year-long photographic experiment shooting clouds everyday

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Five Years or 1825 Days Later — Clouds 365 Project Will End

clouds365-1800

I started the Clouds 365 Project on July 1, 2009, and on June 30, 2014 —FIVE years or 1825 days later — Clouds 365 Project will end, allowing my cloud and weather photography to grow in new ways. It’s difficult and bittersweet, saying goodbye to the routine of Clouds 365. And I won’t really be saying goodbye. After all, clouds are imprinted on my mind and deeply rooted in my life and the life of my family. Every day will find me carrying my camera and looking up at the sky. And I will continue to share images through Facebook, Google+, and kellydelay.com regularly.

I love this project; I always will. I love the support I have received over the years, which has been amazing and humbling. I love what the project has taught me about myself and what I am capable of, and I am proud of the level of creativity I have been able to maintain. I love what it has taught my children and how it has allowed us to play and learn together. What I have learned in the past four years has been astounding (about my equipment, processes, weather, printing, social media, myself, and on and on).

I’m proud of what the Clouds 365 Project has accomplished, for me and for the community. Because of the work I started in Clouds 365, I have become an environmental/ weather photographer. It’s who I am now. And I’m grateful for what you’ve done for me as well. You have pushed me, and you have made me a better person, artist and photographer.

So why close the Clouds 365 Project? While most days it was a joy. I would jump out of bed ready to photograph the sunrise or travel hundreds of miles in search of a great location or storms. I truly love what I do. There were those days, though: the sixty days out of the year that have clear skies, smog, 110° days, birthday parties, illness, etc. that sometimes made it difficult. Moreover, the areas around me—my favorite fields for sunrise and sunset, for capturing the flight of a hawk or the quiet of a misty morning—are disappearing. Trees are being bulldozed here, roads paved, and houses built on what once felt like my windows to the sky.

But that’s not all there is to it, either. The pressure to post a new picture every day was important for developing the discipline and awareness that was essential to the project, but now that those things have become ingrained in me, I also need a chance to reflect on what I’ve done—on what we’ve done. I’m excited about having the time to explore clouds in new ways, to go back and reflect on the images I’ve taken and how they fit together. Taking this time to reflect will only improve my future work.

I’m ready to step out as myself and develop my own identity as a photographer. That’s what I’ve become through this project. Clouds will remain a project for me, a very dear one; but it’s not all of who I am. Don’t think I’ll be far away, though. I have big plans for Clouds once I can step back and work on it with a fresh perspective. I have dreams for a book, a show, prints, etc. Having amassed a huge collection of photographs that reflect the many moods and spirit of clouds, many of which have not been published, I look forward to showing my work in new ways.

Making this difficult decision has also made me appreciate anew the community and the people who have supported me over the years. There are many who have touched me deeply with their comments and their loyalty. Some have followed since day one and shared their clouds, their hopes and losses. I have made many new friends because of the Clouds 365 Project and hope that I have inspired you to take a moment to look up.

And of course, there is no one I have to thank more for their commitment to this project that my wife Stephanie, who is also a photographer and the project editor and my two daughters, both of them artists already.

June 30 will be a celebration of all we’ve done together (and look for something special to celebrate the occasion!). I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the richness of the experiences and relationships I’ve had. June 30 also marks the beginning of the next stage of my journey as a photographer, and I hope you’ll come along with me on the ride!

- Kelly

Texas Lightning

Another shot from the amazing lightning storm outside Throckmorton, Texas last night. I could not believe how many branches and forks the lightning had. This was just a flash, it happened in a blink of the eye! So powerful!

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Supercell Panorama – Courtney, Oklahoma

Here is another from the Courtney, Oklahoma supercell Sunday at sunset. This tornado warned storm highlights its dynamic structure, complete with a large bell shaped mesocyclone and inflow band. Amazing to witness!
Click to enlarge image below!
Supercell - Courtney, Oklahoma

Big Bend Ghost Town Astrophotography Workshop – AUGUST 22-24, 2014 **SOLD OUT**

This workshop is now SOLD OUT!

Excited to announce that photographer, Mike Mezeul II and I added another astrophotography workshop this summer at one of the BEST areas to photograph the night sky at! AUGUST 22-24, 2014. If you have never seen the night sky above the Big Bend region, you’re in for a treat! In 2012, the area was designated as an International Dark Sky Park, one of now just ten in the world. Measurements by the National Park Service Night Sky Team show that the Big Bend Region offers the darkest measured skies in the lower 48 states making it a worthy jewel to the worldwide crown of dark sky oases recognized by the International Dark Sky Association.

