Wind and Photography: Catch It or Be Blown Away?

ISO 400, f/11, Shutter speed 1/50 second
ISO 50, f/16, Shutter speed 1/4 second
Among the many things out of my control, the wind probably is mentioned the least.  We tend to talk about the light more than anything else.  Clouds certainly enhance a photograph and I love the beautiful partly cloudy sky.  Wind can only be seen in the effects it has on movable objects.  In a sandstorm, it can create dramatic effect on the sand dunes.  Usually wind is a foe to good photography because it makes for blurry moving objects.

Wind is almost always present on the Montana prairie.  As I made my annual trip to photograph my favorite cabin, the wind was blowing moderately.  I decided to try a couple of different photographs to capture the wind.  I wasn't sure if I would like them more or less than the perfectly still shots.  To be truthful, I wasn't sure of my still shots would work at all because of the wind.

On the left I chose a very slow shutter speed, smaller aperture and a low ISO film speed.  This allowed for plenty of movement.  On the right side shows a faster ISO film speed, a much quicker shutter speed but still a fairly small aperture so that I would have everything in focus.  The picture on the left is an exposure of 12.5 times a much time as the right.  I was hoping to get a lot of motion without making everything so blurry as to become indistinct.  (That kind of blurriness is achieved by using a neutral density filter.)

Hopefully you can see some things you like in each photograph.  One tells the story of the wind on the prairie.  The other is a story of the prairie without the wind.