Share

Astonishing Aerials of Cloud Formations (PHOTOS)

Camille Mann
Published: July 19, 2013

Aerial view of the Caribbean Sea, 2012. (Jakob Wagner)

German photographer Jakob Wagner’s series of aerials over the Mediterranean and the Caribbean Seas show breathtakingly clear views of clouds from above, despite the fact that they were captured from inside passenger planes.

“In common airlines the conditions are unpredictable,” Wagner explained to Weather.com. “The windows might have little scratches or they are just too dirty from the outside to allow for good photos.”

In addition to the plane’s windows, Wagner said weather conditions, flying altitude and atmospheric pollution can also affect the sharpness of his photos, something he has to correct in digital post-production. Conditions like rain clouds or thunderstorms can produce stunning images, but also cause a bumpy ride.

“In December 2011 there was a heavy winter storm over West Europe and we had serious turbulence while landing in Glasgow. There was a moment when the machine suddenly sagged down several times, it was a horrible feeling to be at the mercy of the forces of nature.”

While most of Wagner’s aerial photos are taken from regular passenger planes, he would prefer to take them from gas balloons.

“From a gas balloon you are able to shoot in almost all directions and you fly very slowly. You also have the opportunity to fly several days at a stretch,” he explained.

The two series featured above “Sea of Clouds” and “Caribbean Sea” were shot on passenger flights. “Sea of Clouds” was taken on his way from Cape Town to Dusseldorf, Germany and “Caribbean Sea” on a flight from Houston to Bogota, Columbia.

Wagner, who spent a lot of time in planes as a photo assistant for a few renowned photographers, said that’s where his aerial portfolio was born.

“The job included a lot of time in airplanes that I couldn’t have afforded otherwise. So, I tried to use every flight to capture aerial scenes from landscapes to clouds for my personal photography projects.”

The Duesseldorf-based photographer, who has always been captivated by thunderstorms and lightning, says it makes sense why he has decided to focus on photography of weather. For more on Wagner’s work, visit his website.

MORE: Amazing Aerials of Beaches Around the World

Bondi Beach, Australia. (Credit: Gray Malin)


Featured Blogs

95L No Big Deal; 100 Feared Dead, 300 Missing in Sri Lanka Landslide

By Dr. Jeff Masters
October 29, 2014

An area of disturbed weather (95L) associated with a tropical wave interacting with an upper level trough of low pressure is a few hundred miles northeast of the northern Lesser Antilles Islands, and has a modest amount of spin and heavy thunderstorm activity. Wind shear will remain a high 20 - 30 knots through Friday, then increase to 30 - 50 knots Saturday and Sunday. These high wind shear values make development conditions marginal through Friday, then almost impossible beginning on Saturday.

September 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary

By Christopher C. Burt
October 22, 2014

September was globally the warmest such on record according to NASA and NOAA. Deadly flooding affected the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan as well as in southern France, China, and Serbia. Record heat occurred in Jakarta, Indonesia and south-central Canada. It was the driest September on record for the U.K.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.