Thor - LIghtning on Interstate 8

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 17-40 f/4 l, 17mm, f/6.3, iso 800, 20 sec // buy print)

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Movie Title Wednesday and I’ve missed it. So today we’re back with a flash and a bang and a crackle…a lightning strike worthy of the gods.

I’m a huge comic book fan and everything Marvel has done with their superhero movies has been amazing. Creating these separate movies like Iron Man, Captain America…the Hulk…Thor…and then throwing them together into The Avengers was perfectly executed and unlike anything we’ve seen before. The Hulk movies may not have been awesome, but they made up for it with the Hulk stealing the show in The Avengers.

So I dub this lightning photo “Thor“…because it could actually serve as a scene of the god of war coming down to earth. At least I think so. This is one of my favorite strikes to-date. I took a chance here with ISO 800, but I really wanted to illuminate the clouds on an awesome strike and I got lucky enough to not have a blown-out scene. I love the way it starts up high, you can see it in and out of the clouds and then it crashes down to earth with multiple bolts.

And this was 17mm too, uncropped…pretty dang close!

A fantastic storm in the vicinity of Gila Bend last night. I had given up after some other storms died without me even taking the camera out of my bag…but then I looked west, high-tailed it that way and got a couple of awesome strikes on camera.

Thunderstruck on Interstate 8

(please click to view on black and so it fits your screen // canon 5d mark ii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, f/5.6, iso 125, 30 second // buy print)

Last night started off with a beautiful little photoshoot I did with a sweet 90-year old woman and her recently married granddaughter. I arrived at the lady’s house down in Casa Grande about 15 minutes before a large dust storm rolled through town. We braved the dirt, got a few fun images and then headed back inside. I knew once the shoot was over, I would likely head west along Interstate 8 because earlier models had shown storms would propagate that direction into the evening. Sure enough, a massive wall of lightning and rain was moving slow to the west and I figured I could catch up.

South of Gila Bend I ran into a group of stormchasers from Oklahoma and the United Kingdom, a few of which I had already been friends with on Facebook! Was so awesome to run into them and hear how excited they were for every lightning strike, the huge dust storm that hit us on Sentinel Road and just the fun of being out there. The UK folks don’t get lightning like that out there, so this is a stormchasing holiday for them and I wish them the best of luck!

This capture was taken just minutes before all the storms died out for the night. It felt super close, like within 1-2 miles at least. This photograph is cropped to the left side of the image I captured because I wanted it centered, but you can get an idea how close it was considering it’s a 17mm focal length on a full frame.

One of the more exciting, up-close lightning strikes for me this year!

Storms on Interstate 8

Ah…the first week in October will go down in my very own history books as the most awesome weather event of 2010. Storm after storm, organized systems, training…cloud structures I don’t get to see much out here…just fantastic fun.

This is one of the first images I captured from that week. Around mid-day I noticed a storm building up down on the Arizona-Mexico border that was moving north. About an hour later it hadn’t died out at all, it just kept moving towards Interstate 8. You don’t see that much out here…usually storms build, die and the outflows created by rain and wind form new storms. This was an organized cell moving steadily in one direction. The kind of thing you see in the midwest. I closed up shop and raced south.

I shot this about 20 or some odd miles west of the I-8/SR 84 interchange. And yes, after a few minutes of shooting from here, I headed inside that thing. A lot of those photos can be seen in my blog post last week with all the random storm images.

To the left of this shot more storms would end up building from the south creating one heck of a day of weather. I plan on posting another collage of storm photos perhaps later today or sometime this week.