Posts

Isolated

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

Last summer I decided to take a few of my favorite, semi-isolated lightning strikes and turn them into a black & white, “square” collection just for fun. I’ve seen another guy’s work where his lightning strikes are almost solely square crops and I dig that style.

I’ve posted a few already since the monsoon season ended in 2012 (click here to see the others), but I think this is my favorite of the bunch.

I am not sure I can really tell you why either. I know that I love being up high and seeing lightning strike between mountains. That is something I always strive for. It gives a sense of distance and power. But what I also love about this one is the clouds above the strike. I would have a hard time describing to someone the specific kinds of clouds I like when I storm chase, but there is something about these coupled with the strike that I find awesome.

This was from east of Mammoth, Arizona last year…that single storm churned out about three of my favorite lightning images from 2012.

 

The lonely road

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

There is a sister image that goes along with this one. That one was shot about four minutes after this one and included a lucky capture of car tail lights along with five bolts of lightning. Loved it.

I liked this shot too even if it didn’t have all the drama of the other one. In a way though…the empty road lit up by lightning is dramatic in of itself. This isolated, solitary road on the way to Mammoth, Arizona…kind of gives you the feeling I had that night. Pulled off in-between merging highways, 11:15pm…in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes chasing storms and lightning late into the night (or even early morning hours) can get lonely. I mean, I love it…and prefer it this way…but there are times when you stop, look around and realize how much you are alone in a strange part of Arizona.

A few more lightning images left from last summer…they will be trickling out as we near the start of the monsoon in June!

 

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.