A rare cloud inversion during sunrise at Mt St Helens, Washington (OC)[1335×2000] @rosssvhphoto


A rare cloud inversion during sunrise at Mt St Helens, Washington (OC)[1335×2000] @rosssvhphoto



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80 Comments

  • Cloud inversion? Is that just fog viewed from above?

  • Seeing a cloud inversion at one of our PNW mountains has been a dream of mine since I started photography. There is just something about being above the clouds that seems so amazing to me. The wildflower season has just started over the past week or so and I’d been keeping my eye on the weather with one goal – to go during a low fog event/cloud inversion. On Monday I decided it looked pretty good and took off through the 6 hours of Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia traffic to arrive at Mt St Helens. After shooting sunset and stars I packed into my makeshift car-bed for a quick 1-2 hours of sleep before sunrise. I knew I would either wake up in a dense cloud with zero visibility or hopefully a beautiful sunrise with a cloud inversion. Almost too excited to sleep the alarm went off a bit before 4am and as I looked outside my window able to see what was around me I knew we weren’t in a cloud! The next few hours contained a lot of running around trying to find the patches of flowers I liked the most. I’m sure I looked like a complete idiot laying on my stomach trying to adjust my tripod to get as close as possible to the flowers. Getting low and close to your foreground in photography can really help get more dramatic results. The indian paintbrush (red flowers) in this photo aren’t much bigger than my thumb, but getting close makes them look nice and big. I had my lens only a few inches away from the closest flowers! Then, roughly 30 minutes after the sun had popped up, the fog bank rolled up on me and I couldn’t see more than 10ft in front of us! I headed back to my car for the trip back home – mission successful!

    As always, thanks for viewing! If you would like to see more of my photos please feel free to follow me on [Instagram](https://www.instagram.com/rosssvhphoto) or check out my website http://www.rosssvhphoto.com

    Shot Info:
    Camera and Lends: Nikon D610 w/ Nikon 16-35 f/4
    Foreground: ISO400, 16mm, f/6.3, 1/30
    Background: ISO100, 16mm, f/6.3, 1/40 (I think I ended up using 8 total shots for the focus stack)

  • Don’t they normally call that fog?

  • >cloud inversion

    So, fog?

  • Very pretty. That flower is Indian Paintbrush for anyone that is curious. Inversions are not rare in the NW by any stretch of the imagination just so people know as well.

  • Rare?, cloud sits in that valley all the time

  • I’m pretty sure it’s called fog

  • As a weather person, the term cloud inversion confused me. Nice shot though!

  • I love my state.

  • Looks like that mountain there had half of its side blown away by a volcanic eruption

  • I once saw Seattle popping out of the clouds on a flight in. One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Also saw most of Mount Rainier doing the same.

    Here’s a photo from the only camera I had at the time:
    http://imgur.com/A13GYQG

  • Fast story: I moved to Washington for one year in 2010. My brother got a scholarship for middle school at some top notch school. I got tagged along. My plane flew right over that mountain. Most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Still a Seahawks fan.

  • As a Washington resident we truly have the most beautiful views

  • Holy fuck that’s gorgeous

  • I feel like you should offer to sell this photo to the Washington State Tourism office: http://www.experiencewa.com/

  • We get it, you vape.

  • Was the image aspect stretched vertically?

  • Mt. St. Helens was one of the most interesting places I ever visited

  • wow, this is stunning. I’m in love with this location & photo. excellent job!

  • Wow that’s is a motherfuckin’. Beaut of a picture. Thanks for sharing

  • That is one wicked crater.

  • borned and raised in Southwest Washington and just passed away.

  • Why was this picture squeezed horizontally? It makes the mountain look taller and steeper than it really is. Was this done in purpose?

  • Indian paintbrush and bluebells?

  • Beautiful image mate!

  • Nice, I was just enjoying this view a few days ago (sans clouds).

  • The inversion isn’t that uncommon.

  • Shut up we all know this is a paramount movie

  • This is rare? Nearly every cool summer morning that allows the marine layer to cross the valley into the cascades this happens. I have climbed St Helen’s during this type of cloud cover.

  • Just a question about the focal distance. For Mt. St. Helens being so close, I was guessing that you were shooting at more of a zoom, but it says you shot at 16 mm? So from that point of view, are you literally right in front of Mount St. Helens? Can you provide an approximate location or any other reference shots to get a sense for how far away from are from the mountain? Appreciate any response! Thanks.

  • I want to jerk off to such scenery.

  • Thanks for featuring the Indian paintbrush

  • Nice shot! I’m not sure why, [but I needed to get rid of the flowers and crop a bit](https://i.imgur.com/EF1H9hI.jpg).

  • Gorgeous!

  • This is absolutely phenomenal

  • Bravo!!!

