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The dust bowl known as Phoenix

(click to view on black!)

I realized tonight that this image somehow never made it to the blog. I posted it on Flickr and Facebook, but I skipped it here because it took place during my OneQuestion series that I ran for the week of July 18th.

So that very same day, the 18th of July, we had our second big dust storm of the monsoon season. As it would turn out, it was just one of the first few in a line of five or six that have taken place this summer.

I’ve heard a lot of people comment on the number of them so far…that it seems more than any other year. I feel like we get dust storms every summer and 5-6 of them seems pretty normal to me. We had that giant one on July 5th, which was decidedly NOT normal, but the rest have just been the regular deal that comes with being part of the Arizona desert for the monsoons. There has also been some late evening ones that no one sees, they don’t come with a lot of strong wind, but you could walk outside at 11pm and notice a haze over the entire city.

It’s definitely had a unique feel to it. Your car…your house…your stuff…feels like it’s always coated in dust. The car wash places out here have reported booming businesses. Craziness.

This image was part of a timelapse that I did back on that same day.  I played with this one a bit, gave it that vintage-y look that I use on a lot of my portrait images, and I kind of liked it. The foreground is pretty dark because the sun was obscured by a huge storm cloud on the right, which still shining over the clouds on the left.

(canon 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, f/16,  iso 100, 17mm, 1/15th)

Another Phoenix Haboob – July 18th, 2011

Another big dust storm/haboob just nailed downtown Phoenix. Nothing as epic as the first one, but it was still pretty cool.

I caught it on timelapse again from the same parking garage. I had wanted to bolt further south, but I had run out of time with rush hour traffic, so I just went to the quickest vantage point and turned the camera on. There was a little dust storm first, then the second, larger one rolls in towards the end.

A few things of note for this one.

1. I killed my last remote timer control, so I purchased a Satechi TR-A Timer Remote Control Shutter for Canon and it was HANDS DOWN better than the junk I had before. Never buy the cheap, sub $20 version. Ugh. The connector for the 5D Mark II was just awful.

2. I hang around until the dust hits this time! Got so much crap last time…of course, the dust was pretty thin, and I knew this *grin*

3. I so badly wanted to pan right, but I held my ground.

4. This was an all-manual timelapse this go-round. The harsh light and shadows made this pretty tough to do that way, think I may have been better off in a total auto mode for something like this, but I think it turned out okay.

I love the cars at rush hour just flooding the freeway. You can’t see it, but a plane flies from right to left and almost disappears inside the wall of dust. I saw one wing rise up kind of fast for a second, must have been a fun ride!

Enjoy!

July 18th Downtown Phoenix Haboob - iPhone