Unrealistic Natural Cloud Formations

The title seems to be a contradiction in terms: how can natural cloud formations be unrealistic? But it does happen, and often!

Many times I look at the sky and consider that if an artist faithfully represented the cloud formation it would be considered unrealistic as a painting – which throws a shadow over the concept that artists are only limited by their own imagination – that is, if they want their art to appear realistic!

The best times to catch unrealistic cloud formations are sunrise and sunset and before, during or after a storm, however, strange formations can occur at any time of the day, any time of the year.

Here is a selection of beautiful but unrealistic natural cloud formations produced by outstanding photographers.

Click on any image to visit the page of origin

Cloud Power

Stormy Sunset

Stormy Morning

Cape Byron

Clouds and Rainbow

Clouds and Sky



Mammatus Clouds and Barn

Black Clouds and Dreams

Clouds and Halo

Volcano "The Kljuchevsky Sopka"

Watering Place

A New Day




Mayo All Stars

Where are you...

The Light

Winter Clouds

Summer Clouds





I hope you have enjoyed viewing these wonderful photographs – and did you agree with me that they are quite unrealistic natural cloud formations?

Please leave any comments or acknowledgements for the photos/photographers below.


I love using and learning Photoshop, and I also enjoy creating resources to share with the world. I am at my happiest when I have free time to further explore all that Photoshop has to offer and learn more about its powerful built-in tools. I hope people enjoy either using or learning from my free resources, and welcome any hints and tips - and of course, if you would like to offer a free resource on this site, please don't hesitate to contact me (top right of the page).


Alison Stafford

about 6 years ago

As an artist I am always looking to the sky for inspiration and you're right. If I painted these it would look unreal, but I totally appreciate their beauty nonetheless. Thanks



about 6 years ago

Forgot to write, who is the author of the pictures, because you do not


about 6 years ago

Clicking on any image will take you to the page of origin where you will find who the photographer is.


Kentucky Kitten

about 6 years ago

Wow! Very interesting. Some are so beautiful, and some are a bit intimidating. Very nice pics!



about 5 years ago

absolutely beautiful


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