Cloud Fingers Over Tracy, California
September 27, 2011
On the photo above, finger-like altocumulus clouds are seen stretching across an azure blue sky. These billow clouds (undulatus) formed in atmospheric waves. They’re oriented more or less perpendicular to the wind direction. Slots between the clouds appear where the wave dips (trough). The air temperature in the wave crest (where the wave climbs) is slightly cooler than in the trough, so atmospheric water vapor more readily condenses here. Cloud droplets evaporate; however, where the wave moves the cloud into the trough. Photo taken in the late afternoon of July 31, 2011, from Tracy, California.
Photo details: Olympus E-5 camera; f/11; 1/1000 sec. exposure; ISO 200; 14 mm focal length.
West Riverside, Montana Wildfire
September 14, 2011
Photographer: Josh Birnbaum; International Year of the Forests Photography Fellow
Summary Author: Josh Birnbaum; Jim Foster
The photo above shows a view of a wildfire that’s scarred more than 3,000 acres near West Riverside, Montana. It began on August 21, 2011, perhaps as a result of a lightning strike, but the exact cause is yet to be determined. More than 500 fire personnel worked to extinguishing it — finally did so in the last days of August. As with most all mountain fires, its suppression was a challenge because of the rough, steep terrain and gusty winds. Since the Northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest areas of the U.S. have been rather wet and cool this summer, the focus of this season’s wildfires is likely to be in the tinder dry southern Great Plains. Below is a ground view of the fire in late August.
Photo details: Top – Camera Maker: Canon; Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II; Focal Length: 135mm; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0016 s (1/640); ISO equiv: 100; Exposure Bias: -0.67 EV; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: aperture priority (semi-auto); Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal. Fire – same except: Aperture: f/2.0; Exposure Time: 0.013 s (1/80); ISO equiv: 2000; Exposure Bias: -1.00 EV;
Color Space: sRGB.
- West Riverside, Montana Coordinates: 46.883, -113.888
Photographer: Stavros Hios; Stavros’s Web site
Summary Author: Stavros Hios; Jim Foster
The photo above showing the starry night sky as viewed from the village of Eglouvi on Lefkada Island, Greece was taken on June 29, 2011. The hook-shaped grouping of stars at left, dominated by brilliant 1.0 magnitude Antares, is the constellation of Scorpio. It appears that twin comets are blazing across the Heavens, but alas, it’s just a pair of Earth-bound fireflies gliding by the camera. Note that the structure in the foreground is the remnants of an ancient stone house.
Photo details: Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION; Camera Model: NIKON D3100; Lens: 18.0-135.0 mm f/3.5-5.6; Focal Length: 18mm (35mm equivalent: 27mm); Focus Distance: 3758m; Aperture: f/3.5; Exposure Time: 63.100 s; ISO equiv: 1600; Exposure Bias: +1.00 EV; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: Manual; Exposure Mode: Manual; White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No; Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB.