From Within

Tucson Arizona Lightning

(click to view in lightbox…the border really adds a lot)

As I said at the start of the week, I had been planning on not really blogging since I have this awesome guest series going on right now. And on a side note, thank you to EVERYONE who participated and made it a success. Been so much fun. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s conclusion.

But anyways, I couldn’t help myself. Had to post today.

So Tucson, Arizona, is where it’s at. Those of us in Phoenix tend to just wait around, maybe drive to Casa Grande on some nights to get lightning, but the storms just aren’t as frequent up here. A friend of mine on Twitter, Beth Allan, comes down once a year in August with a group of stormchasers to shoot lightning all week. And they base themselves out of Tucson.  And they rock it.

Only problem is that it’s about 100 miles away from downtown Phoenix. A long drive, lots of gas. I can’t do it everyday. But I definitely wanted to make it a point to venture down there a few times this summer. Last night was my first trip there and honestly, I should have gotten there a lot earlier in the day. Immediately upon hitting the town, it was like a fireworks show in all directions.

I also am unfamiliar with the city or where good high spots are, so I kind of got lost driving in some hilly areas. I stopped, watched the lightning over the town in the distance and that’s when I this cloud in the photo suddenly start dropping tons of rain. When you see a huge thunderstorm with a massive rain shaft…aim there. That’s usually where 90% of the lightning is going to show up.

It’s always fun to shoot lightning when I can use the 17-35mm lens, because that means it’s close and awesome. I still tend to cower down in the car, or huddle up next to the tripod to stay lower than anything else 🙂

This was the best strike of the night for me, in what amounted to a lot of driving for about 20 minutes of shooting. I love how it looks like two bolts exploded from within the cloud and go in different directions. Awesome.

(canon 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 24mm, f/9, iso 200, 10 sec)

  • Dave DiCello

    Man dude, you are certainly the international expert at capturing lightning strikes! I love how it eminates from the center of the clouds, this is great dude!

  • Bill

    Yup,I just sit in my front porch and watch the show.

  • Toad Hollow Photography

    You are such an inspiration to me, Mike. This is absolutely incredible.

  • Jesse

    Sure, upstage my guest post with another ridiculous lightning shot. How nice of you.

    I kid, of course 🙂

  • Curt Fleenor

    Insane capture Mike!

  • Chris Frailey

    Nice one Mike. Worth the drive.

  • Capnschwartz

    Too bad I can’t text what my face looked like when saw this pic, it would say it all!!

  • Bryan Snider

    Nice shot Mike! I’ll have to drive down there sometime too and see if I can get some lightning.

  • Chris DeAngelis

    Awesome ligntning skills as usual! I think you blogged more than I did in your week off 😉

  • Mark Blundell

    Thats awesome – what a great image.