Share

Astonishing Aerials of Cloud Formations (PHOTOS)

By: 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

March 2014 4th Warmest Globally

By Christopher C. Burt
April 22, 2014

NOAA released its global March 2014 summary today (April 22nd) which stated that it was the 4th warmest March on record over global land and ocean surfaces since 1880. The global average temperature for the month was 12.3°C (54.1°F) which was 0.71°C (1.28°F) above the 20th century average.

Earth Day 2014 Wunderphoto Selections

By Dr. Jeff Masters
April 22, 2014

Today is Earth Day, a day to celebrate the beauty of the atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere of the planet that sustains us. As is my tradition on Earth Day, I present my favorite wunderphotos uploaded to our web site over the past year. I want to thank everyone who has participated in making this the largest (1.7 million!) and best weather photo gallery on the Internet--your photos are truly an inspiration!

I am a Failed Father

By Shaun Tanner
April 17, 2014

Being a father is very hard! I know, I sound like a whiner, but I felt especially bad this week when I caused my daughter to miss the lunar eclipse.

Polar Vortex, Global Warming, and Cold Weather

By Stu Ostro
January 10, 2014

Some thoughts about the recent viral meme(s).

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.

Astronomical VS. Meteorological Winter

By Tom Niziol
March 1, 2013