FOOD AND TRAVEL

Iridescent Clouds Over Kazakhstan Will Give You Rainbow Wows

iridescent clouds
Written by Ruth K

Svetlana Kazina decided to pack up and follow her bliss 20 years ago, and we get to revel in the beautiful sight of iridescent clouds because of it.

Love this? Check out these cloud wingboarders.

Kazina quit her job, and with her two kids, moved to the mountain village of Uznezya in the Altai Krai region in Russia, near the Kazakhstan border.

iridescent clouds
iridescent clouds

She moved into a hut with no running water, heating, or toilet, and was the happiest she had ever been. She fell in love with the mountains, and lucky for us, chose to share the wondrous sight with the world through her photography.

Her recent trip to the Belukha mountain gave us the iridescent clouds that are nothing short of breathtaking.

iridescent clouds

She described the long trip she had to take to get to the mountain as arduous, but worthwhile.

“I often visit the Belukha mountain just because I really love it and the whole Katun ridge. [From where I live,] it’s a one-day trip by car to a nearby village, after which the road ends. Then, two days on foot or on horseback to the Ak-Kem valley and one more day to the foot of the Belukha mountain.”

Imagine spending days of your life hunting the world’s most beautifully iridescent clouds.

“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.”

iridescent clouds
iridescent clouds
iridescent clouds

With the Akkem weather station (located at 2050m [6726 feet]) and the Karaturek weather station (2600m [8530 feet]) in the area, Kazina spent time with meteorologists, rescuers, and helicopter pilots.

She noticed the clouds becoming brighter, and immediately started capturing the moment.

“I captured the iridescent clouds on a frosty winter morning, standing on the frozen Ak-Kem lake. Iridescence is a fairly common phenomenon in our mountains. When photographing these clouds, I used a polarizing filter to make the formations even clearer.”

iridescent clouds
iridescent clouds
iridescent clouds

She had to take the pictures fairly quickly. She explained why, “The sun rose higher and higher, and it was getting too bright. Secondly, I had to fly to the second weather station.”

With her Nikon D850 camera and Nikkor 28-300 lens, she captured the iridescent clouds phenomenally.

iridescent clouds
iridescent clouds

She even managed to capture the iridescent clouds using her phone — how’s that for an Instagram story?

“[It was] an amazingly big mother-of-pearl cloud which was colorful for roughly an hour. The colors grew in intensity as the sun sank lower behind the horizon.”

iridescent clouds

“I photograph a lot when I’m in the mountains. Therefore, I even created separate albums for the clouds, sun, and moon on my social media accounts. Most notably, on Facebook and VKontakte.”

She is also on Instagram!

iridescent clouds

The absolutely gorgeous mountains are picture-perfect no matter when you see them, but an extra level of delight when they’re lit up like Lisa Frank goodness.

iridescent clouds

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Ruth K

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