Mike-Mezeul-MilkyWay1

North-StarTrails-McDonald-Observatory-Final

Come on out and learn how to capture stunning images of the Milky Way, create star trails, and light paint ghost town structures beneath the brilliant Texas night sky with professional landscape astrophotographer, Mike Mezeul II and Kelly DeLay photographer of the Clouds 365 Project. We will be basing out of Terlingua, Texas and photographing two incredible and historic locations during this workshop. The 1880 mining ghost town of Terlingua will provide us with depleting structures such as an old church, hotel, and cemetery to use as foregrounds to our night sky. Our second location will be the Contrabando “ghost town,” a movie set that was constructed in 1985 for the Roy Clark film Uphill all the Way, that has a ton of really cool foreground potential as well!

9-07-13-milkyway-monolake-version2

Mike-Mezeul-Zion-StarTrailsjpg

Topics Covered: – Gain an understanding for the night sky, how to plan for shooting it, locating the Milky Way, working with moon phases, and more. – Understanding how to manage your ISO/aperture/exposure for astrophotography. – Learn how to properly light paint a foreground subject. – Learn how to achieve tack sharp focus in complete darkness. – Learn how to shoot & create stunning star trail photos. – Learn how to take full advantage of the Milky Way, even it’s dimmer parts. – Creating panoramics of the night sky. – Using off camera flashes to bring life to your foreground. – Learn how to take advantage of in-camera noise reduction and also Topaz noise reduction plugins. – Learn how to bring more life to your images via Photoshop & Lightroom.

Required Equipment: – A DSLR camera with the capability to shoot up to 1250 ISO with low to moderate noise. – A wide angle lens with an aperture of at least F4 or below. – Extra batteries and memory cards (I would suggest at least 32gb). – A sturdy tripod. – Intervalometer. – Flashlight (Highly recommend a Maglite or flashlight with a high lumen power). – Hiking boots. – A laptop, card reader, and at least a trial of Photoshop and Lightroom installed. You can find out how to install a free 30-day trial by clicking here: PhotoshopLightroom. – Headlamp with red light (available at Walmart) – Laptop (please install either Startrails (PC) or StarStaX (MAC)…both are free) Also, please have installed at least the trial versions of Photoshop and Lightroom. Both are available online with 30 day trials. – A lawn chair…trust me, you’ll want it!

Cost: $699 per person $599 alumni discount (if you’ve taken a workshop with me or Mike before!) – 8 Student maximum – This amount of students will allow for a more intimate setting and a better learning environment.

Mike-Mezeul-MilkyWay2

About Your Instructors:

kellyKelly DeLay is an award winning photographer and a multi-media artist who is particularly adept at projects that require an innovative creative approach, strong content and design. A prominent social media figure, Kelly speaks at universities and industry workshops on business of photography, image processing and work flow management, and search marketing. In 2009, Kelly initiated his Clouds 365 Project, a photographic experiment shooting clouds everyday for a year. Documenting the sky each day for a year turned into a passion spanning over four years. Kelly has traversed all over the United States capturing unique landscapes and skies. Kelly specializes in weather and environmental photography, including lightning, time-lapse, and astro-photography. His images have appeared in Smithsonian Magazine, D Magazine, The New York Times, Le Monde Paris, ABC News, and John Grisham’s “The Litigators,” international edition book cover.

 

Mike Mezeul II Mike Mezeul II is a self-taught, award winning, published photographer originally from New York, but is now based out of Allen, Texas. Having picked up his first camera 14 years ago, he has now been photographing professionally for four years documenting all subject matters ranging from landscape, astrophotography, severe weather & natural disasters, professional sports, commercial and advertising, weddings and air-to-air aviation photography. Mike has written several online articles discussing sky photography and techniques as well as held astrophotography workshops in some of the darkest skies of Texas., teaching students how to photograph the Milky Way, star trails, meteor showers and more. 

 

Refund Policy: A 50%, non refundable deposit is required to reserve your space for the workshop or you may pay in full. The remaining balance is due 14 days prior to the scheduled workshop. If the remaining balance is not paid in full, your space will be forfeited. Please read our terms & conditions for cancellations and transfers.

