Isolation Antidotes (12): Lucky Lenticular Luminosity

Another trip back in time. It was January 2010 (mid-summer), in the midst of a family road trip with our daughters and their families from Auckland to Ohakune (oh-ah-COO-nee), a small town on the southwestern edge of New Zealand’s National Park. We’d been exploring a hiking track that led along the banks of the Mangawhero Stream (rhymes with “John’s a hero,” and the “wh” is pronounced as “f”), which flowed down from the slopes of Mt. Ruapehu (roo-ah-PAY-hoo), one of the three volcanic peaks in the park. We had settled into the little cabin that was our home for the stay for the evening, but I went out for another look around at 9:30 pm and was rewarded with this array of lenticular (lens-shaped) clouds that had formed around and above Ruapehu’s snow-clad peak. I hastily set up my tripod, set my ISO at 250 and my aperture at 7.1 so I could get reasonable depth of focus with the trees in the foreground (although there was a fair breeze obscuring the tips of the branches), and I needed a 10-second exposure to get enough light for the exposure that I visualized. This remains one of my favorite clouds.

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Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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22 Responses to Isolation Antidotes (12): Lucky Lenticular Luminosity

  1. Vicki says:

    Superb capture and thanks for the camera settings also.
    I’m really enjoying your images from around the world. Thanks for taking the time to explore your archives and share.

    • krikitarts says:

      I’m really enjoying ferreting them out, too–although this one was pretty close to home, after all. I’ll try to make it a point to include metadata when I can. Thanks a lot, Vicki!

  2. Mike Powell says:

    That’s quite a cloud formation, Gary. I have never seen anything like it.

  3. Awesome! I’ve possibly seen one lenticular although it was not as well shaped and could have been just playing one on TV. I don’t think they happen here very often. The trees in shadow really allow us to appreciate the cloud.

    • krikitarts says:

      I can probably count on one hand the really pronounced ones I’ve seen, but a few of them have been really memorable. This and, actually, one other are pretty much a match in memory, and I may have to bring that one out of the closet as well. Clouds are worthy of a lot of serious study, and I wish I’d had (or, rather, made) more time to devote to learning more about them.

      • Back in the day, some of my friends and I would get a bit high and lie on the grass and watch the clouds morph into various shapes. One friend had a full red beard. We were at my folks and my mother prepared spaghetti for us. As we were eating I noticed that John had a bit of a saucy noodle stuck in his beard. As we looked at it the noodle started to wriggle. :-)

      • krikitarts says:

        TMI! Eeeeeww! On the other hand, are you sure it was really moving, or might that have been an offshoot or your enhanced imagination?

  4. It’s the vapour trail of Fly Saucer… Those aliens get everywhere even NZ. 😊

  5. krikitarts says:

    Haha, I had the same thought! All humor aside, though, I freely admit that there is something definitely other-worldly about these phenomena. And who’s to say that there might not be some inter-relationship with forces that some of us can only begin to imagine?

  6. shoreacres says:

    I’ve never seen one of these apart from photos, but they are spectacular. Do you know about the Cloud Appreciation Society? It’s a great site for photos, information, art, and general sharing about every sort of cloud.

  7. Adrian Lewis says:

    Wonderful cloud shot – I’d never heard of lenticular clouds – and a good story too. :)

  8. bluebrightly says:

    Amazing…I’ve seen much smaller lenticular clouds on Mt. Rainier and other mountains here, but nothing like this! I’m glad you were able to move fast and make a beautiful image. I like the little bit of light on the trees and their outlines – it provides nice context.

    • krikitarts says:

      I had to do some careful Lightroom work to bring out some of those tree details; they were pretty much completely burned out in the original image, and I’m much happier being able to see them, too. Thanks for the compliment, Lynn!

  9. Pingback: Saturday Sequel: Both Sides Now | krikitarts

  10. Easy to see why this remains one of your favorite cloud formations.

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