Cloud First March 4. – Cody Williams

Cloud First March 4. – Cody Williams

These clouds appear to be altocumulus in front of smoother cirrostratus. On March 4th, the day was warmer than average (58ºF High), then began to get windy and chillier around 4pm, which is when this image was taken.

Clouds are anticipated when the temperature and dewpoint lines are close. The atmosphere seemed to be somewhat stable, given the CAPE value of 0.00.

The altocumulus clouds captured in the image were taken right off of Broadway Street near Varsity Apartments in Boulder, Colorado on March 4th, 2018. The temperature was warmer than average at 58ºF, with high wind velocities. I planned on capturing the sun’s rays beaming through the clouds as the sun dipped below the mountainous horizon. The weather changed rapidly and it seemed ideal to photograph clouds nearing the end of the daylight hours.

I made sure to angle the camera so it was facing towards the west, approximately 30º above the horizon, just above the Flatiron mountain range. The time was 5:04pm and the sun was completing its final descent towards the mountains. Massive orographic clouds coming in from the cold front predicted that day were beginning to take over much of the sky. Although a cold front was honing in on the pleasant high pressure system experienced all weekend, the atmosphere appeared to be stable, given the skew-T diagram shown and the CAPE value of 0.00. Clouds are typically anticipated when the temperature and dewpoint lines are close together on the diagram, which was surprisingly not the case in this graph. However, as one can see, the lines begin to merge together at the bottom of the diagram.

I believe the correct classification of these clouds to be altocumulus in front of smoother cirrostratus clouds. Altocumulus clouds usually occur as layers or patches in various shapes such as heaps, rolls, billows or pancakes, often white or gray in color. Altocumulus clouds primarily consist of super-cooled water droplets of minus 10ºC, but ice crystals are often present. Usually they do not produce rain, but may suggest a weather change within a day or so. On the other hand, cirrostratus clouds are high-level clouds, appearing as narrow, uniform and featureless white veils. They are darker than cirrus and are always thin enough for the high Sun to cast shadows. Cirrostratus sometimes cover part or all part of the sky and often produce a halo phenomena, either partial or complete. They form at altitudes between about 5 and 10km (about 16,600 and 30,000ft). Cirrocumulus also commonly indicate a substantial amount of moisture and warm air that has advanced to higher levels of altitude. This makes sense because the days following March 4th were colder, windier, and cloudier than average. I believe the wind velocities were at 20-30mph, with gusts up to 40mph. However, the atmosphere remained stable.

I decided to use my Canon EOS Rebel T6i digital camera for the shot, considering the lighting was all natural. The dimensions of the image turned out to be 6000 x 4000 with the F number at 14, the focal length at 27, exposure time at 1/500, 400 iso, and no zoom. The size of the field of view was about 1 mile x 2 miles across (very much of an estimate). The distance from the object to the lens was at least 15,000 feet.

For post-processing, I decided to use Adobe’s Creative Cloud Lightroom program. I mainly tinkered with the highlights, whites & blacks, saturation, vibrance, clarity, and the dehaze feature to bring out the definition of the shapes of the clouds.

Overall, I believe the final “Cosmic Cloud” image was a success. I was able to capture the rays beaming from behind the clouds and the consequent colors and hues. Next time I will try to tone the exposure down on the lighter parts of my images so they do not appear overexposed.

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Yousef Shashtari Clouds First March 4th
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Cloud First – Michael Johnson

22 Comments. Leave new

  • Michael Guenther
    Apr 16, 2018 17:17

    The sun is outstanding, I would hang this on my wall

    Reply
  • Geya Kairamkonda
    Mar 14, 2018 23:27

    I like the over-saturation in this image. Looks godly almost. Well done!

    Reply
  • Robert Gray
    Mar 12, 2018 11:33

    This has a really nice sunburst aesthetic, and I really like the color depth. The saturation is maybe a bit too high in places.

    Reply
  • Tanner Wismer
    Mar 12, 2018 11:28

    I really like the colors in this image. The yellow and blue really stand out and have a good contrast. Great photo cropping, editing, and color enhancing.

    Reply
  • Lucas Sorensen
    Mar 12, 2018 11:27

    Excellent image, I love the colors and it almost looks like something cosmic as opposed to clouds. The detail in the cloud elements is very clear. However, the bottom of the image is a little bright and blown out, maybe you could consider decreasing the brightness of the yellow.

    Reply
  • Eric Robinson
    Mar 12, 2018 11:27

    Nice job with the coloring.

    Reply
  • Jacob Lanier
    Mar 12, 2018 11:26

    Great image. The contrast is well done, and the image is striking.

    Reply
  • Riley Kenyon
    Mar 12, 2018 11:26

    The image is amazing, the saturation of the background and sun is great. The visible sun rays are a cool effect as well, I like the contrast between the yellow sun and the dark blue background.

    Reply
  • Wesley Caruso
    Mar 12, 2018 11:26

    Amazing photo! I really like the light colors in the bottom of the photo since they are isolated from the surrounding clouds which stand out with blue and white. Great perspective too.

    Reply
  • John Monahan
    Mar 12, 2018 11:26

    I really like the bright spot in the bottom center of the image. Everything seems to expand from that point, which is interesting.

    Reply
  • Zachary Marshall
    Mar 12, 2018 11:25

    The location of the sun and bright yellow clouds at the bottom is nice. It has a good focus of the rest of the images cloud formation.

    Reply
  • Daniel Petrykowski
    Mar 12, 2018 11:25

    The contrast between the crepuscular rays and the cumulus clouds is fantastic.

    Reply
  • Gabriel McGann
    Mar 12, 2018 11:25

    It’s really interesting to see the contrast here with the colors, this image actually reminds me a lot of the bubble picture you did for get wet, both have kind of a repeating abstract pattern with cool colors.

    Reply
  • Samuel Oliver
    Mar 12, 2018 11:25

    I like the yellow color shinning through the clouds. It is also awesome that you can see the small details within the cloud.

    Reply
  • Cyron Completo
    Mar 12, 2018 11:25

    Wow! The wispiness of the clouds paired with the range of lighting and colors in this picture results in a dramatic, effective image.

    Reply
  • Madison Emmett
    Mar 12, 2018 11:25

    The colors are really beautiful and it like the somewhat chaotic nature of the clouds. Really nice image!

    Reply
  • Julian Quick
    Mar 12, 2018 11:25

    There’s this cool straight line the clouds form in the middle

    Reply
  • Lara Buri
    Mar 12, 2018 11:24

    Is that the sun at the bottom? If so it is super cool how it adds yellow to the image. It almost looks as though the clouds are radiating out from it. The highlights at the bottom are a bit overpowering but overall, good composition.

    Reply
  • Abigail Rastatter
    Mar 12, 2018 11:24

    Love the colors and the texture. It’s really easy to get lost in this image and forget that I’m looking at a sky. Beautiful image.

    Reply
  • Michael Sandoval
    Mar 12, 2018 11:24

    I like how the image is centered around the sun and everything seems to come from there.

    Reply
  • Philip Nystrom
    Mar 12, 2018 11:24

    Fantastic image, the colors are amazing. The clouds look good, I like how they go from dense to thin. Overall great image.

    Reply
  • Jordan Nahabetian
    Mar 12, 2018 11:24

    The over-saturation works very well here. This is mesmerizing.

    Reply

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