Cloudy Hike

I went out hiking at Balcones Canyonlands for lack of anything better to do. There was a low puffy cloud cover that I thought might photograph well with all of the texture, especially in the late afternoon and I needed a good hike anyway. So up the trail I went.

There aren’t many flowers out this time of year and we don’t really get a lot of fall color with the juniper and live oak on the hill side, so fall is not the most photogenic season around here, but I did like the warm sunlight on the hill side with the contrasted clouds above. There was also a lone tree in the path that caught sunlight while its surroundings were in shadow.

Hiking Trail at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

I shot these hand held with a small Nikon Z50 and a manual 25mm Meike lens. This is a very light-weight camera/lens combo for hiking, but it requires full manual shooting as this lens does not communicate with the camera. I used a feature called focus peaking in the camera to let me see what is in focus and this does a reasonable job of getting good focus. The camera can adjust shutter speed and ISO based on the light meter as well. This lens was very cheap and it is reasonably fast and sharp for my needs.

Just before sunset, the clouds were really catching some warm colors and I struggled to find a place to get a good photo. I settled for a shot looking down the trail, which is always nice for leading lines.

Hiking Trail at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

In Lightroom I did work on the exposure and contrast of the sky to make the colors stand out. The clouds were really nice on that afternoon.

I waited around for a sunset, but thick clouds build up on the horizon and blocked all of the sunlight so the sky was gray. I do have a sunset picture from a month ago that I don’t know what to do with, so I will put it here. The sky was nice that evening and it looked like a fire on the horizon.

Sunset at Balcones Canyonlands

Thanks for reading.

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