Ask most Arizonans what the neatest weather phenomena in the area is and you will get the response 'Monsoons.'
It has been this way for my entire life. From the time I was a child the monsoon storms have been something that are both looked forward to, and dreaded. Dreaded because of the torrential downpours that can wipe away landscaping, houses, and small children (just have a look over at Catalyst's page for proof of that). I distinctly remember filling sandbags as a kid and piling them in from of the door, as well as taking a garden hoe to unblock the drainage culverts in front of our house, to prevent the overspill from running down the driveway and into the house.
They are looked forward to for many reasons. They bring water to us, which is something that we always find ourselves in need of here in the desert. They give us a respite from the heat for a few short weeks, taking temps from the 100s into the 80s. But most of all (at least in our family) they are looked forward to for their beauty. Many a time I can remember spending a summer evening on the porch just watching as lightning ripped through the sky above and around us. Thunder clapping moments later rattling the windows. It is truly something that is awe-inspiring.
So tonight as the monsoon storm rolled in DaNece recommended turning off the television, setting up the tripod, watching, and waiting. The premise is simple - leave the shutter on her fancy camera open until you see a strike, then close it. If it so happens that you have to stand on the porch in a lovely cool breeze, enjoying the occasional raindrop on your skin, then so be it. These are the sacrifices we make to get the shot.
Either we are terribly lucky (which is probably the case), or this whole lightning photography thing aint as hard as I thought it would be, because within about five minutes we got the following images:
And both taken from the comfort of the front porch! Calling ourselves lucky enough, we turned off the camera, and sat back to enjoy the remainder of the show. To be struck with awe at the power and beauty that the monsoon season brings to our desert home.
P.S. - TOTAL KUDOS to DaNece for going outside while it was still raining to get the tripod, and allowing me the use of her camera. She ROCKS!
P.S.S. - It also looks like Rich got a nice lightning photo today.