Western skies, rain clouds and a lone tree

Lonely tree in a western thunderstorm. Screen capture of Wesley Aston’s film.

Wesley Aston is a Utah-based photographer whose work I’ve admired for some time. He photographs the rocks and skies of Utah, so much of which I trekked as a youth (less, later). One of my great pleasures was to sit on a mountainside, probably long after we should have gone down the trail to safety, to watch thunderstorms push over a mountain range, plunge into a valley and rush toward us, or maybe away from us.

At the time I wished I had photographic equipment that had not really been invented yet in non-governmental circles, to capture those scenes.

Aston does that. He’s got the equipment. He knows how to use it.

This is the kind of work that should be standard fare in geography classes in public schools, but is not.

We can enjoy it here, though.

Mr. Aston posts his work at Instagram, some on YouTube. You should study it.

2 Responses to Western skies, rain clouds and a lone tree

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Oh, yes — especially if you have clear view.

    I highly recommend touring the west during rainy season, with proper education in how to avoid flashfloods. Tucson during the monsoon can be spectacular. Zion NP, Canyonlands NP, Grand Canyon NP, Bryce NP, all give spectacular, dynamic views that simply cannot be captured on film or CMOS. Frankly, no painting I’ve ever seen does justice to the stuff.

    Although, there are edits of photos (not manipulations) and long exposures that can come really close. This photo from the summit of Mt. Timpanogos shows the possiblities. Our house was 6,000 feet lower, but here you see Utah Lake, the mountains on the west, and the storm in the valley on the other side of those mountains. We had a picture window in our living room that looked down on the lake. As a kid, with nothing better to do that stay out of the public pool and the road to it, and off the lawn, with a lightning storm pending, I spent many hours watching this stuff. (I thought I’d tracked down the identity of the photographer, but I don’t have it, and most copies of this photo omit it. If you know who took the photo, please let me know.)



  2. Thunderstorms are fascinating to watch anywhere but watching them from a mountain must really be special.


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