Overlooking the Engineering center (direction of view is North-West)
This day took me by surprise. The clouds were super interesting and developing in crazy ways. Just over the mountains were numerous Altocumulus lenticularis, wheich are a type of cloud that forms over mountains and looks kind of like a lens. You can see some of that on the left side of the image. That wasn’t my primary goal in this image though. This photo focuses more on the undulating sea of clouds that stretched over the engineering center of CU Boulder. These stratus/stratocumulus clouds were contrasting heavily with the shallow angle of the sun. I was standing next to the basketball gym, looking North-West at about 10am.
If we look at the Skew-T plot:
We cans see that the CAPE was 0 at 6AM. This means there was a stable atmosphere, which I can agree with because no storms formed during the course of the day. To me though, it was a little odd that it was a flat 0 because there was so much activity. I suppose that a non-turbulent atmosphere can still develop a great deal of moisture and clouds though. The plot says that the highest chance to observe clouds is roughly 7270 meters. That’s about 24,000 feet which does not agree with what I captured here. However, it could be seen that there was another ceiling of clouds above what we can observe here. If you look at the 3074m line, there’s a little bit of convergence happening, and that would agree more with what we see here. Since this photo was 4 hours after the Skew-T, it could be that those lines converged even closer.
This photo was taken with a Note9. I didn’t have my larger camera with me but I didn’t want to miss the moment, so I used the phone. It was shot at F2.4, 1/500 second shutter speed with an ISO of 100. I used Adobe’s Lightroom to modify the image. This included contrast, a few gradients, and a little softening of the bottom of the image while sharpening the top. That ended up resulting in making the buildings look almost like a model given the depth of field effect that occurred from these edits.
I like this image a lot, but I’m sad I couldn’t have taken it with my bigger camera. Nonetheless, I think my edits brought out an interesting and luring view of it. What I don’t like is that the clouds don’t line up perfectly to point at the top of the engineering center, or that a viewer may not know whether they should look at the clouds or at the buildings (causing wandering eyes which usually means bad composition). Regardless, it’s got some cool clouds!