VolcanoCam Images Archive

Hall Of Fame Images

Sunrise Breaking Through The Clouds
An early morning image of Mount St. Helens at sunrise.

Light, weather and the VolcanoCam camera itself often combine to produce stunning images. The above image is a prime example. The explanation of what you are viewing is best described with before and after images as well. The above image was taken on April 29, 2005 at 0533 Hours, PDT.

The camera we use is a color/black and white camera. This means the images created are all in color, except when there is insufficient light when the camera automatically switches itself to black and white mode. This occurs twice a day, often without fanfare. But sometimes the mode switch, combined with lighting and weather, creates its own electronic art.

[ VolcanoCam Image ] - An early morning image of Mount St. Helens at sunrise.

Image Sequence #1 - This image was taken at 0528 Hours PDT on April 29, 2005. Sunrise that morning on Mount St. Helens occurred at 0458 Hours PDT.

The VolcanoCam is just beginning to switch from its nighttime black and white mode to its color mode. Closeup analysis of the original image shows some pixels had already changed to color. While the Sun had already been up for 30 minutes, cloud cover was sufficient that the bulk of the image shows a uniform gray.

[ VolcanoCam Image ] - An early morning image of Mount St. Helens at sunrise.

Image Sequence #2 - Taken just five minutes later at 0533 Hours PDT, the combination of light, clouds and camera produced an "energy burst."

The image pixelation is readily apparent because the camera is unable to compensate for the rapidly changing light conditions.

[ VolcanoCam Image ] - An early morning image of Mount St. Helens at sunrise. Image Sequence #3 - Taken five minutes later at 0538 Hours PDT, the VolcanoCam is in full color mode and the cloud cover permits just enough light to show a uniform blue-purple. As the Sun rises higher in the sky the image changed to a uniform gray, but still in color mode.