Gilding lilies with PhotoShop – Mount Fuji and cloud version

Take a photo of amazing stuff:

Lenticular cloud over Mt. Fuji, 2003 (?)

Lenticular cloud over Mt. Fuji, 2003 (?)

Then mess it up with PhotoShop:

Photoshopped version of a 2003 photo of Mt. Fuji

Photoshopped version of a 2003 photo of Mt. Fuji

Why?  It’s the old question of why do we need fairies in the garden — isn’t the garden itself enough?

Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy called attention to other fantastic lenticular clouds near Mt. Fuji — are those fantastic formations not enough?

Did the PhotoShopper add anything of value to the picture?  Of what use is a gilded lily?

(Please help — the original photo is identified as an award winner in 2003 — do you know the original photographer?  We should give credit appropriately; I’ve not found the person’s name, yet.)


English: This is the final slide to Phil's pre...

Final slide to Phil’s presentation at the JREF’s TAM6 The Amazing Meeting convention. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

15 Responses to Gilding lilies with PhotoShop – Mount Fuji and cloud version

  1. […] Lenticular clouds don’t resemble the fluffy cumulus clouds of cartoons, and so are held suspect by hoax lovers, especially those enthralled by “chemtrails” hoaxes, who argue that clouds are sinister creations of mad scientists and government cabals. Because this short piece shows some of the actions of winds, I love it more. […]


  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Here is what multiple lenticulars stacked up look like in reality, when nature does it without PhotoShop.


  3. Lisaa says:

    This pic is circulating again on FB – but this time, it has TWELVE layers of clouds, and again is claimed to be Taranaki, not Fuji…

    [Link to Facebook: ]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ed Darrell says:

    But look at this actual photo of a lenticular cloud stack over Mt. Ranier in Washington — note how no two layers are exactly alike, as in the PhotoShop Fuji version:

    Photo by: Photograph by Arco Images/Alamy; Credit: National Geographic Wall Paper

    The summit of Washington’s Mount Rainier lies hidden beneath a stack of horizontally layered lenticular clouds. These clouds are formed by high winds blowing over rough terrain and are sometimes described as a “stack of pancakes.


  5. Ed Darrell says:

    On April 21, 2015, who is sending you all to look at this post?


  6. A friend tells me it’s *not* Mt Fuji, but Mt Taranaki, in New Zealand. I believe him :-)

    The Mark J Madigan page also claims it’s West Spanish Peak, Colorado, but once again, there’s no ocean near there. Not a credible claim.

    So whose photo is it, really?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Laura says:

    Yes, you are right, it’s Mt. Fuji. Look at this pic

    The first pic is real by unknown author but the second one is a fake (photoshopped).

    This beautiful pic is real



  8. Ed Darrell says:

    No, that’s not Mt. Ararat. It’s definitely Mt. Fuji. There’s no ocean near Ararat.

    They are both extinct volcanoes, but the photo in my post is definitely Fuji.

    See Ararat here:
    Mt. Ararat, from


  9. Ed Darrell says:

    Thanks, Laura!


  10. Laura says:

    Photo taken by Mark J. Madigan – Walsenburg, Colorado – May 20, 2003


  11. Laura says:

    Maybe: Photo taken by Mark J. Madigan – Walsenburg, Colorado – May 20, 2003


  12. Ed Darrell says:

    Good to know — when I went searching for the original, it took considerably longer than 30 seconds. If you found it faster, perhaps this post is having some of its intended effect.


  13. Matthew Kaney says:

    I saw the doctored picture shared on Facebook and thought it looked a little too amazing. Thirty seconds of Google images yielded the original pic above and then, bored as I was, I decided to see if anyone else caught this and was as annoyed as I was. Why lie about something you don’t have to? Ironically the Faceboook account that had posted it originally was called “Truth Beckons.”


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