Dec 6, 2007

What Do You See In The Clouds?

The clouds are one of the mind's greatest toys.

The human mind as you well know, being an owner of one yourself, is a prime finder of patterns and shapes in things. Our brains are geared from our hunter ancestors to pattern recognition, so now when we gaze up at the clouds we can see sailing ships, an ocean, and maybe even some of those big-titted mermaids doing some of that lesbian ...wait, sorry, that was Jay in Mallrats.

We can also see clouds doing some really interesting things overall. A few days ago I took a few photos of aircraft contrails that were both eerily intact and very prolific. This morning at 7:30, cold and clear out, I hopped on Betty, idled to the end of the driveway and start driving to work. I made it about one block before I had to park and get the camera out.

(Everyone can see these photos in the Atmospherics set on my Flickr account in full size. This is a clickable link for anyone, whether you have a Yahoo/Flickr account or not, so help yourself. I'm going to upload two of them here in a more manageable size, but you can see the full size and all four as well as other sky photos of mine on Flickr.)

This one I took from my road.

Clouds With Red Barn

This one is taken from my office parking lot not five minutes later, and no more than four miles as the crow flies from the first shooting point. Same lighting conditions, same camera settings, same filters and same angle to within perhaps a single degree. The only differences are the horizontal/vertical of me holding the camera, a slight variation in the shape and dispersal of the cloudlings, and the buildings I included to give the sky some scale. I have not altered them digitally in any way except to resize these to make them more viewable.

Clouds With Silos

The rational part of me knows that those things are nothing more than water vapor that's too light to fall as rain, suspended in very cold air. The primal part of me can FEEL them racing across the sky. It's impossible to tell from the photos, since I don't have a lens with THAT wide an angle but the span ran from horizon to horizon and took up a good third of the sky. It was impossibly big, startlingly humbling.*

What interests me is that the two photos of the same thing seem, to me at least, to tell two VERY different stories, to have two very different feelings. And what I want you to do is tell me what YOU feel when you look at them. After everyone who wants to has had a chance to comment I'm going to come back and tell you what I feel when I look at them. And which one I'm thinking about having blown up to 24" x 36" and framed. *G*

* Post scriptum: The entire show, all those gorgeous clouds, that awe-inspiring shape and form it had was gone half an hour after I took the last photographs from my office parking lot. The sky was perfectly clear, not a single fragment left when I brought the mail out to get another glimpse of it. Damned but life is fleeting.


Nancy Dancehall said...

Farms always make photos look warmer.

Shao said...

Those're CHEM trails!

Vulgar Wizard said...

. . . madness . . . takes its toll . . .

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I'm a sky watcher.
I LOVE seeing the clouds from the top side, when I fly over them, especially when there is moon light all over them; it looks like snowy meadows as far as the eye can see.

And... to be fair, Salvador Dali's artwork is a pretty fair playground for the mind as well.

Merry Christmas!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore