Tag Archives: cloud

Comparison of Cloud Formation and Development

I may be stuck in the house during work hours but the view out of the window doesn’t have to be totally ignored.  We have had a bunch of changeable weather recently and I have been shooting time lapses of the clouds.  The M6 works well for this but I have been using my fisheye lens on the M adaptor to get a wide view of what is going on out there.  It has proved to be interesting as a review the footage later.  Some of the skies have lots of activity while others don’t.

Sometimes we get the winds pulling the clouds across the sky but the overcast is thick and the lack of heat on the ground means that the clouds are pretty stable.  On other days we get almost constant development and dissipation of the clouds.  We are on a hill so we can get quite localized development around us.  Sometimes you have lower level clouds going one way and higher level clouds heading somewhere else.

I put together a video that includes a variety of clips from these time lapses to show how different things can be on different days (or even at different times of the same day!).

Backblaze Online Backup

After asking a few people on Facebook for experience with online backups, I have recently committed to using Backblaze to provide a separate backup of my entire data.  There is a NAS backup system I use as well as BluRay disc based backups but all of these are in the same place so are vulnerable to a single event taking them out.  Having an online service was something I had contemplated for a while but finally I have done something about it.

I picked Backblaze because they have an unlimited data plan for about $70 per annum.  I could use Amazon Prime for some of it but their plans are quite specific and the add ones become quite expensive.  Backblaze is all in.  I have about 13Tb of data currently.  I switched my Xfinity plan to unlimited for the upload phase.  I have a good connection so, after about 14 days of uploading, I was about halfway through so it should be done within a month.  I shall then see what the impact on bandwidth is going forward.

I have already had cause to use it.  I had a hard drive failure in my desktop.  Almost everything on it was already backed up but it turns out there were a couple of folder on there which, while recreateable, were lost initially.  Fortunately, Backblaze had already backed them up so I was able to get them back quickly and easily.  I hope I don’t need it again but having the entire system backed up will make me feel a lot more comfortable and having it constantly working in the background will be easy.

Misty Morning In Index

During my time off, we made a trip across the Cascades.  It’s not uncommon to find it misty/foggy as we drive from home towards the mountains in the morning.  As you get a little higher, you come out of the mist but the clouds will still be hanging on the sides of the mountains.  We stopped off in the little town of Index for a quick break.  The town sits right under some large cliff faces making it a popular place to climb.

On this morning, climbing would have been a bit of a cold and damp affair but, as the day wore on, it would have been lovely I imagine.  I liked the morning, though, with the clouds swirling around the hillsides.  It looks at first as if the area is still with the mist hanging over everything but, if you pay attention, it is clear just how much the clouds are swirling around with ever changing areas exposed or covered.  It is quite entrancing.

Evening Cloudscapes

As the sun starts to set, the clouds that are a regular feature of the Pacific Northwest start to have a benefit.  They can be lit in all sorts of interesting ways and it is slightly lazy but still worthwhile to get shots of them.  The levels of contrast in the shot are fine with the naked eye but a bit of a stretch for a camera sensor.  It can do a decent enough job but it is the sort of thing where bracketing for HDR might give you more to work with so I did give that a go.

Clouds over Mt Rainier

On one of my days off – taken in order to get my PTO balance down – I headed out for some aviation exploration.  The weather on this day was not great but, since I had struck it lucky on some of my other days off, I guess the odds were bound to swing the other way at some point.  While it was cloudy in Seattle, looking south to Mt Rainier, the sun was out on the mountain.  That didn’t mean it was cloud free, though.  There was a lot of cloud forming over the summit as the wind blew through so I shot a few images to make a pano of the mountain.  It would have been a great day to fly around the mountain but sadly that wasn’t to be.

Clouds Over Rainier

If you live in the Seattle to Tacoma area, you get familiar with the phrase “the mountain is out” or “in”.  This refers to Mt Rainier which can be shrouded in cloud or out in the sun.  As a 14,000’ mountain, it is the most obvious landmark around here.  It also drives its own weather systems so the clouds on the mountain are always worth a look.  Not so long ago, I was quite taken by the cloud development over the mountain which was a bit different to what I am used to seeing.  The boat in the front was not helpful but I wanted to get a shot of the mountain so went for it.

Dreamlifter in the Early Mist

My buddy Paul was visiting so we had a day out looking for some interesting shot opportunities.  We started off the day at Paine Field before the sun was really up.  A Dreamlifter was due in and we figured we would give it a try.  However, as we drove towards Everett, the fog was pretty thick.  The field is on the top of the hill so we thought it might be clear, but things did not look promising as we got closer.  The low cloud was also blocking off the sun that was just above the horizon which, given that it would have been backlighting the jet, might have been a bonus.

The Dreamlifter came out of the cloud very late on the approach and I was able to grab a few shots of it as it emerged.  It was a rather ethereal look as it came into view.  The dampness of the air meant that the plane was pulling vortices as it floated across the threshold and in to the touchdown zone.  Conditions might not have been the sort of thing that sounded good, but the result was a really cool shot opportunity.  As the plane taxied in to park, we got more shots of it although there was one that would have been fantastic, but Paul only spotted it when it was too late and I didn’t see it at all.  I won’t say what it was but maybe there will be another chance in which case you will see it here!

Mt Rainier Just Before Sunrise

I was heading east for a work trip that needed an early start.  We got airborne from SeaTac before the sun came up and turned to the east after departure.  We were heading towards what I thought should be Mt Rainier.  However, I couldn’t see the mountain.  I could see a cloud that was above the majority of the cloud bank which I assumed was the mountain but I couldn’t be sure.

As we came around the south side I was able to see that the cloud was indeed once that was forming over the windward side of Mt Rainier.  The east side of the mountain was uncovered and, even though the sun had not yet come up, the early light was enough to give a view of the mountain.  I was using the M6 which is not so great in low light but, even so, I was able to get some shots of the mountain as the plane headed on its way.

Changing Landscapes By The Second

The weather while we were in Jackson was rather variable. Our first day was pretty sunny but it clouded over and the second day had clouds constantly moving through.  You would get patches of sun showing up periodically but it was generally overcast.  As you looked to the hillsides surrounding the valley, there was hardly a moment when things were constant.  Light might pick out the terrain briefly and then a cloud would roll in and obscure the view completely.  There was always something different to see.  Even though the conditions were not great, it was still gorgeous to watch the constant evolution.