Chaos of Light

Chaos of Light - Casa Grand Arizona Lightning

(please click to view on black, it’s just that much better)

I was in Vegas for two pretty busy days Wednesday and Thursday. Landed back home around 5pm last night. Ate dinner, spent some time with the family, saw some weather on the radar and since it had been almost week since I did any kind of stormchasing, I decided to head out.

Glad I did.

I captured a few strikes early on from Queen Creek and I-10, but then I decided to head south. I stopped for a bit, hoping more lightning would flare up and soon enough, further south a cell started flashing. A dust storm arrived, and shooting lightning through a wall of that stuff is useless, so I flew south, blasted through the dust and popped out the other side just in time.

I had a spot picked out from a few weeks ago to get some elevation if a storm ever appeared over Casa Grande. I arrived, set up quickly and then sat around watching the city in front of me get lambasted with lightning strikes.

This was the shot of the night for me. I don’t usually talk about processing, but this one was kind of different for me. I did what I usually do when I convert lightning to black and white (Silver Efex is a big part of that), but then decided at the last minute to keep the color. So you not only get the extra definition in the clouds and rain that my B&W processing provides, but also enhanced colors tones. It may vary with monitors and browsers, but at least on mine, it doesn’t look like TOO much color.

It’s kind of hard to put a finger on the why, but for some reason on this shot, I felt like the color better conveyed the scene than being devoid of it.

Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but this year has been absolutely epic for lightning in Arizona. Seems like anytime I go out, I find the storm and point the camera. It’s never that easy, but this season has been crazy awesome.

(canon 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 30mm, f/7.1, iso 200, 30sec – buy print)

24 replies
  1. Chris Nitz
    Chris Nitz says:

    DANG! Now this is some cool lightning, and I especially like how it appears to wrap around the electrical pole on the bottom center-left side. That is such a monstrous shot.

  2. Dave Wilson
    Dave Wilson says:

    Quite fabulous. Keeping the colour was definitely a great idea, I reckon. The streaking of the rain (I presume) and the detail in the cloud layer is superb.

  3. Eje Gustafsson
    Eje Gustafsson says:

    Absolutely brilliant and what a strike just EPIC.

    For what it’s worth I think color on this one was right. Makes you really “feel” the city under the strike. Another one of those dang what an awesome shot boy don’t I wish that was one of mine. In my area way to much trees and tons of small rolling hills and well no cities of any size to use as cool backdrops as this one. boy ohh boy.. Can’t wait for another good storm to get here.. I want to shot lightning soo bad now..

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] I was just astounded at the number of strikes I got with this antenna in the composition. I’m also intrigued by the intensity of of the lightning I’ve captured over Casa Grande. Both times I’ve been here it’s been all kinds of powerful and epic. You may remember this other one called Chaos of Light. […]

  2. […] first few shots I got here were kind of special though. Yes, the Chaos of Light I posted last week was pretty dang intense and probably the best of the bunch, but this shot has […]

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