Svetlana Kazina left her job in the big city to follow her true calling — nature. In a recent trip to Siberia’s highest peak has produced particularly beautiful pictures. While searching the areas around the Belukha mountain, she took a colorful optical phenomenon called cloud iridescence, caused by tiny water droplets or ice crystals independently scattering light.
“I often visit the Belukha mountain just because I really love it and the whole Katun ridge,” Svetlana told Bored Panda.
“This mountain is not just the highest peak in Siberia, but a beautiful natural monument and shrine of the Altai Mountains, too. I love it for its unusual beauty and power.”
There are two meteorological stations in the area. The Akkem weather station (located at 2050m [6726 feet]) and the Karaturek weather station (2600m [8530 feet]). During her stay, Svetlana enjoyed the company of meteorologists, rescuers and helicopter pilots. The photoshoot began when she suddenly noticed that the clouds which came close to the Sun became brighter.
“I captured the iridescent clouds on a frosty winter morning, standing on the frozen Ak-Kem lake,” the woman said. “Iridescence is a fairly common phenomenon in our mountains. When photographing these clouds, I used a polarizing filter to make the formations even clearer.”
Svetlana had to be quick because the natural color show didn’t last long. “Firstly, the sun rose higher and higher, and it was getting too bright. Secondly, I had to fly to the second weather station.”
However, her trusty Nikon D850 paired with the Nikkor 28-300 lens did an excellent job.
Even though Svetlana made the iridescent clouds more vivid in the photos than they really were, they are also visible to the naked eye. The problem is that we can’t see such bright colors when the clouds get really close to the Sun.