I started playing around with the new Adobe Lightroom 4 beta. I looked back to some photos I had not processed in Lightroom 3 yet. Here are two from January 2011 from near my home in Bonney Lake. I took them along a road I sometimes take on the way to the office. It is hard to not stop and pull out the tripod and camera and see what dawn will present us. In this particular set of shots I had captured both a solar pillar and lenticular clouds above Mount Rainier.
Solar pillars are not rare in the Pacific Northwest due to the mountains. They form as the sun’s light reflects against ice crystals in the sky before the sun breaks the horizon (sunrise) or just after it falls below the horizon (sunset). I unusually under expose these shots to make the pillar stand out.
Lenticular clouds form from the uplift or winds as they flow over mountains and condense to moisture or “wave clouds.”
To get both types of phenomena in the same sunrise is a sign that I’m late to the office.