Mountains In The Clouds


For this post I have collected images that feature mountains, along with interesting clouds. I feel each image here gives equal importance to the mountains and clouds … more or less. For me, clouds can make or break a scene. As a matter of fact, I can get quite picky about them! The clouds need to be balanced and have more interest than ordinary clouds. Shapes and composition enter into the equation too. I have been collecting images for this post since the summer … so don’t be surprised by some green! Along with some very recent additions they represent a collection I feel combines the mountains and clouds successfully.

An unsettled sky creates cloud interest over the Sneffels Range near Ridgway, Colorado.

‘Crazy Clouds’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

The peak of Mount Hayden peaks out of illuminated clouds at sunset.

‘Hayden Peak Peeking’ © Denise Bush

A smoky sky turns pink over Sunshine Mountain, near Telluride, Colorado.

‘Smoky Sky At Sunset’ © Denise Bush

A a hovering cloud makes peak in the Grenadier Range of Southwest Colorado look like it's smoking.

‘Smoking Mountain’ © Denise Bush

Sunshine Mountain is one of the more recognizable mountains near Telluride, in San Miguel County, Colorado.

‘Last Sunlight On Sunshine Mountain’ © Denise Bush

A peak in the Sneffels Range, S9 peeks out of the clouds in time to shine in the setting sun.

‘Above The Clouds’ © Denise Bush

Clouds drift over Sneffels peak in a game of hide n seek.

‘Hide ‘N Seek’ © Denise Bush

63 Responses to “Mountains In The Clouds”

  1. All are well done and it is a great theme. My favorite is Crazy Clouds because the lighting is wonderful and as my eye moves around the image, it keeps finding interesting shapes.

  2. You did a good job in fulfilling your goal of playing off the mountains and clouds against each other. The fact that in the majority of these pictures only mountains and clouds appear in the frame heightens the interaction. The second picture and the last strike me as particularly dramatic.

  3. These are beautiful! ☁️

  4. I absolutely agree. I’m always disappointed when I have nothing but blue sky above an otherwise gorgeous landscape. While any cloud will add interest, dramatic clouds or interesting light in the clouds work best.

    • Most people here in Colorado revel in our ‘bluebird’ skies but experienced photographers feel otherwise when they want to go out shooting! Thanks for your visit and comment!

  5. Clouds add such great drama to equally the dramatic sharp, stone peaks. A nice contrast of soft and hard. I like the light in ‘Above the Clouds’ and in ‘Hayden Peak Peeking’, I like the way the clouds echo the shape of the mountain. A lucky strike!

    • Thanks for your visit and comment Eliza. It’s fun to watch the clouds lift, roll and make their way over the mountains after a storm. Both of your favorites were from the same shoot.

  6. Hayden Peak Peeking is my favorite. Wonderful images!!

  7. Just beautiful!

  8. Wonderful clouds that you captured. These cloud formations together with mountains are amazing!

  9. Fabulous, as usual. Crazy clouds is my fave!

  10. I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now. That song came to mind when I looked at this collection. Really wonderful images.

  11. “Smoking Mountain” almost looks volcanic. I bet clouds are hard. You have no ability to control that aspect of a picture since they move on their own.

    • Yes … they can move pretty quick depending on wind currents. Sometimes I have to be quick and other times I am waiting and waiting for them to be in a better position. Thanks Ruth!

  12. Hi Denise! I totally agree with your comment about clouds and how they can make or break an image – especially with mountains. My favourites are “Hide n seek”, “Hayden Peak Peeking” and especially “Above the Clouds” with the backlighting!

  13. Excellent series, Denise. A stunning, dramatic theme. I’m with you about clouds, I do a lot of staring at them when editing images 🙂 Love Crazy Clouds, Hayden Peak and Last Sunset especially.

    • Thank you Jane! It always pleases me when friends select different favorites. That’s the first vote for ‘Last Sunlight On Sunshine Mountain’! 😊

  14. What a beauty! Excellent Denise

  15. 30 Deb

    Gorgeous and beautiful light, captured! Those crazy clouds are …well, CRAZY!!

  16. I always love the sunshine on the mountains. Beautiful 👌

    • Thank you for visiting Maria! The 3rd and 5th images feature ‘Sunshine Mountain’ … appropriately named for the way it catches the light.

  17. Wonderful series of great photos. Thanks so much, Denise.

  18. Wow. Amazing photos. Thanks for brightening up my day.

  19. Love this collections of mountains and clouds. All are beautifully captured, especially the lights. The first image, wow!!

  20. Yes, clouds are a vital element to any mountain image. Sometimes they even take centre stage, by providing drama and atmosphere. Such beautiful images, especially Crazy Clouds, Last Sunlight on Sunshine Mountain and Hide ‘N Seek. Wonderful! 🙂

  21. Isn’t it amazing how much variation clouds can create? I have always been fascinated by the sky. Once again you have created a beautiful series of images.

    • Thank Otto. Our former home in South Jersey was in the woods. I had to take a drive to see what was happening in the sky. We are really loving our view of the mountains and sky here in Colorado!

  22. The clouds are a very striking element in each of the photographs. Beckoning scenes, all lovely!

  23. This is a very successful series and accomplishes your goal quite well, Denise. I’m with you when it comes to clouds…a sky is naked without them. 🙂 All of your images make a great combination of earth and sky and all with pleasing drama. “Sunshine Mountain” 🙂

    • Thanks Steve! I am constantly looking to the sky and forecast in order to decide whether or not to go out shooting. We have a Ridgway webcam here that points to the mountains I cannot see from the house which is also a help. I’m glad you like “Sunshine Mountain” which is near Telluride just a little further from home. The shot with the smoky sky also includes Sunshine Mt.

  24. Sunshine Mountain is my favorite of this collection, but they’re all gorgeous. It’s a great theme.

  25. Wow!! All are incredible shots, but I decided to push myself and pick a favorite and state why. “Last Sunlight on Sunshine Mountain” I love the color of the setting sun and the way it is framed with the peak of that mountain top….awesome capture!! I suspect it was a look that wouldn’t last long, so perfect timing on your part!! Thank you for sharing your work!! Brilliant!!

    • Thanks Kirt! On a workshop I once attended the leader said that we should say why we like something so I try to do that. I suppose it helps both the viewer and maker.

      • I would agree with that comment…..It makes sense and I find it helpful in evaluating why something appeals to me and in reverse I find it helpful from the viewers aspect as we all see the same thing slightly differently.

  26. Clouds and mountains! What’s not to love? I think my favorite is the first one, Crazy Clouds. Although I love them all.

  27. Clouds and mountains such a phenomenal merging of both..beautifully capture the moment.

  28. You do clouds well! I’ve noticed when processing that changes to an entire image often are too harsh for clouds – you really have to use the graduated filters or other tools. You have the balance between craggy peaks and soft clouds just right. And yes, they are interesting clouds!! 😉 Each image really has its own beauty.

    Sorry I have missed so much – it’s been hard to get to all the blogs I want to see.

    • Thanks for catching up Lynn … I am always interested in your unique perspective! Thanks about the clouds too … I am careful not to use too much sharpening and tonal contrast on them. It’s a fine line to have them defined but still feeling soft. I use masks, adjustment layers and blending in Photoshop.

      • Right – increase something like texture or clarity in LR overall and the clouds look terrible. I don’t use PS but it’s pretty much the same idea in LR – use those filters. 🙂

  29. Beautiful photos

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