Cloudscapes Assignment Winner Nadeem Sufi

Congratulations to Nadeem Sufi for winning the recent Cloudscapes Assignment with the image, “Rays of Life.” See more of Sufi’s work at

View the winning image and a selection of submissions in the gallery below. And be sure to check out our current photography assignment here and enter your best shots!

Winner: "Rays Of Life" By Nadeem Sufi


“I had been to the Great Smoky Mountains many times, but never had I driven on the Blue Ridge Parkway,” says Nadeem Sufi. “So I planned a drive from the Cherokee side of the national park all the way to Shenandoah in Virginia in fall of 2020. I thought I would stop a few places and get some nice images and then keep on driving. Boy was I wrong! It took me ALL DAY to barely make it to 50 miles of it! The scenery was just BREATHTAKING. Just the kind of day I love. Cloudy with the sun in and out. I knew I was not going to make it to Virginia if I had three more days! So I decided to turn back towards Cherokee to camp.

“On my way back, I suddenly noticed the warm afternoon sunlight sneaking through the cloud covers. I could see light changing by the minute. Anticipating that the ray of light just might strike the fall colors lighting up a small part of the mountain, I decided to pull over at the best spot I could find and eagerly waited. I did not have to wait long. It was as if I had struck gold! And so did the light! This display continued for about 15 minutes and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!”

Nikon D850. Exposure: 1/13 sec., f/11, ISO 64.