Our New England Sky


Zachary Whalen, Copy Editor

Clouds have always been something I’ve enjoyed photographing. Some of them are so large that their suspension in the air feels impossible, some twist and morph the light that hits them in fascinating ways, and others just look like rabbits, which is very nice.

During this time of year, I feel it’s important to remember that clouds can bring beauty and awe, rather than two more inches of freezing rain and snow. Therefore, I’ve decided to rate some of my favorite cloud photographs that I’ve taken over the years. With these pictures, I hope to remind all of you of the beauty our sky occasionally brings, and make you feel a bit better about facing the harsh New England weather at the end of the day.

For this first image, we’re coming in pretty strong. I like how the clouds part right where the sun is- they tend to do that somehow, although, I don’t know if it’s that the sunlight burns through the cloud, or just coincidence. However, I think it’s also difficult to tell what this is a photo of- an alien, perhaps? A glowing eye? Someone shoved a light bulb in a snowball? This lack of clarity gives it a 7 out of 10.

This is an old one! I think it does a good job of showing the vastness of the sky, but it’s more a picture of the lake rather than the clouds. Furthermore, that patch in the upper middle looks a bit like someone smeared their thumb across the picture and distorted it, even though that was just the natural look of the cloud that day. I’ll give it a strong 7 out of 10. 

Clouds and sunsets are always excellent. This one is a little simple, but the backlit trees are juxtaposed nicely against the sky, and I like how the sunset turns the clouds different colors. I feel like it could pass as a random stock photo, which does knock it down a bit, but it’s nice to look at. I’ll give it a tentative 8 out of 10.

Now this one I really like! I think it’s a much better shot of the sun through clouds than the first photo- you get a wider range of colors, the individual clouds stand out more, and there’s even some movement- it almost looks like the clouds are swirling around the sun. Looking at it, it feels like a storm might be brewing- although, I think I remember the day I took that photo being quite nice. I’ll give it an 8 out of 10.

We’re onto my favorite part of this collection: airplane photos! I really like these, I feel like they capture a view and side of clouds that isn’t seen much. In this picture especially, I like how even all of the clouds look- almost like stepping stones across a very clear pond. The red from the airplane wing also gives the picture a nice bit of color. Another 8 out of 10!

Here’s another airplane one! I feel like in this one the clouds are harder to see- they’re a bit blurry, washed out by the sun. The plane is what’s really in focus, which is a shame, as it’s just a black blob. However, I still think it’s a pretty photo, and the sun tinting the top of the clouds pink is a nice touch. I’ll give it a 9 out of 10 because, despite the blur, this image is straight out of a fantasy game.

Now this one- this one is really nice! I love the way the clouds look- they look almost solid here. I think if I tried hard enough, I could convince someone this was a field of snowballs- or even a log covered in mold. It’s hard to tell that it’s a cloud without the airplane wing, but I think in this case it makes the picture better- the reveal heightens the majesty of the photo. Again, I love this view of the clouds, I think it showcases such a unique angle of them, and gives view to a texture you could never see from the ground. I’ll give this photo  a 9 out of 10, if only because I don’t love the angle I was holding my phone at to take it.

Now, this one is my favorite by far. Look at all the textures there! It’s a totally flat surface of clouds, it almost looks like you could run across it. It almost looks more like a desert than a massive collection of evaporated water droplets. There’s literally no trace of the outside world here, it’s like the plane has entered a totally different dimension. Even just looking at it now, this image fascinates me. 10 out of 10, a true masterpiece.