Storm Photos: Part 1

What a week of weather. I don’t know if anyone else can understand how an event like we had can be as exciting as it was to me. The low pressure system that brought all the rain, wind, tornadoes and snow, was record-breaking.

The aftermath of that storm demanded that I document it. Granted, I didn’t get to see everything I wanted, but that’s usually the case when it comes to my excursions. I head out with one idea in mind, but end up somewhere else entirely.

I took Friday off from work just to drive around. The photos below were all taken on Friday, the very LAST photo being my absolute favorite shot of the day.

Also, you’ll notice these have a new watermark on them, something I’m going to start using now to protect them from being stolen illegally. I usually don’t mind them being downloaded as wallpaper for your computer, but I would like to sell some prints and if I make them readily available without the watermark, then I wont sell anything.

Hope you enjoy these! They are all HDR.

The above is the Superstition Mountains on Friday morning. The clouds were hugging the tops of the cliffs and made for some spectacular views.

Tempe Town Lake lowered it’s inflatable dam to let the Salt River flow once more.

A shot of the Salt River flowing under the Country Club Avenue bridge.

This is a wash on the Indian reservation south of my house.

The Salt River again from Country Club Avenue.

A thunderstorm south of my house.

And my favorite…I called it “Shrouded in Clouds.” This was the sight of the day…if nothing else had turned out, this would have been just fine. I will be using this road again this summer during monsoon season.

If you are interested in a print, just drop me an email!

Storm damage photos

I didn’t get as many shots of storm damage as I would have liked, but here are the ones I DID get of some flooding, flowing washes and a downed tree.

Tuesday's Storms

This week is going to be wild and wacky in terms of weather. I’m hoping that we get enough rain so the Salt River is flowing and maybe some outlying washes become rivers because it sure would be fun to shoot a few photos of those thing!

Tuesday night was the second wave of storms, Monday having been fairly week. Tonight though, tons and tons of rain…at last look we had almost an inch of rain at our house! (see my weather station).

Before the storms came in though, there were some great clouds and falling rain that just HAD to be captured by yours truly, so here are  a few shots.

This first shot above was taken in the morning as the first wave of storms was leaving…only to be followed by the stuff below in the late afternoon.

Lightning!

Last summer I realized I could photograph lightning with my little point and shoot camera. Downside was that it was a continuous shot mode, took 2-3 shots per second and you kind of had to be close for the camera to pick it up.

But I was hooked. Big time. I LOVED chasing storms and getting lightning shots. So I knew I needed a better camera, one that could do lots of cool things.

So I bought a Rebel DLSR. Most of you have seen how much I’ve used it since October or so. But as much fun as it has been, I couldn’t believe how long I had to wait until summer to get thunderstorms for lightning shots.

Surprise surprise…we had a nice little winter thunderstorm show last night and yes, I rushed out thanks to my buddy Tyler letting me know he saw some bolts lighting up the sky.

It was a fun storm chase for me, although it ended up with my Blackberry being slaughtered by my car and pouring rain. I stopped to shoot some photos and was in such a frenzy that my phone fell out of the car onto the rocks without me realizing. I left just as pouring rain and hail showed up (drove through some pretty dang good hail), and didn’t realize it was gone for over an hour.

After looking all over the car, I came back to the same spot and somehow spotted the red blinking light. Soaked with rain, scratched from me likely running over it, the phone was still ON, but nothing worked.

Ah the fun of storm chasing 🙂

Here are four shots from the night, the only four I really ended up with. The first three were shot from Higley and the 202, looking northeast. Amazing how high up this little corner was and how it almost looks like they were shot from a hilltop.

This last one below isn’t as good as the others, but I do love the rain you can see falling, while the lightning appears from out of the middle of it all.

Contrails over the desert

I took these awhile back, but never posted them on the blog. I noticed some awesome contrails over the desert and so I drove out at lunch to take some shots.

Contrails usually don’t show up too well on bright, sunny skies, but the usage of HDR and a polarizer filter can really bring them out.

These are all HDR, shot south of Hunt Highway.

Chandler Park Sunset

The same park I took some other shots at in a previous blog post also provided some amazing sunsets the day before.

The park is high, around three stories, so you get an amazing view.

Some more cement pipes that have been turned into art. This is one that set up perfectly for a setting sun.

I’ve gotten a lot of good feed back on this one. I call it “Ocotillo Sunset” because of the ocotillo cactus in the foreground. Got me an AC on Wunderground (Approver’s Choice)!

New Park

There is a new park in Chandler, built on an old landfill that has been closed for many years now. It’s about three stories high because of all the trash under it, so it’s kind of an interesting place.

They have some new playground stuff, interesting items used as “art” and it provides a high place to look around the town of Chandler.

Here are a few shots from around the park.

This is a giant concrete pipe turned on it’s side acting like a silo, or sort of like the corner of a castle around the playground area at this park. I stepped inside, saw the open ceiling and had a field day. This is an HDR.

An HDR of the playground…loved the clouds behind it…stunning.

One of those fun rope contraptions I used to love as a kid.

Another shot through the “silo”

San Tan Mountains

On Monday, Lyla and I took a little trip in my car out to explore around the San Tan Mountain area. There is so much to see over there and it’s only 10-15 minutes away from my house…I just haven’t taken the time to look around.

I will say that I can’t wait until Lyla is a little older and understands what I’m doing. I think maybe she will enjoy the outings to different places and love to explore with me. Hopefully…crossing fingers.

So here are the results of the little excursion.

A simple HDR photo of some rolling hills. My style with HDR lately is to try hard to make it look as natural as possible.

This might be my favorite one. Found this giant cactus and hiked out to it. HDR.

Same cactus, different angle…this is an HDR with an almost black and white treatment to it with lightened borders.

Black and white HDR

Thought this mailbox was funny sitting in front of empty land. HDR.

Some desert photography

Over the Christmas break, we drove around a bit, to Anthem for a little shopping and then just some other random places. A few times we ventured further out to the edge of whatever little area we were in and looked for some desert landscaped to photograph. Here are a few.

This was shot up by Anthem. It’s combined with a texture I shot at a desert park on Lindsey and Chandler Heights.

This is the same shot in black and white.

A waterfall at the park here in Chandler. Hard to believe a sight like this is just around the corner. The day was cloudy, with virga clouds. HDR.

Black and white. HDR

Shot this in northeast Mesa, up on Brown Road. HDR.

This was taken up in Anthem as well. A hiking trail disappears off into the distance. HDR

Aston Martin Vantage

One of our favorite places to eat is Joe’s Farm Grill and while we were there the other day, we stopped to get coffee next door. Sitting in the little covered area across from The Coffee Shop was one of the owner’s cars, an Aston Martin Vantage.

What a sexy vehicle…the lines and the look was too perfect to pass up. I snapped a few shots and stitched them together to make an HDR, plus did some enhancements and smoothing to really make it shine.