Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Spectacular cirrus

click photo to enlarge
As my wife and I cycled past a wind farm the other morning we saw that the turbines were stationary. Well, almost, because we've discovered that the blades never quite stop rotating, though sometimes it's so slowly that it's hard to notice. We were out to find any dead and dried wayside plants that would be suitable for arranging in a vase. A virtually wind-free morning seemed a good time for the outing. I took a few shots of the turbines, some teasels, and other things that took my fancy. Then, our work done, we set off back home.

On the return journey I noticed that the wind speed had increased a little, and looking up I saw it had been stirring the high level clouds. In fact it had made an awe-inspiring arrangement of varied patterns. The best looking clouds were quite high in the sky, so I decided to photograph them along with the top of a single turbine. They are great examples of some of the forms that cirrus (Latin for curl, fringe or tuft) clouds can take. When I viewed the image on my computer I could see that some might think they are "Photoshopped" clouds, the result of my imaginings, or perhaps artful deformations of less spectacular formations. I can assure you they're not - in fact WYSIWIS (what you see is what I saw)! However, I did feel that traditional black and white with a digital equivalent of the old high contrast "red filter" would show them off to best effect, and to that small extent I have "enhanced" them. So here they are - one of nature's spectacles that quite made my morning!

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 14mm (28mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/640
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On