Equilibrium

Equilibrium - Arizona Monsoon Lightning

(canon 5d mark ii, canon 50mm 1.4, iso 125, f/5.6, 30 sec // buy print)

Please click to view on black!

One thing I try very, very hard to avoid is posting an image and then saying something like “OMG, this is my bestest, most favoritest photo I’ve ever taken in all the land!” I have many reasons for that, and if you want to know them, you can ask, but it’s just my general rule.

Yeah, gonna break that one today.

Before that though, it’s Wednesday and I haven’t done a Movie Title image in awhile, so here you go. Equilibrium. Christian Bale. It was really, really good. Check it out.

So this is my favorite lightning image of 2011. I didn’t sit down and look through all my photos and debate over which was best. This was always it. I knew when I saw it that it would be. And there are two reasons why.

(btw, those who bought my book have already seen this and thus know the story behind it already!)

First…the scene itself is incredibly unique. Two layers of clouds…a low one that is hugging the tops of mountains beyond the immediate horizon, and the upper one that is a boiling thunderstorm. Then you have a lighting strike running sideways between these two layers.  I didn’t shoot anything like it over the course of the last two summers and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to duplicate it. The only question I ask myself when I look at this is why I don’t have it printed and hanging in the house yet? I’m so bad at that.

The second and final reason has little to do with the actual picture. It was the work that led up to it. The effort. I had been in Tucson earlier that evening and as the storms were dying out, I decided to fly north and catch what was hitting Phoenix. But those storms were moving too fast. They were northeast of Phoenix by the time I hit town. For some reason though, I kept going. I blew through Phoenix and started up the Beeline Highway. I got almost all the way to Rye when I decided to turnaround. The weather were dying out, it was getting late and I felt like I failed after having just driven 180 miles with nothing to show for it.

But on the way back…a random storm popped up east of the highway. There was no reason for it, everything else had quieted down, but I saw it, I stopped and aimed my camera at the place I saw the flash.

This was the next shot that my camera captured.

It proved to me that what I was doing and the way I was doing it was valid. That my instincts were good and I was meant to do this.

And there was a lesson in that night for me. Simply put…when others stop, I should keep going. If I want a shot that no one else can get, then I need to be doing what no one else is doing.

It’s not easy…but you know what? I was all alone on that highway and the only one around to see this. And I’m so glad I was.

  • http://heathofee.com Heath O’Fee

    A truly impressive and unique shot.

    Print it, frame it, enjoy it.

  • http://www.hansrico.com Rick Louie

    Looks like it’s just jumping across the sky. I love those times when it’s just you and the road in search for the perfect shot. All of a sudden the scene just comes upon you and it’s just you, your camera and the amazing scene. Nothing like it in the world!

  • http://www.cdeangelisphotography.com Chris DeAngelis

    Very cool Mike. What a unique capture! Glad you stayed out to experience this!

  • http://www.brianfurbush.com/blog Brian Furbush

    That is a ridiculous lightning shot dude – congrats on the awesome capture, looks like the effort was well worth it.

  • http://www.goldenhourstudios.com Jesse

    ZOMG LIGHTNING IN MY BRAINZ!!!

  • http://peterjhart.com Peter J. Hart

    That is so cool. Would look awesome cropped wide. Awesomer cropped wide and on 6′ of canvas.

  • http://catchthejiffy.com Adam Allegro

    Wow. I am just speechless with this one. Well done buddy. This is so cool. BTW, I love that movie. AND, I broke the rule and posted my favorite black and white today as well!! It is one of those personal favs, one others might not enjoy as much because it speaks to them differently. Ok enough reambling… Nice work Mike.

  • http://www.kriskoeller.com Kris Koeller

    Incredible shot. Well done!

  • http://sirfishalot.wordpress.com Jay Taylor (aka Sirfishalot)

    Man, that is an awesome image Mike! What is that old saying about serendipity? Congrats on capturing this as well as the successes you’ve had during the year.