I have always wanted to photograph lenticular clouds (commonly know as pancake or UFO clouds), but around here lenticulars tend to form over the Sierra Nevadas. I am usually in the foothills, but even with a 200mm lens, they are just a bit too far off in the distance. Fortunately, we have had a surprising storm system roll through the past two days to break the string of warm days in the 80s and 90s. This disruption in the weather pattern brought along another surprise – lenticular clouds over southern Sacramento and northern San Joaquin Counties. Though not completely isolated and distinct enough for those out-of-this-world type photographs, these clouds are fun to look at and shoot.
(click through on the image to view in 700px)
While the idea was to find either rolling hills with one tree or none to provide the foreground point of interest and potential leading lines, the area I drove through did not cooperate. So I am forced to shoot clouds with and land features as context. Not optimal. The great thing about lenticulars is the fact that they really do not move across the sky like normal clouds. I suppose I could try to explain how these formations occur and why they do not visually move, but that would be futile. Instead, go ahead and read the Wikipedia entry on these clouds.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, ISO 100, 135mm, f/11, 1/60 sec
Ione (CA), Lenticular Clouds, Monochrome. Ione, Amador County, California. May 16, 2013. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.