Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mackerel Sky Morning

It was a good day for altocumulus.  I saw a quintessential mackerel sky.  It was a good day for trotting and brisk walking, too, and I hadn't planned to stop and do any photography.  I'm glad I had my iPhone in my pocket, though, because a few brief pauses netted me some interesting shots.

Here's the obligatory photo of my dog Ziva admiring the view.  Well, actually she's looking off into the weeds, probably having smelled something of interest.  I'm just glad that she was amenable to some quick stops for pics on the way home, because her influence was mostly along the lines of "come on, move your butt faster, I want to catch up to that jogger/bicyclist/squirrel!"

This was a scene where I knew the little phone camera couldn't possibly record the dynamic range of the scene (dark to light).  Biasing the exposure toward the sky and letting the trees become silhouetted gave me what I hoped for.  The area around the sun is still "blown out" to white without gradations of tone, what!  I rather like the appearance of an explosive fireball within the cloud puffs.

The next two images are both processed from one shot.  The first version is cropped and adjusted to feature what caught my eye in the first place: a colorful cluster with another stalk curving around it like a frame.  I had to use a lot of shadow recovery to delineate this area clearly and retrieve the colors of the leaves.

The second version is closer to what appeared "straight out of the camera", with the bottom cropped away to turn a horizontal image into a vertical, and with contrast and color saturation strengthened.  The drama of this approach satisfies me more than the one above.

My final shot took advantage of a slightly less intense sun behind the clouds, and a more complete block from a tree.  This let me get the tones and colors in the sky.  The position of the blue sky patches low in the scene worked nicely, for my taste.



  1. The sky is no limit for your spectacular photos, thanks for sharing these!

    1. It's my pleasure to share with appreciative viewers!

  2. Ah, the illusive popcorn ceiling clouds (with butter and salt)!

    1. Ah, those popcorn ceilings that replaced good plastering, and repairability! Just blow it on in five minutes and let future generations suffer with the results after the first leak or ceiling fixture replacement! But I love watching clouds, with or without popcorn, and...olive oil! And it's always fun to imagine different things in cloud formations, including animals.


You may comment anonymously if you wish. Comments are moderated. Spam will be blocked or removed.