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Lightning!

Last summer I realized I could photograph lightning with my little point and shoot camera. Downside was that it was a continuous shot mode, took 2-3 shots per second and you kind of had to be close for the camera to pick it up.

But I was hooked. Big time. I LOVED chasing storms and getting lightning shots. So I knew I needed a better camera, one that could do lots of cool things.

So I bought a Rebel DLSR. Most of you have seen how much I’ve used it since October or so. But as much fun as it has been, I couldn’t believe how long I had to wait until summer to get thunderstorms for lightning shots.

Surprise surprise…we had a nice little winter thunderstorm show last night and yes, I rushed out thanks to my buddy Tyler letting me know he saw some bolts lighting up the sky.

It was a fun storm chase for me, although it ended up with my Blackberry being slaughtered by my car and pouring rain. I stopped to shoot some photos and was in such a frenzy that my phone fell out of the car onto the rocks without me realizing. I left just as pouring rain and hail showed up (drove through some pretty dang good hail), and didn’t realize it was gone for over an hour.

After looking all over the car, I came back to the same spot and somehow spotted the red blinking light. Soaked with rain, scratched from me likely running over it, the phone was still ON, but nothing worked.

Ah the fun of storm chasing 🙂

Here are four shots from the night, the only four I really ended up with. The first three were shot from Higley and the 202, looking northeast. Amazing how high up this little corner was and how it almost looks like they were shot from a hilltop.

This last one below isn’t as good as the others, but I do love the rain you can see falling, while the lightning appears from out of the middle of it all.

Contrails over the desert

I took these awhile back, but never posted them on the blog. I noticed some awesome contrails over the desert and so I drove out at lunch to take some shots.

Contrails usually don’t show up too well on bright, sunny skies, but the usage of HDR and a polarizer filter can really bring them out.

These are all HDR, shot south of Hunt Highway.

San Tan Mountains

On Monday, Lyla and I took a little trip in my car out to explore around the San Tan Mountain area. There is so much to see over there and it’s only 10-15 minutes away from my house…I just haven’t taken the time to look around.

I will say that I can’t wait until Lyla is a little older and understands what I’m doing. I think maybe she will enjoy the outings to different places and love to explore with me. Hopefully…crossing fingers.

So here are the results of the little excursion.

A simple HDR photo of some rolling hills. My style with HDR lately is to try hard to make it look as natural as possible.

This might be my favorite one. Found this giant cactus and hiked out to it. HDR.

Same cactus, different angle…this is an HDR with an almost black and white treatment to it with lightened borders.

Black and white HDR

Thought this mailbox was funny sitting in front of empty land. HDR.

Some desert photography

Over the Christmas break, we drove around a bit, to Anthem for a little shopping and then just some other random places. A few times we ventured further out to the edge of whatever little area we were in and looked for some desert landscaped to photograph. Here are a few.

This was shot up by Anthem. It’s combined with a texture I shot at a desert park on Lindsey and Chandler Heights.

This is the same shot in black and white.

A waterfall at the park here in Chandler. Hard to believe a sight like this is just around the corner. The day was cloudy, with virga clouds. HDR.

Black and white. HDR

Shot this in northeast Mesa, up on Brown Road. HDR.

This was taken up in Anthem as well. A hiking trail disappears off into the distance. HDR

A few recent, random photos

Weather and Lyla aren’t the only things I like to photograph, just so you are aware. While those are my specialties right now and the passion when it comes to me and my camera…I still like shooting random things that I find interesting.

Here are a few below, with a little caption underneath talking a bit about the photo.

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