Undulatus Asperatus – The ‘Holy Crap’ of Cloud Formations

I’m sitting here with the wife, and she gets my attention to show me this video:

Those undulus asperatus cloud formations are nearly unbelievable to the eye.  I rubbed mine three or four times while watching that video, there are several portions where I could have sworn it was a ‘shopped job.  But, nope!

METEOROLOGYNEWS.com — In the first new cloud type to be officially designated in over 50 years, members of the Cloud Appreciation Society are pushing for official recognition of the undulating, ominous-appearing clouds.

Turbulent motions between differing air masses create undulating clouds as seen over rural Kansas in the early morning hours of April 28, 2006. Meteorologists are proposing these clouds be designated as the first new cloud type to be named in over 50 years: Undulus Asperatus.
The Cloud Appreciation Society has designated the clouds as “Undulus Asperatus” or alternatively, “Undulatus Asperatus.”  The Latin term translates loosely as “turbulent undulation.”  Such clouds are relatively rare, but have been photographed in several areas around the world.

The ominous-looking clouds have been particularly common in the Plains states of the United States, often during the morning or midday hours following convective thunderstorm activity.  These clouds are not considered a precursor to severe weather, rather appear to form following rain or thunderstorm activity.

Jane Wiggins of Cedar Rapids, Iowa recently captured several spectacular images of the new cloud type as viewed from a downtown office building.  Several of her images have recently been published by National Geographic Magazine – an honor which Wiggins does not take lightly.

“It is a bit like looking at the surface of a choppy sea from below,” said Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society, who first identified the asperatus cloud from photographs that were being sent in by members of the society.

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Well, what do you think of that?  I have to say that is some quite incredible visual magic!  Can you imagine that on the side of a convention center?

One more video, this one is freaking awesomesauce:

Too cool.

A Random Snowstorm Video to Break Up the Summer Heat

from http://media.trendland.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/simon-beck-snow-art-2.jpg

from http://media.trendland.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/simon-beck-snow-art-2.jpg

It was hot as hell this week here in Ohio. You know those mornings when you wake up feeling like you just worked a whole night loading in a show because it was so hot and humid the night before?

Yeah. I was on a summer tour where our bus driver kept forgetting to reset the air conditioner after plugging into shore power. It was July. Those mornings SUCKED!

In my quest to get all of this old video processed, here’s a few minutes of a snowstorm from Denver that I must have grabbed back in 2009… enjoy its cold frostiness!

A Random Snowstorm in Denver, 2009 from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.

Late Night Awesome – SMEAR THE SKY

We’re about to see something awesome together – these are the paintings of Matt Malloy, and what Matt does that makes his work so absolutely freaking captivating is that he takes a couple hundred time lapsed photos and stacks them in order to create some stunning visuals.

If that was a run-on sentence, it was totally worth it.  Check this out:

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From Matt’s My Modern Shop portfolio, more directly the Blazing Sunset page:

Matt Molloy is a 28-year-old photographer with a diploma in graphic design. The three things he loves the most are art, music and travel. “When I got my first camera, photography was a simple way to document the highlights of my life, but that quickly evolved into an everyday hobby. Discovering new methods and techniques along the way kept it exciting, but the one that really stuck is timelapse photography. It’s amazing to have the ability to see a different perspective of time, how things change and evolve. Just recently, I discovered a technique that allows me to express timelapse and movement in a still frame, merging multiple photos into one image. Part of the fun is that you never know what your going to get until it’s processed.”

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If you’d rather view the images as a full-scale gallery, click on any image below to start!

HUGE thanks to Matt AND My Modern Met for this, these photos have completely changed my day.  I hope they change yours!

Ring of Fire! May 10, 2013’s Annular Solar Eclipse from Pilbara, Western Australia

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Source: Twitter/@Pharaoness

I just saw this, and I could not NOT post this, especially as PLASA Focus Orlando people are traveling home.

This is the annular solar eclipse that just happened in Western Australia on May 10, 2013.  I hope this brings you as much peace as it just brought me.

Ring of Fire – May 10 2013 Annular Solar Eclipse, Pilbara, Western Australia from Colin Legg on Vimeo.

This video captures the sunrise annular solar eclipse from 3 locations in the Pilbara, Western Australia, May 10, 2013.

