The Arizona Twister

The Arizona Twister or Dust Devil

(please click to enjoy a view on black!)

If dust devils were tornadoes, Arizona would be the capital of the world. During these hot summer days, you can drive down the long interstates through the desert and see these towering twisters of dust almost anywhere.

They can be tiny things, barely 10 feet tall and they sputter out after minutes. Or they can be long-lasting, tornado-like vortices that sometimes make you do a double-take to just make sure it’s not an actual twister.

While out stormchasing on Labor Day, my buddy Ken and I spotted this elephant trunk-like dust devil that lasted for quite awhile. It had to be hundreds of feet up in the air. Usually when you see a good one, it’s only going to last minutes so it’s not always easy to capture them. And even harder to get a backdrop like we got here. I’ve actually never photographed a dust devil quite like this before.

(canon 5d mark ii, canon 35mm 1.4 l, f/16, iso 100, 1/250th – buy print)

21 replies
  1. Chris Nitz
    Chris Nitz says:

    I like how the dust devil looks like a small ray of light coming down and blessing whatever is on the ground. I’m thinking about all the poor ants and spiders that must feel like they are headed to OZ thanks to that little devil. Fun stuff.

  2. aalevy
    aalevy says:

    I love it. You capture the beauty of both the desert and the Dust Devil with excellent composition with short period of time to to it .
    Remarkable. You continue to wet my photography appetite!!!

  3. John
    John says:

    Truly inspiring capture! Talk about being in the right place at the right time. These things look pretty cool and I definitely want to make a trip out to Arizona in general – it looks like such a beautiful place to photograph!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] The Arizona Twister – a dust cloud appears just in time for our resident storm chaser, Mike Olbinski to capture this incredible photo.  A fabulous landscape and great coulds add further drama to an already extremely dramatic scene. […]

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