  • A long long time ago
    There was a volcano
    Living all alone in the middle of the sea

    He sat high above his bay
    Watching all the couples play
    And wishing that he had someone too

    And from his lava came
    This song of hope that he sang out loud
    Every day
    For years and years

    I have a dream
    I hope it will come true
    That you’re here with me
    And I am here with you
    I wish that the earth, sea, and the sky up above
    Will send me someone to lava

    Years of singing all alone
    Turned his lava into stone
    Until he was on the brink of extinction
    But little did he know
    That living in the sea below
    Another volcano
    Was listening to his song

    Everyday she heard his tune
    Her lava grew and grew
    Because she believed his song was meant for her
    Now she was so ready to meet him above the sea
    As he sang his song of hope for the last time

    I have a dream
    I hope it will come true
    That you’re here with me
    And I am here with you
    I wish that the earth, sea, and the sky up above
    Will send me someone to lava

    Rising from the sea below
    Stood a lovely volcano
    Looking all around
    But she could not see him
    He tried to sing to let her know
    That she was not there alone
    But with no lava, his song was all gone
    He filled the sea with his tears
    Watched his dreams disappear
    As she remembered what his song meant to her

    I have a dream
    I hope will come true
    That you’re here with me
    And I am here with you
    I wish that the earth, sea, and the sky up above
    Will send me someone to lava

    Oh they were so happy
    To finally meet above the sea
    All together now their lava grew and grew
    No longer are they all alone
    With Aloha as their new home
    And when you go and visit them this is what they sing

    I have a dream I hope it will come true
    That you will grow old with me, and I will grow old with you
    We thank the earth, sea, and the sky we thank too
    I lava you
    I lava you
    I lava you

  • Aye! Thanks for the new desktop background!

  • Thanks for the new phone background!

  • This is the best time of year to go to the observatory

    [Me a few years ago at the Observatory](http://i.imgur.com/X4nIs5h.jpg)

  • This doesn’t look real for some reason

  • It’s not normally as clear as this, but cloud inversions happen fairly regularly around Mt Rainier from the top of Crystal Mountain! I’d definitely check it out if you ever have the time 🏔

  • A couple years ago I did my first big backpacking trip, the Loowit Trail which circumnavigates Mount Saint Helens. Our route was about 36 miles in total, and water was very rare for a day or so. Still three of the most grueling and most rewarding days in my life. What a beautiful area. This picture just refreshes it in my mind, so thanks!

  • Love this, beautiful

  • That photo… the mountain is scary gorgeous

  • I feel like I’ve pics like this on my Chromecast landscapes background wallpaper. You should see about submitting it to Google for that (If you like the idea)

  • Absolutely stunning

  • I have one of the hardest boners right now.

  • Amazing

  • Just think. That picture was taken from within the blast-zone.

  • Marguana smoke

  • Isn’t that called fog?

  • Undercast FTW

  • This again

  • Dragon.

  • I’ve seen this from hilltops in the Willamette valley, extremely cool effect but not as rare as you’d think it happens many times a year.

  • I’m half torn between the stunning beauty rivaling Mt. Fuji… and the terror of being old enough to remember the eruption that blew the entire side off of that mountain.

    Look at the missing part of the volcano in OP’s beautiful photo, then look at [what was there before the eruption](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_eruption_of_Mount_St._Helens#/media/File:Mount_St._Helens,_one_day_before_the_devastating_eruption.jpg).

  • Beautiful but not really that rare. I see them many times every ski season on Hood. Gorgeous!

  • No mountains to see – but I used to live outside Binghamton, NY. Often early morning fogs would burn off the tops of the hills first, leaving the fog/clouds below.

  • Looks like the mountain from universal before movies.

  • The variety of plants that have emerged since the eruption make that area hands down the most beautiful place to visit in the Northwest.

  • Wow, those clouds look just like red flowers! Amazing!

  • How do i get to this exact spot?

  • Looks like some kind of mystical dragon hatched there.

    Amazing photograph, gorgeous!

  • I saw this while flying out of Seattle last night! It was incredibly beautiful

  • It sure looks a lot better now than what it was back then when it blew up its top.

  • Holy shit I love Washington and the PNW

  • Wow! Incredible!

  • Its hard to appreciate the scale of the crater without seeing it in person

  • sea of cloud

  • This cloud inversion looks suspiciously like morning fog…

  • WOW!!

  • Is this still an active volcano?

  • This picture makes me want to move to the PNW. Damn.

  • >a cloud inversion

    Okay, as someone who grew up not too far from San Francisco…. isn’t that just fog?

    I mean, it looks fantastic, but it used to look like that at Mt. Tamalpais pretty frequently at sunrise. It’s a wonderful sight, but it’s not “a cloud inversion”, it’s just good old fog.

    I’m not at all familiar with the layout of the ground in that area, so I don’t know if it could actually roll in from the coast, but the distance from Tamalpais to the ocean at least *looks* pretty comparable to St. Helens’.

  • Just wow!

  • So beautiful. My soul will never be at rest until I’m in driving distance of this mountain!

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