Cameras were placed at the south west, north west limits and centreline. 3 Canon 5DmkII + 800 mm timelapse at each location and Canon 1DC + 2000 mm 4K video in the north.

A big thanks to Geoff Sims for setting up the south camera, collaborating on site location, transporting lenses and eclipse timing/position calculations.

Thanks also to Peter Nanasi for providing the lovely original score at short notice.

I’m still on the road in north Western Australia and have done the editing from a cold caravan park in bright daylight skies, so it may be a little rough around the edges. There is also some stabilization still to be done, due to wind shake, but that requires better tools than I have on my laptop. One for later when I return to Perth.

If you ever get to see an annular eclipse, I recommend going to the path limits (sunset or sunrise). All sorts of weird things happen to the Sun, right on the horizon.

Enjoy!

Colin.

Colin – https://www.facebook.com/ColinLeggPhotography
Geoff – https://www.facebook.com/BeyondBeneath
Peter – www.peternanasi.com

Good Morning Inspiration! Berlin, from Space, at Night, from Colonel Chris Hadfield at ISS

Good morning, Earth!

An awesome piece of inspiration this morning from Canadian Colonel Chris Hadfield, Commander of the International Space Station.  Col. Hadfield took a photo of Berlin at night from the ISS (he does this all over the Earth, btw, and they’re all awesome), showing an obvious color temperature divide between the higher quality HIDs of West Berlin and the crap Sodium Vapors of East Berlin.  To look at this photo gives me inspiration, and I hope it does for all of you.  West Berlin has 43,000 sodium vapor lamps that are being phased out slowly.

Also, are you on Col. Hadfield’s FacebookWHY NOT?  He is AWESOME!

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GOOD MORNING!  THAT’S NOT TOO LOUD, IS IT?!  I LOVE YOU ALL!

Random Light – A Trip to Durham, Ontario with My Camera and My Wife

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Laura and I went to Durham, Ontario to see her mom and stepdad a few days ago, and it was cold and snowy — just what I’ve come to expect of Canada!

The light was so overcast and diffuse because of the weather that it created some great conditions for capturing detail.  Check out some photos I posted of our little journey in the snow:

The Saugeen River, Durham, Ontario

Toothy Gears

Happy Laura!

the Ghost of Disbelief

the founder of Durham, ON carved into a log

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"Use NEW-LIFE Seeds!"

It's a Lil' Cannon!

Our Heroic Dead

the dam

DANGER!

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beautiful house on our trip

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Louver Machine

the bridge

Like I said… it was a short trip! We still had a blast walking around through the snowy and cold town of Durham!  It’s been so long since I’ve had any time to actually take and appreciate photography that this little adventure set off a storm of creativity in my head.  Thanks, baby!

Editor’s note:
I got an email a few weeks ago asking about what I use to shoot lately.  When I was teaching in Oklahoma, during The House of Atreus, some asshole came into the theatre and stole my DSLR, two lenses, and a big bottle of post-surgery Percocets.  After that, I didn’t want to invest any money in something that was just going to get stolen too — until I saw Martin Kuhn’s Sony NEX-5N at NAB 2012.  So I got one!  I also use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 as my management suite, and Adobe Photoshop CS6 if I’m doing anything funky or out of the ordinary.

LEDs, Lady Gaga Smell-Well, and Projections at Nuit Blanche 2012

Did you go to Nuit Blanche 2012 in Toronto in October?  Laura and I did, and we took some photos that I’m just now able to get to after the trade show season.  I spoke with lots of people on the street at Nuit Blanche this year, and everyone seemed to have a great time — the only thing that was a bit hard to manage was the influx of people that were present downtown for this event.  There were some awesome exhibits and light installations — but anything interactive was pretty much mobbed with people and hard to really get a sense of the artists’ messages.  Regardless, it was a lot of fun!  Check out some photos below, and experience my entire trip with the photo gallery at the bottom!

There were some fun words at the top of this post that describe how f*cked up some of the Nuit Blanche-goers got, it’s worth a quick peek.  It’s totally true — lack of organization, and a real lack of general community.  Read the post.

