August skies

August 12, 2019  •  5 Comments

After nourishing rains over the weekend, a deep and broad fog rolled in, covering the land.  I saw a patch of brown to the south that normally wasn't there, and I waited for it to move, suspecting an elk was grazing.  It was a buck mule deer with antlers taking a morning stroll through the sagebrush.  All of nature seemed pleased with the rain.  Anyone who has lived in New Mexico or visited for any length of time knows that the sky never fails to delight, especially in August. Although thunderstorms are frequently "isolated" or "widely scattered" in meteorological terms, their development is fascinating. During two different shoots this weekend, I followed the sky with my cameras (wide shots with the Nikon D5200, details with the D800 and 70-200 mm lens). The winds and relative moisture created some real drama.  A rough ride, no doubt, for those flying.


The photograph below shows two thunderstorm "anvils" that lacked the moisture to bring rain to the ground, but enough to produce a wild sky painting.

cloud action 2cloud action 2


There is a lot going on in the sky here.  The different layers of clouds almost look as if they are competing for space and substance as they mixed to make rain.

cloud actioncloud action


Things continued to build here.  As Fred says "I'd flip on the 'fasten seat belt' sign, and turn ten degrees right."  

In other words, get the heck around that puppy.

cloud action 3cloud action 3


One of the keys to cloud photography is to keep scanning the entire sky.  Things change quickly when storms are brewing.  The black and white shot below is similar to the one above, but taken a few minutes later.  The sky was getting darker, the clouds becoming moodier.  

And then it rained.

cloud action black and whitecloud action black and white


Glad so many of you enjoyed last week's sunflowers, including Dave O. (who grew up with them), Claudia, Catherine, Jean and Sam, Lucia, Ingrid, Steve, Annie, Barbara, Pauli, and Victoria.

until next Monday,


a passion for the [email protected]


Steve Immel(non-registered)
Our clouds are like no other and you've done them proud. That each cloud is a one off is some kind of miracle. Love the dervish up top. It's such an intricate pattern. And the darker the blue the better for me so the monochrome with the nearly black sky knocks me out. A super set, Daryl.
Lucia P Ortiz y Garcia(non-registered)

These photos are a reminder that if one wishes to view New Mexico's panoramic beauty one must look UP, even when clouds promise torrential rain with winds that splatter heavy water every which way even into house vents that send streamlets of water down an inside wall. Yet there is beauty in that.
Wayne Gesterfield(non-registered)
I sooo love cloud pictures.
You have some very nice ones.

We are getting some good ones here too.
Our sunsets have been particularly good with nice clouds.
Connie Taylor(non-registered)
A Lenny Foster hanging image on my wall was taken somewhere North of Pilar Hill and the stately piñon.(now dead). The horizon line is a panorama os Tres Orejas north to San Antonio, my homeland for 30 years. The clouds are amazing, like your captures. The image is entitled, “The Dream of the Illuminated Self”. Sam printed an entire 4x4 box of cloud pics as a coffee table presentation. It became dog eared over time. He had an entire hard drive of clouds. We are so fortunate to have this best of all years for moisture, plants, animals and clouds.
Fred Barraza(non-registered)
Love those clouds.
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