Photo Op

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

As regular readers of this blog know, I’m a big fan of sky and cloud photographs. So photographically speaking, the cold weather brings at least one good thing – we’re entering the season of nacreous clouds.

Nacreous are among the rarest of clouds, they are mostly visible two hours after sunset or before dawn when they shine brightly with vivid and slowly shifting iridescent colors. Compared with most lower altitude clouds, nacreous clouds stand almost still - an indicator of their great height (some 9 -16 miles high). Their brightness is because at those heights they are still sunlit. They can be found mostly at high latitudes like Scandinavia, Iceland, Alaska and Northern Canada. However, they do occur as far south as New England.

Photographing clouds is a tricky thing – it takes a special vision to make something that’s more than just pretty pictures. But as Alfred Stieglitz, Eliot Porter, Richard Misrach, and even Bruce Weber have shown, there are always ways to make a personal statement out of the ephemeral.


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