Interesting Photo of the Day: Mount St. Helens Cloud Inversion

Of all the rare weather phenomena that you could possibly see, this cloud inversion will surely top your list. After all, it’s not every day that you find yourself at the top of a mountain in clear sunshine with the clouds kissing the valley floor:

st helens cloud inversion and flowers

“A rare cloud inversion during sunrise at Mt St Helens, Washington” by Ross Schram Von Haupt (Via Imgur. Click image to see full size.)

Photographer Ross Schram Von Haupt shares how he captured this amazing shot:

“Seeing a cloud inversion at one of our PNW mountains has been a dream of mine since I started photography. There is just something about being above the clouds that seems so amazing to me. The wildflower season has just started over the past week or so and I’d been keeping my eye on the weather with one goal – to go during a low fog event/cloud inversion. On Monday I decided it looked pretty good and took off through the 6 hours of Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia traffic to arrive at Mt St Helens. After shooting sunset and stars I packed into my makeshift car-bed for a quick 1-2 hours of sleep before sunrise. I knew I would either wake up in a dense cloud with zero visibility or hopefully a beautiful sunrise with a cloud inversion. Almost too excited to sleep the alarm went off a bit before 4am and as I looked outside my window able to see what was around me I knew we weren’t in a cloud! The next few hours contained a lot of running around trying to find the patches of flowers I liked the most. I’m sure I looked like a complete idiot laying on my stomach trying to adjust my tripod to get as close as possible to the flowers. Getting low and close to your foreground in photography can really help get more dramatic results. The indian paintbrush (red flowers) in this photo aren’t much bigger than my thumb, but getting close makes them look nice and big. I had my lens only a few inches away from the closest flowers! Then, roughly 30 minutes after the sun had popped up, the fog bank rolled up on me and I couldn’t see more than 10ft in front of us! I headed back to my car for the trip back home – mission successful!”

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2 responses to “Interesting Photo of the Day: Mount St. Helens Cloud Inversion”

  1. lyle says:

    Nice focus stack :)

  2. Roy K says:

    This phenomenon is not all that rare. It is a reasonably common occurrence in the parts of the Olympic Peninsula near the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Often a marine layer will blanket coastal communities (Sequim, Port Angeles), whereas mountain tops (Hurricane Ridge, Mt. Angeles. Blue Mountain) will be bathed in sunlight. Of course this comment does not take anything away from an exceptional photograph.

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