Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for November 9th, 2017

Three updates

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UPDATE 1: Do you remember the recent view of clouds that I photographed in the Badlands of Alberta on September 3rd? (For variety I’ve included an alternate view above.) While it seemed strange enough for those clouds to be casting shadows onto the sky—actually onto thin clouds in the sky—a mystery remained. The shadows appeared to lie beyond the clouds, yet the sun must have been beyond both, so how could we make sense of the shadows’ position?

Searching for an explanation, I e-mailed two people involved in meteorology. Les Cowley at Atmospheric Optics replied with a link to a post that included a photograph and a schematic diagram of the situation. Troy Kimmel replied with a link to Christoph Gerber’s Atmospheric Phenomena post “Where is the shadow?”, which also explained that the shadows in such pictures are actually in front of the clouds casting them. That post includes a stereo pair which confirms that in spite of the illusion that the shadows are beyond the main clouds, the shadows are actually in front of them. If you’re good at free-viewing stereo pairs intended to be looked at cross-eyed, you can give it a shot. Because crossing my eyes to that extent boggles my brain, I reversed the position of the halves to put them back in proper left-right orientation so I could free-view them in 3-D; sure enough, the shadows are in front of the clouds casting them.

UPDATE 2: Do you remember the jackrabbit I photographed in Calgary on August 27th? After posting, I learned a good deal about that kind of rabbit, so I added another paragraph to the text and also a link to more information.

UPDATE 3: In the comments on the post about the glacial meltwater lake at Mount Edith Cavell, I added a photograph showing an overview of the scene, including the mountain that looms above the lake.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 9, 2017 at 4:46 AM

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