Lens-Artists Challenge #250 – Skyscapes/Cloudscapes

clouds, stormy, LaQuinta
Threatening Clouds, La Quinta, California

“Whisper your dream to a cloud. Ask the cloud to remember it.”

Yoko Ono

This week Amy asks us to share images of cloudscapes that have stricken our fancy enough to draw our lenses. Ive opened with a recent image from a visit with friends in California. I remember distinctly the moment we saw these clouds floating threateningly toward the nearby mountains. They reminded me of clouds I’d seen in South America called lenticular clouds {Image here). While appealing to photographers they are known to cause severe turbulence which can often affect air traffic.

Likewise, as shown below, I have a vivid memory of an evening we spent with friends on a lake in Montana. I’d never seen anything like it. The sky was alight with brilliant red clouds due to continuous lightning strikes, all reflected on the water. It was a mesmerizing, thrilling spectacle – which fortunately was happening miles away.

boats, sky, clouds, storm,
Fire in the Sky, Whitefish Montana

“I could not think of anything but ways to describe the sky, the clouds, the light.”

Gwendoline Riley

From the archives, I’ll admit the image below was purely a stroke of luck. My husband and I were visiting Jackson Hole’s Grand Teton National Park and had run to the visitors’ center as frightening clouds gathered around us. I’d been photographing the park and had my camera in hand as huge lightening strikes filled the sky. I was fortunate to capture one of them, shown below.

lightning, clouds, weather
Striking, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

“Mirth is like a flash of lightning that breaks through a gloom of clouds and glitters for a moment.”

Joseph Addison

Apparently I’m drawn to stormy skies as they’re also featured in the image below. Captured last summer during our visit to North Carolina, this one brought plenty of rain but was gone as quickly as it appeared.

storm, clouds, sky, mountains
Storm Approaching, Sugar Mountain, North Carolina

“Sunlight streamed through grumbling storm clouds that played like tiger kittens around the mountain ridges.”

Jane Wilson-Howarth

For the last of my travel images, I’m including a bizarre cloud formation captured during a family reunion in Bethany Beach, Delaware. The scene drew my eye both because of the odd cloud configuration, and because I was astounded by the family that remained despite the oncoming storm.

storm, beach, clouds, rain
Eternal Optimists, Bethany Beach, Delaware

“Whatever the clouds plan to do; I always trust in the sun which never fails to come out.”

Munia Khan

Lest you should think otherwise, here on Kiawah we too have our cloudy days. Fortunately, they are fairly infrequent and for the most part, pass quickly. I’ll close with a few of my favorite local cloudscapes.

clouds, sky, fisherman, Kiawah Island
Fast Fleeing Fisherman, Kiawah Island
Kiawah, Ocean Course, storm, clouds
Golfers Beware, Kiawah Island Ocean Course
kiwis, clouds, sky, ocean
Clouds At Sea, Kiawah Island
cloud, sky, Kiawah, Ocean Course
Feather Cloud, Ocean Course, Kiawah Island

“No cloud is ever in the same place. Each day is a new masterpiece.”

Sanober Khan

Thanks to Amy for the opportunity to visit some of our favorite skies; we hope you’ll join us by sharing yours. Be sure to link them to Amy’s post here and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to appear in our reader. Thanks also to those who responded to John’s Art in the Park challenge last week. It was so much fun seeing such creative works from around the world. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week at noon EST when Anne leads us on her beautiful Slow Shutter Speed blog. Until then, as always please stay safe, be kind and enjoy the journey.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.


102 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #250 – Skyscapes/Cloudscapes

  1. Pingback: Lens-ArtistPC-250-Skyscapes-Cloudscapes – WoollyMuses

    • Thanks Siobhan – it really was quite something. And the feather cloud (my name for it, nothing official!) was SO unique, honestly it stopped me dead in my tracks.

  2. You have an eye for the sky ~ great opening shot, looks like the beginning of a futuristic/Bladerunner type movie… what a surreal sky. Also, very surprised to see a photo of Flathead Lake you took at Whitefish (one of my favorite places) and Jackson Hole (yet another :-)) I’m happy to see the West Coast is represented so well here… and the Jackson Hole capture, wow. It must have been an amazing feeling just to see the storm, and then another kind of amazing when you looked at what you had captured in your camera!

    • Greetings Randall, and thanks 😊. Maybe one of these days we’ll be in Whitefish at the same time – how fun would that be?! We have good friends there and may visit them this summer. That storm was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen – truly frightening but exquisite to watch. The opener was one of many images I made of the sky in Palm Desert this spring. There were quite a few really pink ones but they just looked too photoshopped even tho they weren’t so I didn’t include them. BTW have you seen the P/S beta that’s out using AI ? It’s incredible. Not sure how we’ll ever know what’s real and what’s not any moe 😱

  3. An absolutely gorgeous selection, Tina! We don’t have that violent weather here, so I would love to see it with my own eyes! Favourites are the lightening shot and …all the others. Outstandingly captivating!

  4. Such beautiful pictures of a variety of different skies! I especially love your opening shot, the lightening strike and the sky by Kiawah’s beach! Wonderful choices!

  5. There are a lot of unique cloudscapes in your gallery, Tina. A feather? Wow. It would have been easy to miss as I think most people are looking at the clouds, not the blue like in your photo.

    To capture the lightening. That must be a favorite of yours. And how nice of it to strike in the right section of town for your photo. I love Jackson Hole, and that photo was pretty special. The horizon at Whitefish Lake was pretty impressive too.

