The three brightest objects in the night sky gathered into a tidy triangle in the twilight.
On Friday night, June 19, I chased around my area of southern Alberta, seeking clear skies to capture the grouping of the waxing crescent Moon with Venus and Jupiter.
My first choice was the Crawling Valley reservoir and lake, to capture the scene over the water. I got there in time to get into position on the east side of the lake, and grab some shots.
This was the result, but note the clouds! They were moving in quickly and soon formed a dramatic storm front. By the time I got back to the car and changed lenses, I was just able to grab the panorama below before the clouds engulfed the sky, and the winds were telling me to leave!
I drove west toward home, taking a new highway and route back, and finding myself back into clear skies, as the storm headed east. I stopped by the only interesting foreground element I could find to make a composition, the fence, and grabbed the lead photo.
Both it, and the second image, are “HDR” stacks of five exposures, to preserve detail in the dark foreground and bright sky.
It was a productive evening under the big sky of the prairies.
– Alan, June 20, 2015 / © 2015 Alan Dyer / www.amazingsky.com
The play of light and shadow in the open air create wonderful effects by night and day.
The Moon and Sun have each created some wonderful sky scenes of late, aided by clouds casting shadows and sunbeams across the sky.
Above, the rising waning Moon on Saturday night shone its warm light across the prairies. Clouds cast dark shadows diverging away from the Moon.
By day, clouds created the opposite effect. Holes in the clouds let through beams of sunlight, creating rays descending from the sky dancing across the land.
Both effects are technically known as crepuscular rays. You can read much more about the phenomenon at the wonderful Atmospheric Optics website. Clouds aren’t always the evil presence in the sky astronomers take them for. They can produce stunning effects. Just look up!
– Alan, July 29, 2013 / © 2013 Alan Dyer
This wonderful rainbow lasted only a few minutes, as most do, shining in the brief interval when sunlight and raindrops are at their combined best.
I captured this rainbow off the back deck, on June 2, as a storm receded to the east and the Sun broke through in the west, ideal circumstances for catching a rainbow, at least photographically.
This was a classic bow, showing the inner main bow and the fainter outer secondary bow with colours reversed. The sky is bright inside the the inner bow from scattered light from the raindrops, and darker between the two bows where there is an absence of scattered light, a phenomenon called Alexander’s Dark Band after the ancient Greek astronomer who first described it.
I used a Canon 60Da and 10-22mm lens for this, at 10mm for wide-angle coverage of almost the entire rainbow.
— Alan, June 3, 2012 / © 2012 Alan Dyer