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Few if any would say that the toxic cloud of death — or the inversion, as science-types call it — is beautiful, but a local photographer just might change your mind with this amazing panoramic.

Jeff McGrath, from Lehi, took his lens to the Suncrest neighborhood above Draper on Monday night and shot toward downtown Salt Lake City to capture the smog, illuminated by city lights. He posted the view to Gigapan, allowing anyone to explore the wide photo and zoom in and out to get a closer look at the blanket of certain demise (one so powerful, it apparently gained sentience).

In the interest of full disclosure, McGrath and I know each other through mutual friends and The Daily Utah Chronicle. McGrath shoots a lot of stunning photography, which you can marvel at on his website.

I asked him about the photo and how nice it must have been to get out of it.

Tribune • You take a lot of weather shots. Have you ever attempted a photo of the inversion like this before?

Jeff McGrath • I love photographing storms, lighting and weather in general. This winter season, however, is the first time I have purposefully photographed the inversion as my main subject.

Tribune • Anything cross your mind about the smog as you were up there capturing it?

J.M. • How disgusting the air can be in the wintertime in such a beautiful place is probably the most reoccurring thought. It's sad that we are surrounded by some of the most gorgeous scenery in the world, yet have such polluted air in the winter.

Tribune • How nice was it to get up there on the hill and out of it?

J.M. • It's a nice break from the hazy valley air for sure. When I am at the top of Suncrest, in Park City or anywhere above the inversion, there is a feeling of disgust as I slowly drive back down into the valley.

— Michael McFall

Twitter: @mikeypanda

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