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

Late Night Lightning

Lightning Over Phoenix

Lightning strikes over Phoenix during a late night storm

I recently did a blog post, and shared an image, of some lightning near Camp Verde, AZ.  That shot was captured while on a storm chasing trip to the Grand Canyon area of Arizona with some long time storm chasing / photography / all around good friends.  This image of late night lightning was captured hours after the Camp Verde image after we had returned back to the Phoenix area.

For a few years now my friends Bryan Snider and Chris Frailey have gotten together for an epic day of storm chasing, normally in Northern Arizona, and this year we invited Jon Stolarski into the fun.  We had an epic day or chasing, had a lot of fun, and when all was said and done got some great images.  This trip each year has turned into a tradition that I really look forward to.

As this years trip was winding down, and it was late at night, we had just finished dinner and noticed that a storm was starting to pop up west of downtown Phoenix.  We decided to head over to one of Bryan’s goto photography places to see if we could capture the storm with the Phoenix Skyharbor control tower and the city of Phoenix in the foreground.  While we were shooting this storm, which is featured in this image, a storm popped up to the south of us so I started setting up a camera to shoot that direction, at which time I wasn’t really paying much attention to the camera that was aimed to the west.  I got the camera pointing south setup and turned my attention back to the camera pointing west just as this image was captured.

What I didn’t know at the time, and discovered later, was that while I was setting the other camera up some wind blow a bunch of rain onto the front element of the lens, and every shot that I got after that had the water spots that you see in the above image.  Initially I was pissed that this had happened, but after I was able to re-group and cool down a bit, I got to looking at the images and ended up really liking the water spots.  IMO they add another level of interest to what I hope is an already interesting image.

I have a lot more from that day chasing that I will be sharing soon, but in the meantime I hope that you enjoy this image and please feel free to click on it to see a larger version.

Posted in StormChasing

Masts, Cranes and Ships

Masts and Cranes

The cranes of a cargo ship behind the masts of pleasure craft in Olympia, WA

I am a big fan of the Port of Olympia. Personally I feel that a vibrant port business is good for the community and even though there has been controversy in the past as to the types of goods that come through our little port, I am always happy to see a big ship at the dock and the cranes moving good around.  I captured this image, that features masts from pleasure craft in front of the cranes of a cargo ship during the recent Kelby World Wide Photowalk around the waterfront in downtown Olympia.

Those that follow my blog, or my social media posts, know that I enjoy our waterfront.  I spend a lot of time down there either with a camera in my hand or enjoying a craft beer at Oly Taproom.  One of the reasons that I live where I do is to be close to the water.  Nothing, IMO, says “close to the water” like a boat or a ship. :-)

Posted in Photography

Tivoli Fountain Abstract

Tivoli Abstract

A black and white abstract image created at the Tivoli Fountain in Olympia, Washington

There are a lot of really cool things on the grounds of the Washington State Capital in Olympia.  One of those things is a replica of the fountain in Tivoli Park in Copenhagen, Denmark.  That’s right, Olympia has it’s own Tivoli Fountain.

Sadly, over the last few years, visitors of the capital grounds haven’t had the pleasure of seeing our Tivoli Fountain in operation, it had fallen into disrepair over the years, but that changed this summer when the fountain was reopened after a fairly intensive restoration effort.

I had shot the fountain in the past, and plan to shoot it a lot more now that it is operational again, and have made a couple trips down his summer to make some images of it.  This image is from a recent visit.

The first thing you will notice is that you can’t really tell that this is indeed the Tivoli Fountain, but is an abstract of some people walking away from the fountain.

I hope you enjoy this black and white abstract image, and if you follow my blog you will be seeing more images of this special fountain soon.

Posted in Photography

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