Now, if God made the clouds so beautiful, did He not mean us to gaze upon them and be thankful for them? ~Alfred Rowland
This year’s destination is Praia da Rocha, in the Algarve, Portugal. Now I am the first to admit that for me my holiday is all about relaxing and unwinding. Sitting in the sun, on my lounger with a chilled glass of wine or cold beer and my Kindle of course, is just heaven. And when I need to cool down, the pool is so inviting; sheer bliss!
But this year is a little bit different, as I look for new, interesting and unique photo opportunities; not the usual ‘us at the beach’ shots, for my 365 day Photo Journal. Leisurely reclining and enjoying the warmth of the Portuguese sun, I find myself admiring the sky, and have become fascinated by the ever changing cloudscape above me. There is such beauty to be seen, so now I’m a cloud chaser, collector and collator and the sun’s rays enhance the whole visual experience.
Imagine my surprise, when I gazed above on Wednesday, and saw what I thought was a hole in the sky. In actual fact, the sun was encircled by a complete ring of cloud. I had never seen anything like this before, so camera at the ready, I got into iPhoneography mode and gave it my best shot.
My interest was piqued, so I did some research and found that I had photographed something special; a ring or circle of light is called a halo. It is made up of thin cirrus clouds drifting above our heads. They contain millions of tiny ice crystals. The halo is created by refraction, the splitting of light and reflection, glints of light from the ice crystals. Halos are spectacular, unique and personal; we all see them differently, like rainbows.
Had I not decided to take up iPhoneography, I would have completely missed this visual opportunity. It has certainly made me realise that there is much more for me still to discover and my new hobby has become so exciting and rewarding.
My advice is: look to the skies, use your eyes, chase clouds and appreciate our wonderful world!