The Weather

Maybe it’s because I’m fully retired, with idle time on my hands, that I focus so much on the weather forecast. February and March have been rough months for us here in SW Virginia this year: below normal temperatures, lots of rain and some snow, and too many cloudy, dreary days that affected my attitude. Numerous smartphone weather Apps overload me with information. Long range forecasts depress me when they point to a continuation of bad weather. Today I’m in that predicament. The first day of Spring just passed and cold and snowy weather is predicted. This photo sums up my mood in that regard.


I know better than to let this sort of thing affect me, but it does anyway. There’s a saying, “One can make their own weather … even if it’s in the mind.” I can’t control the weather but I can control how I react to it. The weather conditions and environment in the following photo is what I choose to focus on this week. How can I be any happier remembering that moment when I captured the image in Alaska last August.


While in Alaska for a week, the weather was absolutely top-of-the-line. Mostly clear blue skies, long range views, warm temperatures, little if any rain, and total bliss as far as the incredible scenery was concerned. It was easy to be pleased with the weather then. What I have to do right now, dreary as it is outside, is to have the same level of joy I had in Alaska. Make my own weather.

The Story Behind a Photo

I often like to explain to those interested what led me to make a certain photo, and maybe add a few details. It’s the “journalist” in me I guess. Anyway, here’s the photo. One of my favorites of 2017. And as it often happens “luck” was a main ingredient. Also, being in the right place at the right time.


Last August I was in Alaska, traveling about for a week with our daughter and son. ┬áIt was an amazing trip for many reasons, but “perfect weather” had a lot to do with it. Frequent visitors to Alaska will tell you it’s a rare day when the entire Alaska Range (Denali, etc) can be seen from the vicinity of Anchorage, since it’s over 200 miles away, and is usually covered with fog or clouds. Well, we hit the jackpot in that regard as you can see above. We were located at Summit Lake Recreation Site near 4000 feet elevation, about an hour away north of Anchorage. Using my 200mm telephoto lens from where I was standing, I was able to bring the far horizon in close. What turned out to be even better was when I spotted two hikers moving across the ridge line in front of us. I wondered to myself if they might climb a boulder I saw on the ridge line, so I waited until I determined that’s just what they were going to do. That’s when the composition went from being nice to great in my opinion. A tip. Try not to put the main subject of your photo in the center of the composition. Makes for a more interesting image. I also want to say its impossible not to be able to make nice photos in places like Alaska. All you have to do is go there!