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Another world

Standing here, near Bledsoe, Texas on the night of May 29th...it felt like I had traveled to another planet. The wind, the storm, the lightning...but it was the surreal orange glow everywhere that created this otherworldy mood which I'll never forget.

Standing here, near Bledsoe, Texas on the night of May 29th…it felt like I had traveled to another planet. The wind, the storm, the lightning…but it was the surreal orange glow everywhere that created this otherworldly mood which I’ll never forget. It was utterly amazing and mesmerizing. One of those moments you wish would never end.

Clear Air

Sometimes it's obvious where you aim your camera when you photograph lightning in Arizona, mainly near the rain shaft is generally where you'll see the most. But when one fires behind it and it's super close...you turn your camera and hope to get lucky again. I caught two more, this was one. A gorgeous, clear air strike out over the dry lake bed near Willcox, Arizona on July 11th, 2015.
(click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 35mm f/1.4 l, iso 100, f/9.0, 10 sec // buy prints)

Sometimes it’s obvious where you aim your camera when you photograph lightning in Arizona, mainly near the rain shaft is generally where you’ll see the most. But when one fires behind it and it’s super close…you turn your camera and hope to get lucky again. I caught two more, this was one. A gorgeous, clear air strike out over the dry lake bed near Willcox, Arizona on July 11th, 2015.

More to come from this past summer!

North of Pampa

A beautiful supercell matures north of Pampa, Texas on April 16th, 2015. This storm was tornado warned and I happened to be on it from birth to this stage and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my storm chasing career.
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8 l, 16mm, f/8, iso 100, 1/25th // buy print)

One of my favorite days of chasing in recent memory…with this storm north of Pampa, Texas firing before noon, and here and hour later, maturing into a gorgeous supercell. It was quickly tornado warned and one of the most beautiful storms I’ve seen.

Later in the day I would end up seeing my first ever tornado and chase until late in the evening, eventually having to turn around and head back home to Phoenix.

Is it spring yet???

Thor’s Landing

An early morning thunderstorm over the Superstition Mountains on July 3rd delivered a couple of magical lightning strikes. This one in particular is one of my favorites...a single, powerful bolt landing at almost the highest point of the mountain. I'm a huge comic book fan and if anything looked like the arrival of Thor from Asgard, this is it.
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 50mm f/1.2 l, iso 160, f/9.0, 10 sec // buy prints)

An early morning thunderstorm over the Superstition Mountains on July 3rd delivered a couple of magical lightning strikes. This one in particular is one of my favorites…a single, powerful bolt landing at almost the highest point of the mountain. I’m a huge comic book fan and if anything looked like the arrival of Thor from Asgard, this is it.

Wilaha

A distant thunderstorm rumbles and throws down tons of bolts west of the small community of Wilaha in northern Arizona.
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 50mm f/1.2, f/5.6, iso 500, 25 sec, 6-images stacked)

I spent yesterday afternoon up in northern Arizona, hoping to grab some lightning at the Grand Canyon, but of course…that’s an elusive goal and once again it didn’t pan out. But I did see quite a few rotating storms, drove through a great hail storm east of the Canyon, then witnessed a beautiful rainbow over the Little Colorado canyon there, followed up by a gorgeous sunset from Moran Point and then this little isolated storm on my way home towards Williams. It blew up in the distance west of Wilaha, moved closer and closer to me, the bolts were great, but sadly no good west roads and it died out before I was hoping.

Decided to do a 6-image stack of this storm…because it was so distant and any single bolt didn’t seem to do it justice!

West of Tonopah

I was in Avondale when storms looked to be dying out, but way out west I thought I saw a base just hanging out there...so I went for it. Finally as we neared Tonopah the cloud tops went up and the bolts started raining down. One of the most incredible lightning shows I've seen. Lasted for 45 minutes, created strong dusty outflow and had some amazing colors.
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, rokinon 14mm f/2.8, iso 400, f/5.6, 3.2 sec // buy print)

**You can use coupon codex “chase2015” for 25% off prints all summer long**

One of those times you drive towards a storm base without much hope, and then it explodes to 40k ft right at sunset and you witness an incredible lightning show for 45 minutes. Shot this west of Phoenix near the town of Tonopah a few nights ago.

