There are endless discussions, teachings, tech talk, youtube videos, blogs, reviews so on about cameras. I used to go to gazillion sites and ended up with not much on the learning curve. I always thought that there are ‘secrets’. There might be, I stopped looking for them. I took the layman’s approach: pushed the button(s) and turned the dials on the camera until I figured out certain things. Not all of them, there are still things out there waiting for me to discover them. So lately I shot lots of cloud photos. Might not make sense, might look boring and useless. Clouds are tricky monsters in the front of the lens. If you use your camera’s proper exposure metering most likely the whites will blow out. Ok, bring on the grad ND filter. Well, I don’t have a set of those fancy Lee filters. Among all I am an overlander at the moment, driving South America and you can travel with and use that much stuff on the road. Generally I do not use filters. The task is to tune-in a proper ISO, aperture and compensation combination to keep the highlights in control and not to go too dark either as recovering details in the shadows is bringing along noise like crazy. Who cares about the noise? The agencies which eventually will sell your photos. So first thing is to find the ‘sweet spot’ where the clouds will look great in the photos. Closing the aperture too much will yield loss of sharpness and will bring out the impurities on your lens and sensor. Throw an f/16, lots of details, but sharpness is gone and you will hunt UFO’s with the healing brush forever. I give out a secret: Canon 7D2 w. 70-200F2.8L (non IS) lens the last sharp aperture is f/6.3. You’re not done, an exposure compensation is needed also, usually towards the minus sign. Then there is the next step, to put something or somebody in the front of the clouds and light it properly to create a balance. Play a little bit with your camera, you don’t want to go home with crappy photos from your expensive trip.