As we walked by the Hudson’s Bay Company in Toronto we noticed this freaky storefront window scene that we had to stop and check out — and it was Lady Gaga’s perfume on display.  That’s some pretty crazy perfume marketing, huh!  I definitely liked the design enough to take photos…

Lady Gaga's Smellwell

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Apparently this perfume makes you smell like a psycho mad scientist:

Lady Gaga Does Window Displays

Oh, officially of course Lady Gaga had nothing to do with Nuit Blanche, but her display was part of MY Nuit Blanche, so that’s why it’s here!

Something that we saw but didn’t really get a chance to experience was Beam of Underground Sun by Arezoo Talebzadeh and Kaveh Ashourinia — ostensibly, they had taken some very bright LED sources and put them down under the street at several meters down.  Arezoo and Kaveh also added some powerful fans and some silk cloth under the street to give the effect of waves of light being cast up through the grate they chose in the street.  Check this one out, it is beautiful, especially with the photos of no people around it:

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This, however, is what the real Nuit Blanche Beam of Underground Sun experience was, which was different than intended I assume but had its own jua de vive, if you will:

It was still beautiful, just mobbed with people standing directly in the way of the beam and the overall everything of the piece.

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You can kind of see down into the shaft with the fan, the fabric, and the LED units:

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It was pretty cool to be standing in an intersection of Bloor Street with no one trying to honk at me or run me down!

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Probably one of the coolest things I saw this year at Nuit Blanche was the installation called Planes by Tricia Brown Dance Company — and it was awesome!

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…and behind the walls you can see a little behind-the-scenes action!  I almost didn’t want to see this — the movement of the dancers and the projections themselves were so riveting that seeing the how-to took away from it for me.  Ah, the life of making mystery for the audience!

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Check out the Gallery View below of the Nuit Blanche event in Toronto — and check out the official Scotiabank page on Nuit Blanche so you can see the intended (and actual) views of the art from this year’s show!

Hurricane Sandy – New York and New Jersey Blackout Satellite Images

This is really unfortunate and pretty telling as to the power and fury of Mother Nature – the Earth Observatory at NASA has published images, both before and after, of the East Coast where Sandy came ashore.  You have to see this, it is unbelievable.

So here is the coast before Sandy hit:

and here is the ensuring blackout and chaos post-Sandy:

From the Earth Observatory page on Hurricane Sandy:

This pair of images shows New Jersey, New York, and eastern Pennsylvania as viewed at night by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite. The top image was taken at 2:52 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (06:52 Universal Time) on November 1, 2012. For comparison, the lower image was taken at 2:14 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (06:14 UTC) on August 31, 2012, when conditions in the area were normal.

Both images were captured by the VIIRS “day-night band,” which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe signals such as gas flares, city lights, and reflected moonlight. In the top image, lingering clouds from Hurricane Sandy are lit by moonlight and obscure much of New York’s Hudson Valley, northwestern New Jersey, and northeastern Pennsylvania. (For a wider view, download the large image beneath each web image.)

Turn on the “view image comparison” button to see the difference in city lighting before and after the blackout. In Manhattan, the lower third of the island is dark on November 1, while Rockaway Beach, much of Long Island, and nearly all of central New Jersey are significantly dimmer. The barrier islands along the New Jersey coast, which are heavily developed with tourist businesses and year-round residents, are just barely visible in moonlight after the blackout.

Along with the scattered electric lights, there is a bright point along the shore south of Mantoloking, New Jersey, that could be fires fueled by severed natural gas lines. Note: It is not clear if the fires reported on October 31were still burning on November 1.

For more views of the storm, visit our Hurricane Sandy event page.

The Earth Observatory has this applet on the website that allows you to move a slider across both images overlaid together, showing a humbling differentiation between the before and after shots:

In order to get this view, go to the Earth Observatory Blackout in New Jersey page and click the “View Image Comparison” button.  It’s crazy how the blackout just spidered across the coast.

Misnomer Majestica: Fire Rainbows

So-called Fire Rainbows actually have nothing to do with fire or rainbows, however they are absolutely awesome! The correct nomenclature for this optical phenomenon is circumhorizontal arc (circumhorizon arc and lower symmetric 46° plate arc are also accepted). A multi-colored halo (spanning from the red wavelengths at the top to the indigo like a rainbow) that runs parallel to the horizon occurs when the sun’s height in the sky is more than 58° above the horizon and its light passes through a cirrus cloud or haze consisting of ice crystals. These ice crystals must be hexagonal and plate-shaped, facing parallel to the ground. When light enters the top of the ice crystal through its vertical side face, and exits bending through the lower horizontal face, it separates like a prism.

