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A thundering sunset in Buckeye

Strikes at Sunset

(click image to view on black and so it also fits your monitor // canon 5d mark ii, canon 85mm 1.8, f/10, iso 400, 13 sec // buy print)

Two nights in a row an isolated thunderstorm just appeared over Buckeye…which is west of Phoenix. It’s just kind of a rare thing to see that happen, so the second night I didn’t let it go to waste.

I flew out there and arrived east of Buckeye to shoot this giant storm that kept dropping lightning everywhere. Normally I would get closer, but my goal was to capture not just the lightning, but hopefully the cloud above it. Especially because there was still some fading light from the sun to add to the composition. I decided not to crop this one because I liked the transition of color upwards and the way the lightning comes out of the base of the storm at the very bottom.

Considering this was on the shorter side…only 13 seconds, getting that many strikes was awesome. And there is also something cool about powerplants, powerlines…something electrical being framed with a lightning storm.

Over the Top

Over the Top - Arizona Monsoon Lightning

(click to see on black and for the image to fit your screen)

I knew when I saw this in Lightroom after dumping my card from that night’s excursion, this would end up being a Movie Title Wednesday.

The sole reason I know the song “Meet me Halfway“…is because of Over the Top. I haven’t seen the movie in awhile, but I can still picture Sylvester Stallone using that pulley in his truck to work out while driving across the country with that song playing in the background. I have no idea if critics thought the movie was good or not, but for some reason it left an impact on me. Not sure if it was the father struggling to connect with his son, the arm wrestling, the clips of guys drinking motor oil or eating lighted cigarettes…or whatever…but I remember loving it and even as a kid, getting a little teary-eyed at the end.

I captured this lightning on the evening of August 2nd, a sort of surprise night where I wasn’t even expecting to go out. It was the second night in a row that an isolated storm cell built up just over Buckeye, west of Phoenix. It was strange…because storms usually start in the high country to the NE, or in the SE deserts, and move towards us. Two straight nights a giant cell just pops up over Buckeye for no apparent reason.

I skipped it the first night, but not the second. I could see it exploding from the backyard, so I bolted west and setup with the 85mm to capture some pretty awesome lightning strikes. In fact, that night turned out to be pretty good and I think I ended up with over 20 decent lightning strikes.

This particular one has a little shoot “over the top” of the cloud, hence getting it’s movie name today.

(canon 5d mark ii, canon 85mm 1.8, f/10, iso 250, 30 sec)