked around the school, playing on the various pieces of equipment, I was continuously pointing my camera to the sky, to capture all the dark storm clouds that were crossing our area.

At first, I let the camera’s sensors take care of the exposure, but in reviewing the images on the little LCD screen, I decided to switch into manual mode, with some setting as high as 1/4000 at F16 ISO 100, which was definitely underexposing the my captures bu 2-3 stops, but at the same time, giving more depth to the clouds as the flew by.

During the outing, I took around 350 images, and when it came time to edit them, I had to look very carefully, 1) because the images were very dark; 2) there were only subtle differences between some of the frames.

I was really surprised to find so few images with lens flair, especially considering that in many cases, I was shooting directly into the sun. What I found very intriguing, was some of the color halos that I was getting around the sun. It was easy to see that I was pushing the limits of the CCD on my camera!

After making my initial selections, I used basic Lightroom corrections to try and enhance the images, which worked in many cases, but I wanted to get a little more.

I then imported some of the images into Photomatix, where I applied mostly default settings in the enhanced tone-map section, plus added a little color temperature warmth to some of the captures.

Looking forward, I plan to use this underexposure technique again when faced with similar scenes, I only hope, that I will be able to hold the foreground detail…

If you are interested, more images can be found in my Flickr Photostream, under “Uwchlan Hills Elementary School (110305)

Andrew (SDC) - View my 'Uwchlan Hills Elementary School (110305)' set on Flickriver

Thanks for stopping by

– Andrew
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By Andrew

A Father, Photographer and Computer Geek living in Chester County (PA).

My Photo Journal of images taken in Chester and Lancaster Counties, including Covered Bridges, Barns, Nature, Fine Art and Events. Images can also be found on and