    Eternal Optimists was a great capture. Lot’s going on in the photo, but I think I would have stayed too. It was so serene. My mom used to have a rule for us when we were on the beach. If we heard thunder or saw lighting, we were not allowed to wait for the second boom or flash. Until that time…play on.

    A great gallery, Tina.

  6. Wow! The Feather clouds and the Lightning strike are amazing captures Tina. Like you I am attracted to stormy skies though I do like to see the big fluffy white ones too!

  7. What an amazing capture of the lightning! Perfect timing, even if you already have the camera in your hand. That’s a beautiful terrain, too. The other top standout is Sugar Mountain. A cloud formation like this can make a moment last forever.

    • Many thanks Dan – the Sugar Mt skies were incredible, as was the torrential rain that followed them! Fortunately we were near a restaurant and it was lunch time so it all worked out quite well 😊

  8. You are certainly drawn to clouds and skies, Tina! These are quite stunning especially the way these were captured with oncoming storms. That lighting shot is amazing (One of my bucket list catches)! I also love the one at Whitefish (we hope to head that way this summer)! We get a good show of crazy clouds here, too, and a good reminder to keep my lens handy–spring storms are far from over!

    • Many thanks Terri – I’m not really much of a cloud watcher but have been captivated by some amazing ones. Catching the lightning was a rare moment (from the safety of a large window!) and the storm in Whitefish was frighteningly gorgeous. It’s a beautiful place, hope you get out there!

  9. Wow, so many fabulous skies here Tina! That opening shot is a stunner, and the one from Jackson Hole even more so (you shouldn’t have admitted that it was a fluke 😆 ) I also love the beach scene, with that family perfectly positioned beneath the break in the clouds, and the feather cloud that you finished with. Great post!

    • Thanks Sarah – happily when we visit friends in California I’m up for sunrise because of the time change so I took many early morning sky images. That was one of my favorites. As for the fluke, I was lucky that the visitor center had a huge window through which I made that image. There was SO much lightning it would have been hard NOT to capture one LOL. The feather was the most unusual cloud I’ve ever seen. It literally stopped me in my tracks.

    • Thanks Andre. That “feather cloud” as I personally named it was so gorgeous in person, the photo doesn’t do it justice. We were out for a round of golf on Kiawah’s Ocean Course and we just had to stop in our tracks to really look at it. I was so happy I had my iPhone with me. Probably doesn’t help my game but I’ll admit I use it when nature makes an extraordinary appearance.

  10. There’s no way I’d be so lucky as to catch a lightning strike. Great luck. I’ve thought about getting one of those devices that trigger a camera to capture lightning… but then I decided I’m not sure I want to be outside with all of that electricity flying around. 🙂

    Seriously, a beautiful gallery of skies. Besides the lightning image, I think my favorite is that gorgeous sky at Whitefish.

    • Thanks John – the lightning luck was that we ran to the visitor center which had a huge window overlooking the park so I was able to shoot away without being in danger! A rare opportunity and I very much agree with you about being out in a storm. I also think the camera traps are a bit hokey and not really photography but I’m a bit of a snob on that LOL. The Whitefish image, on the other hand, may be evidence that maybe we should have taken shelter just a bit earlier than we did. Got a good dousing on that one !!

    • Many thanks Margaret. I was lucky on the lightning because the visitors’ center we read to had a humongous window overlooking the park so I could see the lightning as it appeared. At home I’d have to be out in the storm to have such a wide view and that is NOT happening!!

  11. I wish I knew more about clouds after this wonderful challenge, and thank you for that extra link. Your photos are something else, Tina. There’s drama but there’s also colour and depth and composition. The lightning is obviously awesome but so are all the other less flashy (pun intended…). So much to enjoy here. They might have been stormy, but I sure wish I was there to see them.

    • Thanks for that lovely comment Sofia, very much appreciated. Interestingly most of my travel images were made with my camera but my Kiawah images are primarily done with my iPhone because I always have it with me. Crazy how far technology has come!

  12. Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #250: Skyscapes/Cloudscapes – Calling-all-RushBabes

  13. Goodness me Tina. By the end I think I ran out of wows and OMG’s. Right from the start to then get to lightning!!! what a photo. Soime serious cloud stuff happening here 👍😀

  14. Spectacular images, Tina.  I’m a cloud lover.😎


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  15. The seascape offers so much variety … literally a constantly changing work in progress! While we may love the clear day, clouds make the sky – and you demonstrated this very well. For me, my favorite here is a no-doubter … the second one …. hills, water, and sky …. the clouds, the burning horizon, the reflective water … great capture, Tina!

    • Many thanks Frank. That was SOME storm that evening – truly frightening. We watched the skies for quite a while until it was apparent we were about to be soaked and threatened by it, at which point we sought safety. But it was really something to see. I was SO glad I had my camera with me that evening.

  16. Wowza, Tina! Every single one of these is amazing. I had to shake my head at the people on the beach with those huge storm clouds overhead…must be tourists. 😆
    I Googled and there is a cloud appreciation society, but their photos (the ones I could see) are just meh. Nothing like yours. They’d make you president of the club. 😉

    • LOL, I always wanted to be president Lois…..NOT!!! Glad you enjoyed these and thanks for the lovely compliment.. I had fun considering which of my zillions of cloud images to choose for the week 😊

  17. W.O.W., Tina! The first image is dramatic, Threatening Clouds, indeed. The Striking, what a stunning view!
    Beautiful beach clouds.

    • Thanks Ms. L. LOL, I suppose if there were one I’d be in it! The feather cloud was amazing. It was during one of our very rare girls golf days at the Ocean Course. As usual I was better at photography than golf 😊

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