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Head in the clouds

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Photo by Richard Custer
Photo by Richard Custer

I was one of those kids who used to look at clouds and find shapes in them. The best part was when I would look at them with a friend or relative, and we would see two different things, even though the physical object was the same. This not only reflected our different outlooks on things, but provided a basis for seeing beyond what was there to what could be.

Photo by Richard Custer
Photo by Richard Custer

When I was in the US Air Force, my job as a meteorological journeyman forced me to see the actual object. It would have been difficult indeed to warn of thunderstorms approaching the airfield if I only saw the conceptual objects of my imagination. This had the effect of suppressing that imagination for a temporary period. It would be a number of years after my departure from the Air Force before that imaginative vision would manifest itself again.

Photo by Richard Custer
Photo by Richard Custer

Alfred Steiglitz once said that he photographed the clouds to try to discover what he learned in 40 years of photography. My own motivation in photographing the clouds is to see what I’ve learned in those 40 years of life I have lived. In these 40 years, I have had my share of transformative events, some good, some bad, some common to many like the first kiss, the first day of basic training, getting married and some not so common like that F-16 flight in Korea, standing in front of the Great Pyramid at Giza, the safety of about $120 million worth of military aircraft resting squarely on my shoulders alone.

Photo by Richard Custer
Photo by Richard Custer

I still look at the clouds. The best part remains, though, that everyone sees something different.

To see more of Richard’s photography, click here

 

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