Orange Light in Queenstown

Do you have a favorite cloud type?

Is this like Barbara Walters asking what kind of tree would you be? Gosh I hope not… But, maybe being someone that looks at the skies a lot, then you might have a particular cloud type that you find particularly appealing?

Daily Photo – Orange Light in Queenstown

I was driving back to the house we rented in Kelvin Heights, a little peninsula that sticks out into the lake, and I saw the potential for this light. I’ve only seen it about a dozen times in my life. It happens when there is a localized area of flat-white clouds but a perfectly clear horizon. It means the sun will dip below the clouds and cast an interesting color up on the bottom of the clouds. The reason this doesn’t usually happen is because an overcast sky will continue on for so many miles that the sun will have no angle of incidence.

Anyway, I got lucky and the prediction came true. I was able to be ready with my tripod just in time.

Orange Light in QueenstownI was driving back to the house we rented in Kelvin Heights, a little peninsula that sticks out into the lake, and I saw the potential for this light.  I've only seen it about a dozen times in my life.  It happens when there is a localized area of flat-white clouds but a perfectly clear horizon.  It means the sun will dip below the clouds and cast an interesting color up on the bottom of the clouds.  The reason this doesn't usually happen is because an overcast sky will continue on for so many miles that the sun will have no angle of incidence.Anyway, I got lucky and the prediction came true.  I was able to be ready with my tripod just in time.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this and tell me what your favorite cloud type is here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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  • Susan

    Soooo beautiful Trey – awesome….even the rocks on the beach look like gems! Love this!!

  • http://rsathya.wordpress.com Sathya

    Amazing colors and prediction :)

  • http://www.kelleybard.com Kelley Bard

    Lovely! Really makes me want to visit New Zealand, gorgeous!
    I really like clouds, as you know :) My favorite (and it’s due to HDR) is when you get very thin clouds that shine silvery with lots of holes for the blue to shine through… in HDR those look amazing- a wonderful glow. I should really learn more about what causes different clouds, weather, etc. That would be a plus being a photographer, I’m sure!

  • Patrick Ahles

    Wonderful colors, Trey! Haven’t given clouds a lot of thought, maybe I should… Now I’m off for a couple of days! Hope to get some great shots.

  • George

    Love these types of clouds. Happens fairly often on the west coast over the ocean. Of course you have to be at the beach at the right time to catch it. You did a great job of catching the colors with an interesting foreground.

  • http://none casper

    New Zealand has been hit with a polar freeze and i feel this is like icing on the cake so to say, they have had so many disasters this year.This is truely a beautiful country but sad to see these things happen to it. Lovely shot beautiful colours

  • http://Depthfromthefield.blogspot.com Dustin

    I love clouds with character. I guess I don’t look for any specific type but you know when you see something special up there. Clouds are your friends! And if you keep posting New Zealand photos, I’m gonna have to go there. So stop it haha!

  • http://www.bycostello.com bycostello

    nice pic, just that bright spot on the left…

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com Trey Ratcliff

    Thanks!

  • http://none casper

    hi

  • Siva

    There is an old steamer that runs on those waters. Would have been lovely if that ran on the waters during this shot. :)

  • http://500px.com/salah Salah

    Amazing.. lovely colors

  • http://www.fun-with-hdr.com Johannes

    WOW. nothing more to say :)

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/edenbrackstone/ Eden Brackstone

    Siva — The steamer you refer to is called the ‘Earnslaw’, a local icon & beautiful boat I have a bit of history with… I took this photo of her way back in December of last year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/edenbrackstone/5265800825/
    I’ve since reprocessed that photo, and should really out up the new version thats a lot better! I actually did a time-lapse earlier today of the mountains and had the Earnslaw cross the frame right in front of them… Quite stunning.

    Trey — I’m pretty sure this recent shot of mine is right behind the house you guys were renting while you visited… Recognize this shoreline? http://edenbrackstone.com/2011/08/jagged-shores-of-the-wakatipu/

  • http://simonmorris.me/ Simon Morris

    Wonderful shot Trey – yes, we get some pretty amazing sunsets here in NZ… stunning in fact!
    If you have the time, you may wish to flick through some of the images on my daily PhotoBlog of Canterbury (NZ) and beyond! Again, some incredible looking cloud formations – here’s just one example… bliss! :-) http://simonmorris.me/2011/07/13/drifting-along/

  • http://childress.smugmug.com Frank Childress

    Nice shot Trey .. lately my favorite clouds are any clouds. Lot of blue sky lately. If I have to choose then the wispy cirrus clouds that almost look painted when photographed. These for example http://www.childressphoto.com/Other/Wisconsin/i-dM7t95X/0/L/Blue-sunset-L.jpg

  • http://justshootingmemories.com Daryl Clark

    Trey, wonderful capture. Any clouds are better than none. However, I prefer the sporadic ones with lots of holes for the sun to stream through. I love the way the HDR process makes the beams stand out. Like this one: http://justshootingmemories.com/2011/07/30/sunset-beams/

  • http://plus.google.com/108218182177660842131/ Stanton

    Trey, I think Queenstown must have some kind of geographic or meteorological magic to it. I saw nearly the same effect when I visited in 2009. http://www.flickr.com/photos/spchampion/5276358970

    It’s a really extraordinary place.

