It was an unusually stormy summer afternoon in Central Oregon. The high desert climate in this part of the country is characteristically hot and dry on summer days, with rarely a cloud in the sky. On this particular August day, however, there was a lot of disturbance in the atmosphere punctuated by rain, thunderstorms and gusty winds.
As the storm dissipated somewhat in early evening, interesting cloud structures formed, stirred by high altitude winds flowing over the Cascade mountains to our west. Following the adage that "landscape photographers run into the weather as the tourists are running away" I headed to Smith Rock State Park to see what I might find there.
This image was one of the first few I was able to capture. The composition and focus were somewhat tricky in that the grasses in the foreground were moving quite a bit in the breeze. I selected a relatively high ISO to yield a faster shutter speed and waited for a break in the wind. While doing so, an amazing flying-saucer like cloud formation emerged and passed over the top of the rock formation before me. The wind paused, I snapped the shot and was fortunate to have everything properly framed and in focus for this photograph.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor