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A strike over Eloy

Lightning over Eloy
(click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 50mm f/1.2 l, f/10, iso 200, 8 sec // buy print)

I had a lot of luck with lightning last summer…here’s another one from a crazy early night in July when this storm rained down bolts for well over an hour in the general vicinity of Eloy and Casa Grande.

 

Barrage

Barrage
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, rokinon 14mm f/2.8, iso 100, 25 sec, f/8 // buy print)

I’ve stacked lightning a handful of times. Stacking means when you basically merge multiple photos together to create a new image. In this case, I stacked near 30 images to get this one photo.

I don’t normally go this route for lightning…I like the solo strike, the power of less instead of much, much more…but sometimes when lightning is so far away that a single image just isn’t good enough, I like to see what happens when you stack ’em.

I photographed soooo much lightning on this night, in that same area (as you can see), so I had to give a stack a try. In fact, this is actually “Stack Number Two” from the night…the first one can be seen here. That one only had a few strikes, where this one includes everything that came after that. This image includes about 26 minutes worth of lightning. It’s kind of incredible to see what can happen in that short amount of time. The focus of the storm just raining bolts down in a general area.

Nature is amazing.

Lightning south of Casa Grande

Lightning over Casa Grande
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 50mm f/1.2 l, iso 125, f/9.0, 25 sec // buy print)

This particular night out near Casa Grande in early July was spectacular. I’ve already posted one image from this general area, this is a second one. Sooo, so many lightning strikes over the course of an hour. Twice this summer I’ve been blessed with storms that moved very little but kept popping out lightning for a long duration.

The lights belong to the city of Casa Grande and the bolts were landing just to the south of it beyond Interstate 8. You can see blowing dust to the right of the bolt as well. I really dig the two little filaments coming out of the cloud in the upper right…because you know they are connected to the main strike, but split way up further in the clouds.

Still have a ton of storm images from the summer to share but we’re starting wedding/family portrait season and things are going to get busy!

A distant battle

Distant Battle
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, rokinon 14mm f/2.8, iso 100, f/8, 15 sec // buy print)

A few nights ago in Casa Grande I tweeted out something about a lightning bonanza happening down in that area. I started shooting from this very spot at around 8pm and left an hour later. And the lightning was in front of me the entire time.

It was easy pickin’s.

This is a stacked image of eight separate photographs. Because it was such a wide angle lens, I knew right away that I was going to do some stacking…because for me at least, a single strike would have to be utterly AMAZING to stand by itself. But a bunch of them together…that would be awesome.  Also…this was sunset, so the purple in the sky was ridiculous. And the bubbly mammatus on the upper right…well, we just don’t see that all the time. I couldn’t believe I could get these kind of shots with that kind of sky…was too good to be true.

A bunch more coming from this night…including another stack at this very spot with the same lens that has even MORE lightning strikes. Cray cray.

 

Lightning near Casa Grande on July 6th

Lightning over Casa Grande
(please click to view on black // canon 5d3, canon 50mm f/1.2 l, iso 125, f/9.0, 25 sec // buy print)

A friend named Sarah texted me last night about a completely other subject, and then added something about beautiful, huge clouds over their area…which was Queen Creek. I opened my front door from downtown and saw a monster cloud looming over the Sacaton area. Pulled up radar and wow, storms had just popped up out of nowhere down there, all the way to Picacho Peak and Marana.

Threw my gear and daughter in the car and blasted south. I sat in this one spot for about an hour and just photographed lightning as it was almost stationary for the entire time. It did get a bit closer towards the end, and this is one of the images from that time.

Those are the lights of Casa Grande and I’m sitting just north of there. You can also spot some blowing dust on the horizon where the strikes landed.

A bunch of stuff from this night, more to share at a later time!