Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Posts Tagged ‘clouds and sky

Ya Think They Grow Apples Here?

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We were driving northbound on Interstate 81 in Virginia when I spotted this water tank in Mount Jackson. I could be wrong, but something tells me that the locals here take great pride in growing apples.



Winter Clouds Over the Perry Power Plant

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We were driving eastbound on Interstate 90 when I noticed an unusual cloud in the otherwise clear skies.

The water vapor emanating from the Perry nuclear power plant near the shore of Lake Erie was going straight up for a short distance and then hooking to the south, creating a cloud that appeared to have a 90-degree angle.

It was an interesting sight, but I didn’t think at the time to attempt to photograph it. We had other things in mind to capture with our cameras.

But later in the day we found ourselves at a beach along the lake in the town of Fairport Harbor. By now the winds had shifted from northerly to southwesterly.

The nature of the cloud over the power plant was changing to create stems in two directions. This time I did make an image of the power plant and its clouds across the frozen waters of Lake Erie.

Written by csanders429

January 23, 2018 at 8:19 am

Last Red Light of Day

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The sunset over the mountains near Sedona, Arizona, had already been pretty spectacular, turning the clouds fiery red making them resemble cotton candy.

We faced a long drive back to Phoenix that would turn out longer than we expected due to heavy traffic congestion on Interstate 17 that we would later learn is routine on weekends.

But I couldn’t resist getting a parting shot of the brilliant colors of the clouds during one of the most memorable sunsets that I’ve photographed.


It’s Gonna Be a Great Day

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I’m heading eastbound in the pre-darkness hours on U.S. Route 22 east of Pittsburgh.  Somewhere beyond Blairsville, Pennsylvania, I got a glimpse of the sun rising over the Allegheny Mountains.

My destination was central Pennsylvania for an all-day fall foliage photography outing.

It was one of the more colorful sunrises that I’ve seen and I had to pull over where I could get a clear view. I’m glad I did because it got the day off to a good start.


Anniversary of a Dramatic Sunset

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One year ago today I created what may be the most dramatic sunset photographs I’ve ever made.

We were staying at a bed and breakfast northeast of Tucson, Arizona, at the home of a couple that had some land. Therefore, I had some open views of the surrounding landscape, which includes the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Saguaro cactus plants are a mainstay of the Sonoran Desert though they tend to do best on steep, rocky slopes.

Our hosts had a number of tall saguaros and I walked around their property looking for a suitable one to use to frame my images.

There was a cloud cover that was, fortunately for me, moving on. Ken said those clouds would yield a nice red sunset.

He proved to be right. The skies to the west were clear, but the edge of the cloud cover was still overhead.

That was key because it is not the sun itself but the reflection of light from the setting sun that creates the spectacular and dramatic colors that give a sunset its stark beauty.

From a scientific perspective, what we see  are light rays reflecting and then scattering after hitting particles of dust, water droplets and ice crystals.

Scientists say that the colors produced by light depend on how far it has to travel and at sunset that path is farther than it is in the middle of the day.

In short, what we are seeing is a filtering effect. Colors tend to be more vivid in skies that are dry, clean and contain smaller particles. This image was made in October when the air tends to be drier and cleaner.

From a photography standpoint, I’ve noticed that getting good sunset images takes patience as well as the ability to react quickly.

The dramatic colors of sunset don’t last long. They can peak and be gone in a matter of minutes. Maybe it is my imagination, but they seem to vanish much faster than they appeared.

But that’s probably a result of the run-up time to the sunset, which is often going to be long as you have to get in position for nature’s show and then wait for it.

And what a show nature can put on when conditions are right.


Cactus and Sunset

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The sun will soon be going down over the Santa Catalina Mountains that surround Tucson, Arizona, and the host of the bed and breakfast where we were staying has indicated that it should produce a spectacular sunset.

That will occur in a few minutes, but in the meantime, I’m trying out some other angles to capture the last of the sun on this splendid October day.

This three-image sequence works with two separate saguaro cactus plants to show the progression of the sunset.

I was fortunate to have the edge of a cloud cover that moved on at the right time. It would be the presence of those clouds that would make this sunset so dramatic.


Tracks to the Sun

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We were staying at a bed and breakfast in Tucson, Arizona, that is operated by a guy who has passion for trains.

He and his wife own an expansive piece of property and Ken has placed a garden railway on it.

The tracks thread their way over the desert floor around cactus and other plants.

The sun will be setting soon and the rails appear to be beckoning travelers to take a journey toward the sunset.