Each individual cloud has its own character. It is amazing how imaginatively children can identify anthropomorphic features when describing clouds they have spotted; it looks like jumping dog, or perhaps a speeding car. I’m sure you have done the same thing. The task as a photographer is to find a location that chimes with the character of the cloud. Sometimes it is an impossible task but, if you are aware of the concept, occasionally you will identify a cloud that appears to mimic the foreground. For example, it could appear elongated and cigar-shaped so, if in the foreground you found a puddle, a cluster of wild flowers or an isolated copse of trees revealing the same shape, then the image would have immediate cohesion.
Adopt a “minimalist” approach. This is a genre that positively encourages a minimalist approach. Some landscapes can be described as ‘busy’, i.e. there are numerous interesting but conflicting elements within it. A ‘minimalist’ landscape is simple, revealing very few features of note, which is often why the inclusion of a single cloud can work so well. You will find that this style of photography is best done when using a medium telephoto lens. Not only will you be able to ensure that the cloud appears larger within the frame, but as you are including less foreground, the landscape will appear much simpler.
Think carefully about the composition. The single cloud will be moving while the feature in the foreground is likely be static, so patience will be required to ensure that the cloud appears in the right place. The movement of clouds can prove frustratingly unreliable, but that should not discourage you from giving it a go. A simple compositional strategy you may wish to try is to place the landscape feature fairly centrally, then wait for the cloud to drift directly over it. Some might be concerned that this does not conform to “the rule of thirds”, but it should be seen as just one of many design principles. The central meridian (where the image is composed relative to an imaginary central line) is one that is used both by professional photographers and graphic designers.
Photographing Landscape Whatever the Weather - Tony Worobiec