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Lazy Clouds over the San Tan Mountains

If I remember correctly, I took this back on July 1st while sitting out on this road praying that the monsoons would start up soon. Nothing happened of course, but the clouds were beautiful, lazy and fluffy.

I believe this was also one of my first images with the newly acquired Tamron 17-35 2.8. I love the glass, it’s sharp and the aspherical nature of it has been a lot of fun.

These are the San Tan Mountains, which you’ve probably seen in quite a few of my photos since this spot is only 1.5 miles from my house. I may end up posting as many San Tan shots as I can this week as we’re moving on Saturday to downtown Phoenix and places like this will take more of a drive to get to.  A final farewell to the ol’ stomping grounds.

The photo itself is a single exposure (no HDR) with some texturing added in Photoshop.

Storms over the Strawberry Fields

Go figure. I get slightly jealous about Phoenix having an amazing chance of storms last weekend and ME having to go to Holland. Okay, I wasn’t TOO upset, but part of me wished I was there enjoying the first big storms of the year. But it turns out it wasn’t a bad thing to be over here.

They definitely didn’t materialize in Phoenix, but I sure got a dose of them here in Nuenen, Netherlands. First night I was here I was woken up by a thunderstorm, and then today we had two big storms roll through and drop a ton of rain.

This shot was taken about 25 feet from our hotel on the farm next door. That is a giant strawberry field spreading out before you and the puddles came from the rains earlier in the day. Such gorgeous country with the trees and farms around our hotel…simply beautiful.

Also, that’s not my tripod out in the field, it’s some kind of watering sprinkler 🙂

It’s been fairly warm and humid here, but the rains really turned this evening into something amazing. I have a few more storm pictures, this one really turned out well.

(You can see more pictures from Holland by visiting this link: Holland Trip)

Fluffy clouds over the San Tan Mountains

Something a little different than the standard HDR photos I tend to post here. While HDR is amazing at adding drama to a scene, I still love a good black and white or even a textured photograph. This was shot while out testing my new Tamron 16-35mm f2.8 without a CPL (which I hope to get today in time for Holland!).

What I usually do with shots like this is to use the RAW editor to manipulate the same photo two different ways…one to bring out the sky and clouds, the second to get the foreground just right. Then I blend them in Photoshop. I’m positive I’ve shot this scene before, probably on the same road and from the same spot, so I tried something new with the faded effects and texture overlay.

Definitely feels like the Arizona west I know.

Light in the branches

(You can click on the photo for the large version)

I’ve been desperate to chase some monsoon storms around Arizona since the season started over a week ago, mostly to get solid lightning shots, but also general storm photos. But the storms aren’t cooperating and monsoon moisture is taking a very long time to move into the state so all we have are scattered thunderstorms during the afternoon hours that die off before the sun goes down.

I went out anyways yesterday, hopefully to somehow get lucky…which didn’t happen. But I was treated to some great skies with cloud debris from the earlier storms, which made for some nice backdrops around the sunset hour. This scene in particular was shot down East Price Road, northeast of Florence. I’m always a sucker for giant, old, dead looking trees (I’m not sure if these are dead or not, but in the middle of summer with no leaves…they just might be), but these guys were lit up with the setting sun in the higher branches.

I loved that lingering light coming in over the hills to the west and seeing the tops aglow…it’s something you can see better if you click on the photo for the larger version.

A beautiful sunset overall and I have a few other shots I’ll post later this week maybe.

Stormchasing: A backlit Nebraska storm

Of all the things I saw during my trip to Nebraska to chase around some storms, this scene was one of the best. I don’t even know if the HDR processing can convey what it looked like in person, but it was breathtaking. The sun back-lighting the falling rain, the scud clouds moving quickly along the surface…the dirt road running into the distance…the grass was blowing, the clouds churning…it was a sight to behold.

Myself and another stormchaser were just standing here, talking, looking in awe and snapping photos. A good guy too, from the town of Ogalalla where I shot the feed mill photo posted yesterday. Love the people in Nebraska, just good, kind folk.

Technically this was just a hand-held, 3-bracket HDR using Photomatix, CS5, Imagenomic and Topaz.

Mailboxes, etc

(click on the image for a larger view!)

The way to Grand Falls goes through Luepp Road, which was picturesque and almost as interesting to me as the Falls themselves. There were quite a few of these little mailbox clusters along the way and this scene above spoke to me so much, I actually turned around and went back a few miles to make sure I captured it before returning to my trip to the Falls.

There was just something about the way the mailboxes were all huddled together, the dirt road runs off for miles and in the far distance you can actually see the houses these boxes belong to. The sky was so great this day…the clouds perfection.

I’ve lived in Arizona my entire 35+ years of existence yet still I have so much to see and discover…Luepp Road is a stretch of country I’ve never seen before but am so grateful I got the chance.