Epic graduation photo, Alberta, Canada

Young woman in long white dress on white horse under sky with many small, sunlit downward bulges from a dark cloud.

View the full panorama at EarthSky Community Photos. | Photo of recent graduate Cheyann Clarke-Colburne, taken June 13, 2020, by Christy Turner.

Christy Turner captured the photo above of a friend’s daughter – a 2020 graduate, Cheyann Clarke-Colburne – under a lowering sky near Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Christy wrote:

Incredible mammatus clouds and a rainbow help complete a graduation photo shoot. Since Cheyann didn’t get a proper occasion to wear her beautiful graduation gown, we scheduled a photo shoot at her grandparents’ farm. What we didn’t count on was nature delivering up an incredible backdrop post-storm.

Thank you, Christy, and all the best to you, Cheyann!

By the way, in case you’re not familiar with them … mammatus clouds are the pouchlike protrusions hanging from the clouds in the photo above. Most clouds are formed by rising air. But mammatus clouds form when air sinks from a higher layer into a lower layer, bringing ice crystals with it.

Mammatus clouds are typically a short-lived phenomenon. They often last only 10 or 15 minutes, don’t necessarily foretell a storm, and they don’t drop downward to form tornadoes. But they look awesome!

Read more about mammatus clouds and see spectacular photos here

Bottom line: Coolest graduation photo ever! Mammatus clouds – and a rainbow – provide the backdrop.

Claudia Crowley


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