Speed Limit 55

Speed Limit 55 - Arizona Monsoon Lightning

What a day of stormchasing on Friday! All the way south almost to Tucson, when crazy lightning starts happening, but also a lot of rain and tough shooting conditions. We ended up heading back to Phoenix because newer storms were building west of it and we figured that was easier to intercept than chasing them south of Tucson.

Almost looked like this amazing night would turn out to be a bust because I hadn’t gotten a single lightning photo. Then we got to Phoenix and it was still looking grim. But I noticed a darkness growing over South Mountain and after that that skies opened up and we had lightning to shoot in multiple directions!

I found a dry spot just south of Hunt Highway on Gilbert Road, my old stomping grounds, and just fired away.

I have a few similar shots of lightning hitting beyond this road…but only this one has the speed limit sign lit up from a passing car.

(canon 5d mark ii, canon 50mm 1.4, f/5.6, iso 100, 30 sec – buy print)

9 replies
  1. Dave Wilson
    Dave Wilson says:

    Another excellent lightning shot, Mike. All of these remind me of the most impressive lighting storm I ever saw which was, as it happens, on a road somewhere northeast of Phoenix. The road, which was elevated perhaps 6 or 8 feet from the surrounding land, stretched across a perfectly flat plain and I remember feeling like a great lighting target as the bolts landed all around us!

  2. aalevy
    aalevy says:

    Mike, you are in the Center of the Lightning Universe. The photo is truly magnificent with the tendrils of lightning reaching into the area of Phoenix.
    You got everything including composition and the lit up 55 per hr, speed sign!!! Just wonderful and what an eye you have.

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