Morning clouds

I really like the monsoon, unless I’m trying to land in it..the monsoon means clouds, loads and loads of big fluffy clouds. Of course they are not clouds you want to visit, or even get too close to, but upwind, at a safe distance, they’re beautiful.




They are also quite photogenic, especially in the morning or evening. The Bay of Bengal is a prime spot at this time of year, along with the area south of Indonesia, enroute to Australia, which is where these were taken. 


Dead cb’s


This one was really interesting, as it shows a Cb (Cumulo Nimbus) flattening out at the tropopause. The invisible made visible as LTCE, one of my Flickr contacts, commented on my Flickr stream.




One of my ongoing projects is photographing thunderstorms at night. I keep meaning to buy a Lightning Trigger, but meanwhile have been experimenting with hand-held exposures using the lightning as a flashgun. To do this, you need a very dark night, otherwise the clouds appear blurred. I have had most success using two prime lenses on my K5; a Sigma 24mm Super-Wide II f2.8, and a Pentax smc-A 50mm f1.4. Both lenses I set at infinity focus, using f2.8 on the Sigma and f2 on the Pentax. I set ISO at 200 or 400, depending on how much light I am expecting to get from the lightning, and between 2 and 3 seconds exposure. I then watch the storm and try to work out how often it’s flashing. I look through the viewfinder to get a reasonable composition from a “test flash”, then start shooting. Results have been mixed.


Here’s an early attempt from last years monsoon


Monsoon lightning



I was very lucky to get this shot last year of a Blue Starter, which is a straight bolt of lightning travelling vertically upwards. They are still not very well understood, and I believe this is only the second image of one taken from an aircraft. Quite bizarrely, the first one was taken from an identical aircraft in the same area three weeks prior to this shot.



Both of these were taken in the Bay of Bengal.




Lastly, here’s one from last week, also from the Bay of Bengal.





Be back soon, meanwhile, keep the blue side up!


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