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Intensity

A new image I never edited from September 5th, 2017…one of the most spectacular monsoon scenes I’ve personally experienced…the light was so intense from the setting sun, so magical…the color out of control, that I just stood there in awe. Toss in a rainbow, gorgeous desert cactus and shrubs and a strong downburst over Organ Pipe and it was almost too much haha.

Missing this stuff.

Bathed in Light

I must be learning how to be more patient these days, or at least, maybe finally realizing I can’t be on every storm, so might as well do the best I can with what I got. I was way down south yesterday, near Santa Rosa and Pisinemo with some really nice storms, but I had a bad feeling that they wouldn’t last into the night. At the same time, I see a nice line moving into Phoenix and realized I’m probably hosed.

In the past, I may have turned around and raced back home in a panic, but yesterday I stuck it out, got in front of the storms moving towards Organ Pipe and saw some of that magical monsoon light that shows why it’s special to chase out here.
Only captured two lightning strikes yesterday, this was the first and made the entire trip worth it. The rain was cresting the peaks, the sun was blazing on the desert landscape and it was all stunning. There is a little rainbow behind the left saguaro, plus an even fainter second one near the bolt. That Organ Pipe area has really grown on me this year. Always something awesome happening out that way.

And now it’s bed time. I had a time-lapse/photo gig at PIR shooting DC Solar construction lighting equipment at 1am this morning and got home around 5:30. Haven’t slept at all! Time to crash!

Hanna & JP’s wedding at Diving Dog Vineyard in Montana

The first time I met JP and Hanna, it was a stormy day and it was engagement photo time. They were amazing though…an umbrella just in case but they braved the weather, smiled and laughed the entire time and I knew right away these were two special people.

This past July was their wedding. In Montana. At Flathead Lake. I can’t imagine a more beautiful place to get married. But as is the theme when we get together, storms were around. My fault? Maybe…but on this day, the weather proved less hassle and instead put on a rainbow show that allowed us to capture some incredible images of the couple just after the ceremony. Rain on your wedding day isn’t always a bad thing!

I brought my buddy Jay Worsley along, who did video and second shot for me (please hang in until the end of this blog to watch his epic teaser from this wedding!). We both had such an amazing time exploring the area and just being a part of this family event. Everyone was so kind and warm to us, we truly felt like part of the day. Darci from Greenwood Events put on a fantastic event, accounted for the weather and everything went off without a hitch.

JP and Hanna…there aren’t enough words to thank you guys for trusting us with this. I know I teared up a few times during the day, but it was because of how genuine you guys are with everyone around you and especially each other. Loved being a part of this so much, I hope you enjoy these photos!

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Hanna and JP // Flathead Lake, Montana // Teaser from Everly Films on Vimeo.

A frame from Hanna and JP’s wedding in Montana

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When you have to put up a tent for the reception because suddenly there is a 40% chance of rain, you might expect the worst. And the rain did arrive, but amazingly it was 30 minutes before the ceremony, and then unbelievably stopped for the ceremony. And when it was over, a brief shower fell again, but then quickly moved out over Flathead Lake and decided to put a spectacular rainbow on display for Hanna and JP. It was one of those epic, freak-out moments when everything came together like magic.

And I expected nothing less for these two people, who were so genuine, kind and fun, that I was actually sad when the band played the last song.
Hannah and JP, it was such a blessing and an honor to be a part of your day, thanks for trusting Jay and I to do this for you and making us feel like part of the family. Can’t wait to edit these photos!

I also have to say, getting to travel to Montana with my buddy Jay Worsley from Everly Films and shoot this wedding together was such a blast, I hope we can do it again sometime!

End of the Rainbow

A powerful thunderstorm that dropped heavy rain and pea-sized hail moves off over Dead Indian Canyon along the Little Colorado River. This canyon eventually connects to the Grand Canyon. As the storm departs, water runs through the desert and a stunning rainbow seems to disappear into the canyon itself.
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8 l, 16mm, f/8.0, iso 100, 1/80th // buy print)

So many aspects of a storm are amazing to photograph and usually you get stuck wanting to always be in front of it for that awesome structure and lightning and whatnot…but sometimes the departing storm, where you have given up chasing but decide to watch it move off across the landscape…can be just as beautiful.

This was about 14 miles east of the Grand Canyon along the Little Colorado a few days ago. Specifically labeled Dead Indian Canyon on Google Maps…it’s a stunning location. I rode out a pretty good storm along this road, with pea-sized hail and heavy rain…I could see runoff draining through the landscape down to the canyon all over the place. As it moved by though…the sun came out for about a minute and created this beautiful rainbow…and seemingly disappeared into the depths of the canyon.

One of my favorite moments from this summer.

End of the Rainbow

End of the Raimbow
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 16-35 f/2.8 l, 16mm, iso 100, f/8.0, 1/20th // buy print)

One of my favorite roads in Arizona is this one that leads almost right into the Superstition Mountains. I only visited it ONE time this summer and this is what I saw. A stunning, light-infused scene with two rainbows starting on the left side, and a faint connection to one of them on the right. The rain, the sunlight, the cliffs, the color in the sky…was all amazing.

This is a scene from my time-lapse film that will be released on Monday or Tuesday next week! I didn’t shoot it from the middle of the road of course, but just off to the side!

Inferno

On Fire
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8 l, 16mm, iso 400, f/4, 1/100th // buy print)

An amazing sunsets east of Sonoita, Arizona. The sky was on fire from a monsoon thunderstorm and the setting sun of course, but an actual wildfire was off camera left of this image, which created a sky full of smoke and only enhanced the colors this night. I was amazed when I turned from the fire to look at this mountain…that the field of grass was actually reflecting the reds and oranges. It was stunning.  A rainbow can faintly be seen over the mountain peak.

You can see more of the wildfire pics here and here.

I typically use luminosity masking and level adjustments these days, and this image is no different. No vibrance or saturation adjustments to up the color. All the color was already there waiting for me to bring it out. It’s the reason I stopped to take the photo in the first place…I felt like everything surrounding me had an orange and red glow.

My only regret with this image is that I shot it at f/4. It was raining, there was a fire burning across the street so I didn’t take the time for a tripod. It’s actually quite sharp all the way through, but I still wish I had shot it at f/16.

 

Trifecta over Tucson

A trifecta
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, rokinon 14mm f/2.8, iso 50, f/16, 2.0 sec // buy print)

This photo may look familiar if you follow me regularly…it was taken roughly four minutes after this other one I posted last summer.

The amazing thing is how the colors change in a matter of minutes. While I loved the other one, this one is my favorite of the two. I dig the purple tones and also love how the rainbow is much more defined and easier to see here. I am showing my work in an art show this Friday and Saturday and this just got printed on a gorgeous 20×30 canvas.

I still find myself so blessed that I was somehow in the right place on this night. I’ve never been able to capture lightning like this against an amazing sunset …but to get a rainbow tossed in was just a bonus.

The bottom of the barrel of storm images from last summer is starting to become visible…but there are a few more coming over the next couple months!