This is a frame from a 352-image time-lapse…gotta be one of the best lightning time-lapses I’ve shot. So many CG’s for the life of this storm that lasted almost 45 minutes. Plus the colors, a huge dust outflow…was amazing.

Got tons of shots with the 50mm too, can’t wait to share some! Probably will save the time-lapse itself for when Monsoon II comes out

The Observer

An incredible, severe thunderstorm late in June, which is early for the monsoon to really get going, explodes over the Santa Rita Mountains. The storm itself looked like a plains supercell at times, even with a brief wall cloud. This lightning bolt is hitting on Mount Hopkins near the Lowell Observatory. The title comes from the little bird somehow flying up high in some crazy intense winds...seemingly having no earthly reason for being there.
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 50mm f/1.2 l, iso 160, f/8.0, 15 sec // buy print)

An incredible, severe thunderstorm late in June, which is early for the monsoon to really get going, explodes over the Santa Rita Mountains. The storm itself looked like a plains supercell at times, even with a brief wall cloud. This lightning bolt is hitting on Mount Hopkins near the Lowell Observatory. The title comes from the little bird somehow flying up high in some crazy intense winds…seemingly having no earthly reason for being there.

Lightning over Billings

I had to hold my tripod down as I was being blasted by 40-50mph winds up on the ridge above Billings, Montana. A fantastic light show...major thanks to my friend James Langford who is from Montana, for passing on this location to me!
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 50mm f/1.2 l, iso 100, f/11, 8 seconds // buy print)

On May 31st, I drove all the way from Denver to Billings with the idea that I’d be chasing storms in central Montana the next day, but it turns out all I’d end up chasing would be the night I got there smile emoticon

Thanks to my buddy James Langford for telling me about the “Rimrocks” above Billings…when this storm rolled through I had the perfect spot to shoot it. I had to hold my tripod down as I was being blasted by 40-50mph winds the entire time! A fantastic light show!

Isolated

A lone bolt of lightning strikes the Sierra Estrella Mountains northwest of Maricopa, AZ. This downpour was awesome to watch as it just cascaded off the mountains.
(Please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, rokinon 85mm f/1.4, iso 100, f/5.6, 1/160th // buy print)

Yesterday evening a storm developed right over the Sierra Estrella Mountains northwest of Maricopa, AZ. I started to time-lapse it with a wide angle lens as the rain began to fall…but then it got more intense so I grabbed a second camera to time-lapse and threw on an 85mm to get a tighter crop and it was amazing. Gorgeous colors as the sun went down, lightning striking the mountain and the rain cascading off the hills. This is a frame from that time-lapse. Can’t wait to render the entire thing to check it out.

Getting some cool footage this year for Monsoon II. It’s weird how you never know what you’ll get or where you’ll end up on a given day, but then you just see what you see and capture it the best you can. The last few days have been fun.

Symmetry

These two bolts almost appear to be mirror images of each other at first glance. Of course they are very different...but it's what fun about lightning photography. Finding the hidden shapes and nuances to what you capture.
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 35mm f/1.4 l, iso 100, f/8, 6.0 sec // buy print)

Two nights ago near Wilcox, Arizona…on my way home from being in New Mexico for two days…some isolated cells kept popping up near here as the sun went down, so we hung out a bit to capture a couple of sweet strikes before continuing on to Phoenix.

This storm was funny though…you can see the rain on the left, which had already moved past me…there appeared on radar to be another cell straight ahead, but no rain…but I saw another bolt here prior to this, so I aimed this way and caught two of them. I normally would have panned left towards the rain where I’d normally expect to see one.

But I LOVE clear air bolts…don’t seem to get a ton of those!