Weather: There is obviously a big risk when it comes to photographing the sky. The weather is an uncontrollable factor in which our hands our completely tied. Even if we have overcast skies, we will still head out to our location for the night to shoot. We’ve had several instances when the night started out cloudy and then cleared up revealing an awesome starry sky. Actually, a few clouds can do more good than harm in our photo! In the random case that we are socked in with clouds all night, I can assure you, you will still learn valuable night photography lessons! In the case that the weather does not cooperate, we will need to be flexible and possibly shoot a different location or subject matter. Safety is my mine concern amongst the students, so we will not risk our safety if bad weather rolls in.

Accommodations & Transportation: Accommodations and transportation are not included in the workshop fee. We will be staying at the Chisos Mountain Lodge in Big Bend National Park. There are not many other locations to stay at, so we suggest booking here. The group will meet at this location for the meet and greet, post-processing sessions, and to depart for our shoots. Students will be required to take their own transportation to the shooting locations. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me and ask away!

Panoramic Supercell

Chased this LP supercell on April 1st this week. Found this fantastic view just outside of Throckmorton, TX. This storm was tornado warned and reportedly produced up to tennis ball sized hail. This panoramic image is 16 frames stitched together with PTGui Pro. Finished with +Nik Photography  tools and +Adobe PhotoshopClick to enlarge!
4-01-14-panoramic-supercell-original

Big Bend Ghost Town Astrophotography Workshop – JULY 25-27, 2014 ** SOLD OUT**

UPDATED – 3-25-14 : This workshop is SOLD OUT. We will be announcing new dates soon.

Here we go! An all out, 100% themed, all you can feast your eyes upon, astrophotography workshop at one of the BEST areas to photograph the night sky at! If you have never seen the night sky above the Big Bend region, you’re in for a treat! In 2012, the area was designated as an International Dark Sky Park, one of now just ten in the world. Measurements by the National Park Service Night Sky Team show that the Big Bend Region offers the darkest measured skies in the lower 48 states making it a worthy jewel to the worldwide crown of dark sky oases recognized by the International Dark Sky Association.

Mike-Mezeul-MilkyWay1

North-StarTrails-McDonald-Observatory-Final

Come on out and learn how to capture stunning images of the Milky Way, create star trails, and light paint ghost town structures beneath the brilliant Texas night sky with professional landscape astrophotographer, Mike Mezeul II and Kelly DeLay photographer of the Clouds 365 Project. We will be basing out of Terlingua, Texas and photographing two incredible and historic locations during this workshop. The 1880 mining ghost town of Terlingua will provide us with depleting structures such as an old church, hotel, and cemetery to use as foregrounds to our night sky. Our second location will be the Contrabando “ghost town,” a movie set that was constructed in 1985 for the Roy Clark film Uphill all the Way, that has a ton of really cool foreground potential as well!

9-07-13-milkyway-monolake-version2

Mike-Mezeul-Zion-StarTrailsjpg

Topics Covered: – Gain an understanding for the night sky, how to plan for shooting it, locating the Milky Way, working with moon phases, and more. – Understanding how to manage your ISO/aperture/exposure for astrophotography. – Learn how to properly light paint a foreground subject. – Learn how to achieve tack sharp focus in complete darkness. – Learn how to shoot & create stunning star trail photos. – Learn how to take full advantage of the Milky Way, even it’s dimmer parts. – Creating panoramics of the night sky. – Using off camera flashes to bring life to your foreground. – Learn how to take advantage of in-camera noise reduction and also Topaz noise reduction plugins. – Learn how to bring more life to your images via Photoshop & Lightroom.

Required Equipment: – A DSLR camera with the capability to shoot up to 1250 ISO with low to moderate noise. – A wide angle lens with an aperture of at least F4 or below. – Extra batteries and memory cards (I would suggest at least 32gb). – A sturdy tripod. – Intervalometer. – Flashlight (Highly recommend a Maglite or flashlight with a high lumen power). – Hiking boots. – A laptop, card reader, and at least a trial of Photoshop and Lightroom installed. You can find out how to install a free 30-day trial by clicking here: PhotoshopLightroom. – Headlamp with red light (available at Walmart) – Laptop (please install either Startrails (PC) or StarStaX (MAC)…both are free) Also, please have installed at least the trial versions of Photoshop and Lightroom. Both are available online with 30 day trials. – A lawn chair…trust me, you’ll want it!

