Author Archives: ScottWood

Pacific Northwest photographer based out of Olympia Washington specializing in nature, landscape and severe weather photography. Please join me on Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook

The Electric Desert

The Electric Desert

Lightning strikes over the central Arizona desert near Camp Verde

If one were to go by the frequency that I have shared new images to this photoblog one might think that I haven’t done much shooting in the last few months.  That wouldn’t be true though, I have been shooting quite a bit, the problem is that I haven’t had a lot of time to process and share image.  I hope to change that, starting with this image, which I titled Electric Desert.

I have mentioned before that one of the things that I really miss about living in Arizona is chasing the annual Arizona Monsoon, and specifically shooting lightning.  Since moving back to the Pacific Northwest back in 2012 I have managed to make it back every year, with the except of 2016, so it was great to be able to get back this summer and chase some storms.

My trip this year was a little later in the monsoon season, and while there weren’t as many storms as I would have liked, I did have a great trip to the Grand Canyon with some storm chasing friends, which I will detail in an upcoming post, and got enough “keeper” images to keep me busy for awhile.

Stay tuned, and I promise that the frequency of blog posts here will pick up.

Posted in Photography, StormChasing

Boats out of place

Broken Down Old Boat

A broken down old boat out of place near a broken down old shed near Olympia, WA

About 15 years ago my wife and I were four wheeling in our 1968 FJ40 Land Cruiser about 20 miles south of Tucson, out in the middle of the desert, and we came across a boat that had been abandoned.  It wasn’t on a trailer, and keep in mind that we were a long ways away from any sized body of water that would have accommodated this boat, it wasn’t small.   That boat out in the middle of the desert fascinated me and even thought I didn’t have a camera with me that day it did launch a personal project where I capture images of boats out of place.

I have 20 or so images in the collection for this project, which I hope to turn into a book at some point, but when we came across this boat, out of place, last weekend I had to pull over and grab a shot of it.  Even though we do live very close to a very large body of water, it always fascinates me when I see a scene like this.

Posted in Photography

Control Tower Time Lapse

Over the last year or so I haven’t don’t a lot of time lapse specific shooting. To put it mildly, those photographic skills got a little rusty.  I am getting ready to take a 2 week work trip to Arizona for work but will also be getting out and doing as much storm chasing as the Arizona monsoon will allow.  I needed to get out and flex the muscles needed to make a time lapse, and one of the first I have done is this short one of the control tower at the Olympia airport.

I wish that there would have been some clouds in the sky, at least Mt. Rainier was visible, but it is nice to know what I can still shooting in changing light conditions and get something decent in the final product.

Posted in Photography

Private Fireworks

Fireworks 2017

A private fireworks display during the 4th of July of 2017

I am not sure what I enjoy more, enjoying fireworks or photographing fireworks.  If you look through the gallery that this image is linked to you will see a handful of fireworks images.  This image is a bit different though.  The other images that I have shared are from municipal type displays, this shot was from some nearby private fireworks.

The house that you see in this image is a mile or so south of our house and is up on an elevated ridge.  We have always wondered what the view from up on that ridge was like and we finally got the opportunity to visit this very house earlier this year during a party that was hosted there.  When we were at that party we found out that the people that live there put on a fireworks display each year for a party that they host.  With that knowledge we decided to forego all of the larger municipal displays and limit ourselves to enjoying this one.

Posted in Photography

Storm Chasing Olympia Style

Olympia Severe Warned Storm

The Olympia doesn’t get many severe warned storms, but we had one this year

If you have followed me and my photography at all you will know that severe weather is far and away my favorite photographic subject.  I was chasing storms before I knew that storm chasing was actually a thing and knew that when I moved back home to the Pacific Northwest back in 2012 that having severe warned storms here was going to be a somewhat rare occasion.

Since we moved to Olympia back in the spring of 2012 we have had one severe warned storm come through the metro area.  We have had a few in the general area, usually to the south of us, so I was pretty excited when everything lined up in early May for what ended up being a pretty epic storm.

This image was captured after the severe warned cell passed over my head.  I sat in 14.5″ an hour rain.  For those that don’t know, 14.5″ an hour is a crazy amount of rain.  Shortly after this storm passed over me, near the Olympia airport, it travelled to the northeast, over Lacey, WA, where it developed into a wet microburst that did an impressive amount of damage.

I am looking forward to making a trip or two to Arizona over the next month or two and hope to get some Arizona monsoon chasing in, it is one of the things from Arizona that I truly miss.

Posted in Photography, StormChasing