Winter Clouds


This collection explores the winter clouds along the coast of northern Sonoma County. California is one of four regions in the world with a Mediterranean climate: nearly all rainfall occurs in the winter months while the summer is characterized by “severe clear” skies (sometimes obscured by fog).

Intense winter storms generally move through quite quickly, followed by sunny breaks. The interaction of wind-driven moist air with the coastal hills produces interesting, low-level clouds that are not frequently seen away from the coast. I’ve found the time just before and just after the actual rainstorms to be the most productive periods to find and capture clouds evocative of the winter rainy season.

Nearly all the images in this collection were captured during the 2016-2017 winter rainy season, one that started early and brought copious amounts of rain to northern California. Locally, we received about 65 inches of rain (165 cm), nearly twice our normal rainfall.

I continue to be interested in presenting my images in monochrome, popularly referred to as “black & white”. Monochrome images emphasize form, shape, texture, and light and shadow. I think this is a perfect complement to the winter clouds.

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