Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giant Flying Saucer Cloud

The sky and especially cloud, stormy being the best, have always held a special interest for me.
There is something about their majesty and untold patterns that can form and re-form as the wind passes before you.
Sometimes they are downright scary and deadly and at others more cerebral and safe which works well for a photographer.

On a late summer evening with several rain squall line moving through, there came with the last a giant thundercloud. It wasn't until it was passing and with evening side-lighting that the grandeur of the cloud became apparent.

2 images combined. Each image at 18mm (27mm @ 35mm equ)

From the backyard and out over the fields, it looked like a giant flying saucer with the pillars at the edges of the spacecraft.
The cloud was about 10km (6mi) across, which I also confirmed later from the radar.
It was hard to get a full unrestricted view, as smaller clouds would drift underneath. The cloud's scale was only revealed as different parts became visible over time.

I also took many overlapping images of this cloud at 65mm (100 @ 35mm equ) so that one day I might print a large version of this. Somewhere about 17 ft at 240 dpi, at least in theory.

The above image is made from 2 of the zoomed sections and show the pillar-like cloud texture from the top right of the saucer cloud.

Below is another closeup of an area that is just right of the middle tree top (1st image) and below. This cloud had so many areas with different types of textures and patterns that it would be lost in a web image. It would need to be printed very large for a viewer to appreciate all facets.

I warmed (yellow) the lighter portions and cooled (blue) darker sections of the cloud to increase the visual contrast.

And just to the right of the above image, there was another area that appeared to be like streamers raising from the ground.

I enjoy clouds and I have quite a collection of clouds in all shapes, sizes and intensity.  When I look and subsequently photograph clouds, I enjoy the freedom of not being bound by preconceived items and therefore, I can explore their forms more.

Niels Henriksen


Russ said...

I like the black and white cloud photos. Really unique shots.

loriann said...

WoW These are amazing Niels! The B/W format is stunning. Happy New Year!


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