Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Swirly, wispy, fleecy clouds

with 36 comments

Thanks to a tip from Jason Frels, on the morning of May 29th Eve and drove some 25 minutes north to  Leander, a fast-growing suburb of Austin, so we could go walking for the first time in Benbrook Ranch Park. The swirly and wispy clouds that accompanied us the whole time kept changing and forming intricate designs that enticed me to take lots of pictures of them in their own right, as shown above. I also welcomed the chance to play other things off against them, like the dead tree below.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 5, 2020 at 4:31 AM

36 Responses

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  1. Those clouds look good. I bet the walk with a friend felt nice.


    June 5, 2020 at 5:55 AM

  2. You can re-post that dead tree shot for Halloween, I think!

    Robert Parker

    June 5, 2020 at 6:05 AM

    • An apposite suggestion. Does that mean I’d have to color the clouds orange?

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 5, 2020 at 6:17 AM

      • Wispy White is good for ghosts, but Pumpkin 🎃 Orange, or Candy Apple 🍎 Red would work, too.

        Robert Parker

        June 5, 2020 at 6:22 AM

        • I hadn’t though about the white of the clouds for ghosts. I guess the sky could take on the colors you suggested.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 5, 2020 at 6:33 AM

    • Beautiful clouds! Jason mentioned your blog and I am glad I checked it out! Nature is so wonderful!


      June 9, 2020 at 9:39 PM

  3. The first picture reminded me of an abstract painting that I once saw in a dentist’s waiting room.

    Peter Klopp

    June 5, 2020 at 8:08 AM

  4. I find this picture astonishing b/c just this last Monday, I too noticed the swirly, wispy clouds. I live in Leander, and walked my dog around a pond near our nature trail. I was listening to such a good podcast, that I lay in the luxurious St. Augustine grass off the gravel path, and stared with wonder at the clouds. It was a good day!


    June 5, 2020 at 12:14 PM

    • It was indeed. I took plenty of cloud pictures in Leander and Cedar Park that morning, then in the afternoon more in my Austin neighborhood. I’m glad you got to see the show, too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 5, 2020 at 12:47 PM

  5. Beautiful pure cloudscape. I can’t seem to pull that off. You do.

    Michael Scandling

    June 5, 2020 at 1:47 PM

  6. Do you see the somewhat abstract ‘W’ in the first photo? ‘W’ for windblown, I suppose. I like the way you’ve darkened the sky in the second image. It adds to the drama of the limbs reaching into the clouds.


    June 6, 2020 at 9:10 PM

    • And that W could also be for ‘wiiiide.’ In processing abstract pictures like these of clouds, I adjust the various sliders in Photoshop until things look good to me. That may not match “reality,” but then, as we’ve discussed so many times, people don’t see the same thing the same way anyhow. In traditional photography people put a polarizer in front of the camera’s lens to darken the sky and increase the contrast with clouds. I could’ve used a polarizer but I got the same effect digitally.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 6, 2020 at 9:20 PM

  7. It looks like something Judy Collins would sing about.


    June 7, 2020 at 10:15 PM

  8. Nice clouds. We had some mare’s tail cirrus this morning but I was in the car and by the time I got where I could set up they had become mixed with some overcast. I had photographed the sky earlier but the fancy clouds didn’t become prominent until after the light had faded and I moved on to a floral shoot appointment.

    Steve Gingold

    June 10, 2020 at 1:20 PM

    • Yes, they were the most photogenic clouds we’ve had in a while. The fact that they kept changing throughout the day gave me many chances—which I took. I ended up with lots of configurations that I liked but I figured two is plenty for one post. Too bad the overcast kept you from recording your mare’s tail cirrus this morning.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 10, 2020 at 2:52 PM

  9. Love your swirly wispy clouds ..I’m a cloud fan


    June 10, 2020 at 2:51 PM

  10. […] On May 29th I stopped along Anderson Mill Rd. at Windy Ridge Rd., having never taken pictures there before. What prompted me to pull over was a flowering paloverde tree (Parkinsonia aculeata) that I wanted to play off against the moving (in both senses) clouds that had been with us all morning. […]

  11. […] you’re seeing the flowers and pods of green milkweed, Asclepias viridis. And how about those great clouds? Because I took these pictures only three minutes apart, the clouds hadn’t changed that much, […]

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