  • john chandler

    what lens did you use?
    i see focal length is 28mm which suggests you did not use your 14-24mm lens

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com Trey Ratcliff

    Thanks!

    John – I just a 28-300 mm here

  • Lisa B

    LOVE this! And the colors on the water are gorgeous!

  • http://www.themarkeworld.com/ Marke

    Incredible shot as usual Trey! Thanks for that description of how the clouds and sun create such a beautiful scene. Very insightful. ;-)

  • http://www.kriskoeller.com Kris Koeller

    Great sunset, this is terrific!

  • http://www.flickr.com/d_lewis09 Derek

    Wow this is beautiful! The colors are awesome, I even had to show some of my coworkers here at work lol.

  • http://www.templesbytyler.com Tyler Foote

    Great shot Trey.

    I would have to say my favorite clouds are wispy ones. But the messy kind, playful almost. Not uniform. Hard to describe. They make me happy. We had some a few days ago and I have a couple of photos in the to edit box with them.

  • http://dybowski.wordpress.com Michal Dybowski

    Amazing picture…as always. My favourites type – cirrus stratus :)

  • http://www.fredbeaupre.com/ fredbeaupre

    Wow! Stunning sky and rich colors! L.O.V.E. it!

    My new photo: An accordion in a church at http://www.fredbeaupre.com/Other/HDR/12941778_evtTN#1434059750_Rhv8BPS

  • http://timetotakepictures.blogspot.com Keith Moyer

    Beautiful shot! I am a “connoisseur of clouds”. If you shoot mostly landscapes it comes with the territory. Here are some of my favorite clouds http://timetotakepictures.blogspot.com/p/my-best-work.html . I like how you mention “predicting” the clouds and sunset. You look for patterns and make an educated guess!

  • Julie

    Nicely done. The light has an eerie quality to it. The detail in the rocks is amazing. I don’t know if I can pick out a favorite cloud type. All I know, is that they often provide the opportunity for some beautiful sunsets. http://flic.kr/p/9R7MuP

  • Jeff

    Great photo, this is the kind of photo where HDR really shines in my opinion, it really captures how it feels when you’re there.

    Not really having to do with photography but I like really tall clouds, don’t really know why but clouds that are really massive top to bottom stand out to me for some reason.

  • http://www.christophersproul.smugmug.com chris sproul

    Flying in to Queenstown tomorrow from Australia, there has been huge snow storms there the last few days, can hardly wait! It’ll make for some fantastic shots :)

  • http://www.jaredwilsonphotography.com Jared Wilson Photography

    LOVE it!! This happens here in Denver, Colorado quite frequently actually! Still takes my breath away…

  • http://www.smith-photography.net Michael Smith

    Awesome colours well done!

  • John Dinneen

    I agree with Jared Wilson on this. I’m also based out of Denver and this happens maybe 60 or 70 times a year. The rock fields in the mountains to the west heat up during the day and start producing cumulus clouds about 11 AM. These move east during the afternoon. Late in the day, because of the cooling, the clouds stop forming and the gap develops between the horizon and the clouds. This allows these great sunsets. They do make great HDR shots.

  • http://michael.tyson.id.au Michael Tyson

    When we were in Italy there were a massive amount of thunderstorms and the clouds looked exactly like they do in Renaissance paintings — all big and fluffy (all the better to hide a bearded old white guy in robes).

  • http://www.squidoo.com/amplified-creatine-189 Michelle

    This is beautiful! Funny how it takes a photo to remind you to turn around and look out the frickin window because the country you call home is BEAUTIFUL. :-)

  • http://Itakephotosofclouds@wordpress.com Campbell Masters

    We get similar lugging at the top end of the South Island, I have a photo on my blog of the same type of event at Mapua, not far from Nelson. The setting sun stuck the underside of a cloud formation and turned the entire campsite we were at a burnt orange for about 15 minutes.
    Hope you will drop by and take a look at my photo if you have time

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