Back to the Future II

(please click to see on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 50mm 1.4, f/6.3, iso 200, 25 sec // buy print)

I wanted to do a Movie Title Wednesday, but since I released the new website/branding yesterday, this post got bumped until today. I’ve already used Back to the Future as a movie, so I believe this is the first time ever I’ve gone with a sequel!

Usually when there is lightning to photograph, I’m out and about in the early evening getting to where I need to be. But on Monday night, I didn’t leave the house until almost 9pm. We had chilled with friends for dinner and when I got home, I realized a pretty substantial outflow was marching northwest from southeast Arizona.

I expected to be shooting around the Tucson area, maybe south of it, but as I got near, the storms to the east were going nuts and everything south was dying. I ended up traveling along highway 77 through the town of Mammoth for the first time ever. And basically followed this storm all the way back north-northwest to Superior.

Ended up not getting home until after 2am. Was a fun night. Especially when you get a shot like this.

This is a single 25-second exposure. The route was pretty low on traffic, so the odds of snagging some light trails along with five bolts in one frame must have been crazy high.

I figured Back to the Future II worked here…the light trails being like fire trails, and the lightning strikes providing 1.21 gigawatts of awesomeness.  Huge fan of those films. Although #2 is kind of the weaker one IMHO.

  • Bob Lussier

    This is just sick. And I mean that in a good way.

  • Cap’n Schwartz

    Quick fact – although I’ve seen BTTF, I’ve never seen the second or the third one….

    Oh, but your picture above is – (in the voice of the little neighbor kid watching Mr Incredible pickup and smash his car when his door doesn’t close) SOOO TOTALY AWESOME!!!

  • Jesse Pafundi

    This is off the charts insane. One of my all time favorites from you, holy moly.

  • Eje Gustafsson

    that is one sweet capture.. Love the composition and all the lovely light

  • Bryan Snider

    1.21 Gigawatts! 1.21Gigawatts! Love the movies and all you need in this photo is the license plate and a smoke trail! Great photo! I was chasing that storm and got nothing but flashes all around me. Lightning was very close but hidden by rain.

  • Jan Winther

    Come on Mike. Please dont do this. Its not fair to the rest of us. This shot is insane.

  • Melissa Koski

    What an amazingly beautiful shot! I watched a long storm for a few hours over a lake last night. You would have captured some impressive photographs of it I’m sure.

  • Jay Taylor (aka Sirfishalot)

    Dude, this is just killer! Outstanding work man.

  • Jim Denham

    Just phenomenal Mike! Awesome detail in the clouds and strikes, great tones and the light streaks are icing on the cake! Awesome!

  • Heath O’Fee

    Yeah, this is pretty sweet, I guess.

  • Nathan Gilmer

    Dude! This shot is ridiculous! I love how the lightning lit up the mountains in the background. Also the car light trails make a great foreground. Nice job.

  • Chris DeAngelis

    Wow dude! Great timing!

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