Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘clouds

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

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 9, 2017 at 4:46 AM

Banff National Park’s famous Lake Louise late in the afternoon on September 8th

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Maybe you were beginning to wonder if you’d ever get to see a picture of the famous Lake Louise. Here’s one with a twin bonus: a halo of crepuscular rays above the mountains that border the lake, and, coming to meet you, the tinged reflection of the late light on the lake’s surface.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 8, 2017 at 4:54 AM

Strange clouds

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My introduction to Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park on September 3rd was the clouds you see here, which were strange in the way they apparently cast shadows on the sky. Have you ever heard of or seen anything casting a shadow on the sky? I guess the air held enough water vapor or other particles to create a faint medium on which shadows could register, but my reaction was still that I was seeing shadows where I’m not supposed to be able to see any.

Because the area near the sun was so bright in comparison to everything else, I underexposed by three f/stops to keep from blowing out the highlights. As a result, the badlands hills across the bottom of the photograph appear in silhouette and make the overall image more abstract. That’s fine by me.

UPDATE: Les Cowley of Atmospheric Optics explained the scene this way: “The well defined clouds are casting their shadows onto a lower layer of haze or thin cloud. the lower cloud acts as a translucent screen and you view the shadows — and the upper cloud — through it.”

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 29, 2017 at 4:46 AM

New Zealand: panache

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How could I not record the panache of toetoe (pronounced in Māori tó-eh-tó-eh, placed in botany in the genus Austroderia) at the Orokonui Ecosanctuary northeast of Dunedin on February 27th?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 17, 2017 at 4:46 AM

Crazy Horse

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When we visited the far-from-ever-being-completed memorial to Crazy Horse in South Dakota’s Black Hills on June 2nd, the dramatic clouds caught my attention as much as anything else, and probably even more. The “opening quotation mark” above the blue hole in the clouds is curious, isn’t it?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 9, 2017 at 5:07 AM

Soar, sunflower, soar

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Helianthus annuus. Cedar Park, Texas. June 22.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 10, 2017 at 3:34 AM

Six minutes later

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I’m sending out this post six minutes after the previous one to show you how the clouds looked six minutes later above Morrison, Colorado, on June 4th. I took this follow-up picture at 8:34 PM Mountain Daylight Saving Time.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 4, 2017 at 4:50 AM

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