Category Archives: StormChasing

Olympia Airport Lightning

Oly Airport Lightning

Lightning bolt captured near the Olympia Airport during a recent thunderstorm

I made a promise to myself some time ago that I was going to do a better job not only sharing images on my social media outlets but here on my blog as well.  I am sad to say that I haven’t really done either very well.  Heck, my last entry here was back in January.  It’s not that I haven’t been shooting, I carry a camera with me every day, it’s just that my habits have changed over the last year.  Fortunately a thunderstorm the other night sort of jolted me back to having photographic excitement again.

This isn’t actually a new thing for me.  Back when I regularly chased the Arizona monsoon I would get into what I would call photographic doldrums though the late spring into early summer.  It was always the monsoon, and specifically lightning, that would get my creative juices flowing again.  Glad to know that it can still happen.

I captured this image of lightning over the Olympia airport, that’s the control tower that you can see by that big tree, and while the thunderstorms that come though Western Washington are tiny compared to many other places, they are still capable of being photogenic.  I actually captured 3 shots that night that I consider keepers, and I will be sharing all of them in time.

There will be another short break in my online activity coming up.  I am returning to Burning Man for the first time in 13 years this year, and will most likely have very little to no internet access while I am there.  I am really looking forward to sharing more though.

Monsoon 2018

Waiting to Taxi

Southwest Air jets are waiting to taxi during an Arizona monsoon thunderstorm during the 2018 monsoon season

I just returned home from a week long work trip to Arizona which also doubled as my annual Arizona storm chasing trip.  I had high hopes for Monsoon 2018, but in many ways it was a bust.  I did get out almost every evening and also made my annual trip to Northern Arizona with my friends Bryan Snider and Chris Frailey, but when all was said and done, I saw very little lightning.

Considering I need to travel from the Pacific Northwest in order to chase the Arizona monsoon I always want to have amazing storms to shoot.  I really want to be able to maximize my time while I am there and ideally come home with a huge number of images to eventually share.  With that said, before I left this year I told my wife that I would be happy if I came home with one image that I was really happy with.  Sadly, that is exactly what happened, I came home with only one image I am very happy with, this one of Southwest jets waiting to taxi at Sky Harbor airport during a small thunderstorm to the south.

Grand Canyon Lightning

Grand Canyon Lightning

Lightning strikes in the Grand Canyon in Arizona during the 2017 monsoon season

I have been shooting lightning for almost 30 years. Yeah, I know, I’m getting old and this just helps date myself, but it’s a simple fact, I have been doing this a long time. In those years I have captured lightning on film.  I’ve captured it on slides.  I’ve captured it with digital cameras.  I have been fortunate enough to capture it over cities, forests and deserts.  I have captured it in quite a few different states but the one thing I had never been able to do was capture it in the Grand Canyon.  That was until this past summer during the Arizona monsoon where I captured this shot, Grand Canyon Lightning.

You can really say that this has been a “bucket list” image of mine for many years.  I can now check this off as something I have never done, and while this was my first lightning strike image in the Grand Canyon, I really hope that it isn’t the last.

Update: Since initially publishing this blog post I found out that this image was selected as the winner of the Stormhour Photo of The Week.  I am truly humbled to have won this.

Also posted in Photography

More Power To The Wayback Machine

More Power

Lightning strikes near Casa Grande, AZ during the 2011 Arizona Monsoon Season

A few days ago I shared an image of lightning that I captured back in 2011 but re-edited with more modern post processing software.  This is something that I am going to do with most, if not all, of my older storm chasing images that I have here in my galleries.  Today I am sharing a re-edit of an image I originally titled More Power.

I captured this image near Casa Grande during the 2011 Arizona Monsoon.  This image was captured after a long evening / night of storm chasing.  I don’t remember for sure but if I had to guess this was probably close to midnight.  While this image might not have many elements of a classic landscape shot, I always loved the power lines leading the eye into the shot and to the lightning bolt.  

Also posted in Photography, WayBackMachine

The Wayback Machine revisits Tagging Along

Tagging Along

This is a re-edit of an image I captued outside of Phoenix, AZ in 2011 of lightning striking during the 2011 Monsoon Season

In the past I had done a series of blog posts that I called “Wayback Machine” posts. Basically they were blog posts where I would share some sort of content that I had previously shared, perhaps not on my blog, but was something that the world had seen before.  I have decided to bring that series back, but to use it in a slightly different manner.

I was asked to do a presentation to the Olympia Camera Club on severe weather photography and storm chasing.  As I was going through the images that I wanted to share for the presentation I realized that there were a lot of older storm images that I didn’t quite like any longer.  There was nothing really wrong with them, but as I looked at them more and more I realized that if I would have captured that image today it would look entirely different from a post processing standpoint.

The reason for that is simple, the post processing tools that I have at my disposal now simply didn’t when these images were captured, and shared.  This sort of got me going down a “dangerous” patch mentally.  I realized that I needed to not only re-edit some of these older images but I also needed to clean up on weather gallery here on my site.

In the very near future I will share an image, or two, where I will show the original version along side my re-imagining of the same image.  In the meantime, I am sharing this image which is a re-edit of an image that I originally called “Tagging Along” and was captured just outside of Phoenix Arizona during the 2011 monsoon season.

Also posted in Photography, WayBackMachine