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Photographing Rare Clouds

Rare Occurrence of Undulus Asperatus at Sunset

Long time nut for photographing storms and clouds here. I do admit it. Been working on my “Sky” portfolio for years. On the night of June 23, 2010 we had some powerful storms roll through Michigan. Passing through early evening, we were presented with an extremely rare occurence of what is a newly designated cloud type; Undulus Asperatus clouds. I’ve only seen them just a few times in the past 20 years, but last night was the first opportunity for me to capture the images of these rare clouds.

Undulus Asperatus Clouds by Kevin L Moss

The first new cloud type to be officially designated in over 50 years, members of the Cloud Appreciation Society are pushing for official recognition of the undulating, ominous-appearing clouds.  Turbulent motions between differing air masses create undulating clouds Meteorologists have proposed that these clouds be designated as the first new cloud type to be named in over 50 years: Undulus Asperatus.

The night of July 23 was special. These clouds appeared right at dusk when the sun was hanging lower right at or below the horizon, the sky was a greenish and orange hue and changing by the minute. Having a rule of carrying a camera wherever you go would allow you to capture this moment. A neighbor was across the street with his smart phone camera. My sister was 8 miles away with her digital camera out shooting the event. Everyone who saw the outside from their homes were immediately headed outdoors to find out what was causing that magic early evening glow in the sky. I nailed it.

I grabbed my Nikon D80 off my desk, Tamron 18-270mm attached, switched it autofocus/VR mode, set the aperture to f/8 and the ISO to 400 and started shooting the event handheld, with the help of Tamron’s VR. The light changed completely 5 times within a 5 minute period. I rifled off about 50 shots in that timeframe. Different zoom settings and all utilizing VR to great results.  I was able to pull together 5 images total to add to my “SKY” portfolio in one 5-minute shoot!

Undulus Asperatus photographs by Kevin Moss

On the same evening, at the same time photographer Linda Gold shot these images with her smartphone. “One has to use what one has at their disposal” states Linda, who has had a full career as an art instructor, art historian, and artist herself. Linda has dedicated herself now toward her photography. Her latest camera (among many) is surprisingly the Nikon P100. “I live in the country outside the city limits, and spend hours shooting birds. The extra long reach of the P100 plus its lightweight size allows me to shoot for hours, utilizing Nikons vibration reduction in order to capture the birds as I pre-visualize them, while not killing my back at the same time!”.

Photographs by Linda Gold

Photographer Linda Gold, images taken with her smartphone!

You can look for Linda’s Nikon P100 review in future editions of http://digitalphotographydaily.com. Linda is also a major influence on publisher Kevin Moss’s own photographic work, “growing up viewing Linda’s painting and sculptures inspired me to pursue my own art….”.

Written by: Kevin L. Moss, Publisher of DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY DAILY

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Related posts:

  1. Photography Above the Clouds
  2. The Clouds 365 Project

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