I was laying on my back watching the clouds from my perch at 13,000 feet, wondering if there was going to be a thunderstorm coming soon when I noticed this awesome optical effect in the clouds. Turns out this was iridescence. I’ve never shared this image before but this week’s theme gave me a reason to share it! =)

I was going to upload some wild rainbow drone image I have but this one seems more subtle…

Specific Feedback Requested:

Whatever you’d like although it’s not one of my favorite images so I’m pretty open to any feedback. I barely edited the RAW file, lol. =)

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

234mm, f/16, 1/4000s


Beautiful. I especially like that the sun is included.

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That’s an interesting image. The iridescence is fascinating. I’m particularly drawn to the deep yellow and how it skirts the edge of the clouds to the right. Rotating the image to 180deg, this skirting is even more visible. Really reminiscent of interstellar gas clouds! It’s also great that the disc of the sun is partially visible and the transition from darkness to twilight along an oblique line is interesting. Surely, the colours of the iridescence stand out all the more against the “black” sky. Perhaps it’s worth returning to the RAW edit and PS to see if you can get more out of the image if it’s not too noisy? You could go really wild in an interstellar sort of way? Just an idea. And by the way, what sort of a perch are on lying on at 13,000ft? Sounds awesome!

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That little cloud wave it’s located in gives the composition a nice ‘flow’. I didn’t notice the sun at first but saw it after reading Jim’s comment, I also like that it’s hiding back there.

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Thanks Laura!
Yeah, I’m sure that there is more life that can be squeezed out of this RAW file than I have patience for. BTW, we did get a nice and scary thunderstorm this afternoon! Haha! My “perch” was just a flat bit of ground about 1,000 ft. above from my campsite at 12,000 ft. here in the San Juan Mountains.

A physical performance + photography, fully immersed in nature. My idea of living life to the full! :smile:

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Matt, a great catch on cloud iridescence, especially getting the different colors across the frame. That’s one dense cloud, if the bit peeking through on the right is the sun!

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Thanks! I remember when I captured it (2017) that I was like, dang, that’s RAD looking… but your challenge here forced me to remember this image existed and that link you posted helped me realize what it is! I love how nature photography can help us expand our knowledge of natural phenomena!

Striking image. At first, I thought it was a drone shot of a coastal line with the waves breaking. I like all the space on the top and bottom. The sun peaking out is a bonus :smiley:

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Awesome phenomena! Striking if I can steal Andre’s description.

Honestly, I did not catch the presence of the sun when I first viewed this. Makes this even more dynamic!


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Very cool image, Matt. Thanks for sharing the info behind it.

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Thanks Andre, been REALLY enjoying your submissions here!

Thanks, yeah, it was really cool to see it! I have been noticing this effect more and more lately too.

Cheers David, appreciate it!

Very cool, almost bizarre!! I thought at first it was crashing surf until I saw the sun. I do think it’s worth going back to the raw file with the newest converters. A linear profile could probably pull down the highlights, which look just at the edge of blown.