Seventh Heaven

Downtown Phoenix Urban Storm Sunset

(new: click to view in a lightbox)

This picture is really dedicated to my wife, whom without I doubt we’d have even been in this spot. We had a nice storm system move through this past weekend and I got up real early on Sunday and spent a few hours driving out in the mountains to get some photos.

Because I’d already been out, I just didn’t think about going out again because I had a lot of stuff to get done. Yet my wife comes home in the late afternoon and says “I can’t believe you aren’t out there with these clouds.

And she was right. I couldn’t believe it either. So around 5pm we packed up Lyla and hit downtown Phoenix.

I’ve been wanting inside this parking garage for a long time now and this was a perfect occasion. The guy at the gate said it would cost me $12 despite no event and not a single soul parked in the garage. I asked what I could do if I just wanted to shoot some photos for an hour. He decided to let me park for free near their office in the garage itself which was awesome.

We took the elevator up to the highest floor…number seven, and as my wife told her mom later that night…I was like a kid in a candy store.

The clouds were just amazing. Stormy, huge, fluffy…floating just above our heads. The entire city was basked in this amazing light when the sun went down. I have to rank it up there with the top three sunsets I’ve witnessed here.

I was a snapping, bracketing fool and we were actually on our way out (because there is only so much you can take seeing your two girls bundled up, looking cold, Lyla with those little eyes saying it’s probably time to go daddy) when I saw this scene. The roof of Chase Field where the Diamondbacks play can be seen on the left, which is kind of amazing because it’s such a huge stadium…the roof still towers above us despite being seven levels up.

The puddle obviously makes the shot, but I also just love this cement landscape that stretches out towards the horizon.

I had a heck of a time processing this one last night, starting over several times and spending at least 2-3 hours on it. I’m kind of a perfectionist now and when I think of something being blown up to 20×30, I realize all the tiny details matter.

Can’t wait to get to a few more sets from this parking garage. I have some nice shots of Chase Field itself so I hope those turn out awesome.

Wow I rambled today! Hope your week is going well!

(exif: canon 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 17mm, f/16, iso100)

27 replies
  1. Scott Ackerman
    Scott Ackerman says:

    Very cool bud! It’s the little things like this that you never think of. I would have never thought to go out and get a reflection shot with the rain puddles after a storm. This is superb work.

  2. Jessa Koppenhofer
    Jessa Koppenhofer says:

    Wow the sky just seems to never end & I agree the puddle makes the shot… You were doing exactly what I thought you would be doing when I saw the sky on Sunday night… Man your magical with your camera!! Keep up the FANTASTIC Work!!

  3. Chris DeAngelis
    Chris DeAngelis says:

    Amazing image, Mike! Great story too 🙂 We had some nice clouds this weekend too (we don’t get clouds too often in the central valley), but NOTHING like this! Love the ripples in the puddle also! You should definately blow this one up!

  4. Mike
    Mike says:

    Thank you all so much for the kind words. Definitely glad I looked down….so many times we look to the big picture, the big horizon, right where the sunset is…but man I just need to look down more.

    Appreciate you all stopping by!

  5. Brian Haferkamp
    Brian Haferkamp says:


    Thanks for sharing this great image. I love the leading lines that head into the sunset. Beautiful color, too. It feels more like a sunrise, though, to me. Like the city is just waking up. Good luck with this one, it’s definitely a keeper.

  6. murphyz
    murphyz says:

    Gorgeous shot and reflection which is, as you say, what makes the shot. I would have been interested in seeing a slightly lower angle with a little more of the puddle in the shot, perhaps offering a little more symmetry. Can’t remember ever seeing such great colours in the sky here!

  7. Shelia Weber
    Shelia Weber says:

    It feels more like a sunrise, though, to me. Wow! Definitely glad I looked down….so many times we look to the big picture, the big horizon, right where the sunset is…but man I just need to look down more.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] was pretty awesome. Those that have followed me for awhile may remember some of the other shots (here and here) from the top of this downtown Phoenix parking garage right next to Chase Field. Seven […]

  2. […] came from the king of reflections, Mike Olbinski.  Ever since his storm sunset reflection titled Seventh Heaven, it opened up my eyes to new possibilities and unique […]

  3. […] may remember a few shots already taken on this day: The “Seventh Heaven” reflection and the one of Chase Field called “Fever Pitch“. With my wife and […]

  4. […] For the out-of-state-ers, this is Chase Field, home of the Diamondbacks looking east along Jefferson Street in downtown Phoenix. This was shot about 10 minutes or so before the other one I’ve posted from this parking garage called Seventh Heaven. […]

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Neill Shenton and rafphotog, James Brandon. James Brandon said: Oh. My. Goodness. Look at this absolutely incredible shot from @MikeOlbinski – – So freaking beautiful dude! […]

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mike Olbinski, TJ Offner, lindsey patrick, Scott Ackerman, Brian Arsenault and others. Brian Arsenault said: Looks like the effort paid off! RT @MikeOlbinski: Sunday's sunset from atop a downtown PHX garage: 'Seventh Heaven' – […]

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