Cost: $699 per person $599 alumni discount (if you’ve taken a workshop with me or Mike before!) – 8 Student maximum – This amount of students will allow for a more intimate setting and a better learning environment.

Big Bend Astro Workshop

Mike-Mezeul-MilkyWay2

About Your Instructors: Mike Mezeul II Mike Mezeul II is a self-taught, award winning, published photographer originally from New York, but is now based out of Allen, Texas. Having picked up his first camera 14 years ago, he has now been photographing professionally for four years documenting all subject matters ranging from landscape, astrophotography, severe weather & natural disasters, professional sports, commercial and advertising, weddings and air-to-air aviation photography. Mike has written several online articles discussing sky photography and techniques as well as held astrophotography workshops in some of the darkest skies of Texas., teaching students how to photograph the Milky Way, star trails, meteor showers and more. 

 

kelly

Kelly DeLay is an award winning photographer and a multi-media artist who is particularly adept at projects that require an innovative creative approach, strong content and design. A prominent social media figure, Kelly speaks at universities and industry workshops on business of photography, image processing and work flow management, and search marketing. In 2009, Kelly initiated his Clouds 365 Project, a photographic experiment shooting clouds everyday for a year. Documenting the sky each day for a year turned into a passion spanning over four years. Kelly has traversed all over the United States capturing unique landscapes and skies. Kelly specializes in weather and environmental photography, including lightning, time-lapse, and astro-photography. His images have appeared in Smithsonian Magazine, D Magazine, The New York Times, Le Monde Paris, ABC News, and John Grisham’s “The Litigators,” international edition book cover.

Refund Policy: A 50%, non refundable deposit is required to reserve your space for the workshop or you may pay in full. The remaining balance is due 14 days prior to the scheduled workshop. If the remaining balance is not paid in full, your space will be forfeited. Please read our terms & conditions for cancellations and transfers.

Weather: There is obviously a big risk when it comes to photographing the sky. The weather is an uncontrollable factor in which our hands our completely tied. Even if we have overcast skies, we will still head out to our location for the night to shoot. We’ve had several instances when the night started out cloudy and then cleared up revealing an awesome starry sky. Actually, a few clouds can do more good than harm in our photo! In the random case that we are socked in with clouds all night, I can assure you, you will still learn valuable night photography lessons! In the case that the weather does not cooperate, we will need to be flexible and possibly shoot a different location or subject matter. Safety is my mine concern amongst the students, so we will not risk our safety if bad weather rolls in.

Accommodations & Transportation: Accommodations and transportation are not included in the workshop fee. We will be staying at the Chisos Mountain Lodge in Big Bend National Park. There are not many other locations to stay at, so we suggest booking here. The group will meet at this location for the meet and greet, post-processing sessions, and to depart for our shoots. Students will be required to take their own transportation to the shooting locations. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me and ask away!

Come with me on a storm chasing adventure!

Witness incredible storms and big skies. Be my special guest on the Tempest Tours / Clouds 365 Project storm chasing expedition April 20-27, 2014. I’ll introduce this amazing and wonderful experience to you!

Limited spots remaining, Book Now! http://kelly.io/tempeststormchasing (Tour 1)

The images below was from one day storm chasing with Tempest Tours this past May in Ness City, Kansas. A day I will never forget! Hope to see you on this tour!

 

Astrophotography in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

In the summer of 2013 my family and I took our vacation to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. I took the time to go out on the beach to capture the milky way. The cloud cover and light pollution was making it difficult for astrophotography, but perfect to be a little creative :)

 

Featured at the Omni Dallas Hotel this month

This image of a isolated supercell in Haswell, Colorado was one of the most popular prints at my Dallas Omni opening last night. Looks good printed large with a elegant black frame. Send me a message to kelly(at)clouds365.com if you are interested or simply visit Collections at the Omni Dallas Hotel through the month of November.

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Revisiting: Supercell over Melon Mesa in Capulin, NM

Revisiting images from earlier this year and adding to my my “favorites” portfolio. Captured this beautiful supercell over Melon Mesa in Capulin, NM, across the highway from Capilin Volcano Monument earlier this year. I love this area so much.