While the circumhorizontal arcs are indeed arcs, they frequently only appear in small sections of wispy cirrus clouds where the ice crystals are properly aligned, which leads to the misnomer “fire rainbow”. Here’s a small gallery of this spectacular optical phenomenon:

Vaseline Glass Chandeliers: A Response to Fukushima Daiichi

Some people call it Uranium Glass, insiders call it Vaseline Glass because its color and internal sheen resembles Vasoline as it was made around the 1930’s.  The long and short of it is that it’s glass doped with Uranium, fluoresces under ultraviolet wavelengths, and it is absolutely beautiful.  Check it out:

Vaseline Glass is some lovely, lovely stuff, isn’t it?  Just to show its awesomeness, let’s look at a piece from the Depression era, lit with long wave UV:

Most evidences of this glass come from between the mid-to-late-1700’s to current manufacturing, and yeah, it’s literally made with uranium, the radioactive element that we all have heard of in some form or fashion.  There are instances of this glass being located in a mosaic containing yellow glass with 1% uranium oxide found in a Roman villa, and the guy who discovered Uranium, Martin Klaproth, who was apparently also using the newly discovered element as a glass colorant.

That green color is eerie, yeah?  or as the Canadians say, “eh?”

Two artists took that idea of Uranium-doped glass and turned it into a statement on the horrific Fukushima-Daiichi disaster.  Meet Ken and Julia Yonetani‘s work, named Crystal Palace: The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nuclear Nations.  They took metal wire, Uranium glass, and some UV lighting and created twenty-nine chandeliers representing the twenty-nine nations using nuclear power.  Check it out:

From Ken and Julia’s website on the work:

In direct response to Japan’s 2011 horrific Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident and the phenomenon of leaking radiation, Crystal Palace: The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nuclear Nations comprises an installation of chandeliers made from vintage Uranium glass beads alongside glowing text based works made from vintage Uranium glass tubing shaped into words such as – ‘radioactive’, ‘meltdown’ and ‘electric dreams’.

Chandeliers are not only an item of luxury, but also an extravagant emblem of the beauty of electricity and the seductiveness of consumerism.The artists have reconfigured them to emanate UV light instead of standard light, and decorated them with specially sourced Uranium glass in place of traditional crystals.

“You can’t see, smell or perceive radiation with your senses, but it becomes visible in our works when illuminated with ultraviolet lights,” says Julia Yonetani. “Presented in darkness, the glass chandeliers and tubes glow with an eerie bright green light indicating the presence of radiation. We hope to prompt viewers to react in their own way to this radioactive presence.”

Commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries for sugar bowls, cake stands and other decorative objects, Uranium glass contains very small traces of Uranium within the glass, is legal and poses no health risks.

Crystal Palace references London’s Great Exhibition of 1851, which was intended as a platform to celebrate both modern technology and to enhance Great Britain’s role as a leading industrial nation of the time.

“The chandeliers in Crystal Palace represent the USA, Japan, Germany, Finland, France and various other countries. For the complete body of work we will ultimately make a total of 29 chandeliers, which represent each of the countries that operate nuclear power stations today,” says Ken Yonetani.

“The size of each chandelier correlates to the scale of each country’s nuclear output, with the chandelier representing the USA being the largest at 1.6m in diameter and 2m high.”

“My family lives in Tokyo, quite close to where the disaster happened,” he adds. “At the time of the tsunami, Japan had 54 operating nuclear reactors, relying on them for 30% its total electric power. The Fukushima accident shows Japan’s complacency around nuclear power and radiation and also asks questions of Australians, because Australia is the number one exporter of Uranium to Japan.”

That’s a heck of a statement, and Crystal Palace is one heck of an exhibit.  Ken and Julia’s work will be playing at the Artereal Gallery in Sydney, Australia from October 3 to November 4, 2012.  Check it out if you’re there, this has to be awesome!

Ken and Julia Yonetani:

Thanks 1st Glass, Spoon and Tamago, United NuclearWe Waste Time, and Wikipedia!