Cole Smith || Clouds First

Cole Smith || Clouds First

Shown here is a medium-long exposure image that I took at night with my iPhone 13 Pro while backpacking in the Indian Peaks wilderness near Rollins Pass on September 10, 2022 at 8:30 PM. In the foreground my tent is captured and is illuminated by a headlamp inside on the red-light setting. In the background, down valley, clouds are captured that are undulating and hanging in the valley all the way down into Nederland and then into Boulder beyond that. The image was taken at ~11300ft of elevation. I believe these clouds can be characterized as fog that is orographically influenced by the mountains and valleys below it. I would estimate that the fog is hovering around 10800-10200 ft of elevation at its highest in this photo. The most proximal Skew-T graph for when and where this image was taken is pictured below and shows that the atmosphere in this photo is stable, as indicated by the CAPE index being equal to 0. Based on the skew-t graph there are no extremely obvious indications that we would be certain to see clouds, however we could expect to see the most likely formation of clouds around 10400ft which is the case in this photo. This indicated that the skew-t graph is potentially partially representative of what is going on in the image despite the fact that it’s measuring Western Slope weather as opposed to Front Range weather. A time lapse video of the fog pictured can be seen below as well, illustrating the undulating gravity and buoyancy forces at play causing the valley to look like a sea of fog.

The Skew-T Graph for 6pm on the night of September 10th, 2022 in Grand Junction, CO. This is the closest skew-T for both time and location to the image.

Time-lapse video of the fog seen in my primary Clouds 1 image. This was captured from the same area but a few hours prior over a period of approximately 25 minutes.
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7 Comments. Leave new

  • Robert Cooper
    Oct 22, 2022 20:50

    I want to camp there! The fog looks so unreal in the timelapse its like you’re looking at an ocean of clouds. The way it behaves, has waves, and crashes against the mountains is beyond cool.

    Reply
  • Maridith Stading
    Oct 10, 2022 13:03

    You did a really great job with this image, especially at night, it is a very interesting and beautiful image.

    Reply
  • Kendall Shepherd
    Oct 10, 2022 13:02

    I really like the variety of colors in this photo. The orange glow of the tent is really cool and adds a lot of contrast. One question I have is what altitude this photo was taken at? I also really like that you can stars in the sky.

    Reply
  • Kelsie Kerr
    Oct 10, 2022 13:00

    Seeing clouds at night is really cool! I like the tent in the photo because it does add contrast between the dark sky and the dark ground.

    Reply
  • Will Dietz
    Oct 10, 2022 12:58

    I really like the lighting in this image. The light off of the tent contrasts against the dark ground which contrasts against the bright clouds and light sky. The softness of the clouds really adds to a sense of tranquility.

    Reply
  • Lana Pivarnik
    Oct 10, 2022 12:56

    This is a great image. It reminds me of looking at the sea from a coastline, the clouds are not the most prominent part of the image, but they really locate the image well. The nighttime moon in the background illuminates the clouds well.

    Reply
  • Ryan Wells
    Oct 10, 2022 12:56

    I really like this image because of the view above the clouds which is a very unique view. Also, being able to see the shape of the clouds form to the mountains and valleys below you is amazing.

    Reply

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