Old Man Sunset

The Watcher - Arizona Monsoon Thunderstorms

(Click to watch the storm as God intended…larger, with a dark border)

Scenes like these are the reason why I love chasing and photographing the monsoons here in Arizona.

This was the day before the big haboob arrived in Phoenix. As you can see, dust storms in this state are a normal occurrence during the summer (just nothing so bad as the July 5th one). I was headed south from Phoenix and saw a big wall of dust headed our way, along with a pretty epic looking stormcell. On radar, it was actually headed perfectly towards town.

So I had found this spot the day before and set up here again. I love this old tree. It looks dead, but has green growth on some of the outlying branches. I’ve grown quite fond of it…dubbing it “the old man.” I started running a timelapse and let it go for quiet awhile. I may actually post it sometime soon, but as I am just young in doing these, I moved the camera around a few times, so I need to work a bit on the final product. It’s actually pretty gorgeous how this storm grows, dies and the colors move across it until night falls.

As it stands, a shot like this isn’t super-easy to get. Being able to capture a dying monsoon anvil, complete with awesome sunset colors, PLUS grab a wall of dust moving in front of it…well, it just doesn’t happen much. The only thing that would have made it more rare would be a lightning strike!

Hoping for a few more monsoon sunsets like this before the season ends! Still have a lot of chasing to do.

18 replies
  1. Mike
    Mike says:

    Hey Chris…no, I just don’t bracket everything these days. I mean, yes, this was part of a timelapse anyways, but I doubt I would have bracketed it out…or at least, I might have, but would have just used a single RAW.

  2. Chris Nitz
    Chris Nitz says:

    Love that dust storm adding quite a bit of drama to this gorgeous sunset. The foreground tree adds in a nice touch as well. Just a great shot all around man!

  3. Bob Lussier
    Bob Lussier says:

    Great shot. I really love the idea of storm chasing, but somehow New England doesn’t seem to provide the same drama. But we’re going to NC in a couple of weeks. Is it wrong of me to pray for a hurricane to hit while we’re there?

  4. Heath O'Fee
    Heath O'Fee says:

    Seriously? This shot totally rocks my socks. The range of colours is absolutely stunning and your composition is rock solid. So great, dude.

  5. Gramma Karen
    Gramma Karen says:

    Don’t know all the photography jargon, but looking at this takes my breath away! How’s that?

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.