Arizona Storm Chase - 2011

Late last month I joined up with fellow photographer Ed Sherman and headed to southern Arizona for some storm chasing with another pal, and extremely talented photog in his own right, Paul Freeman.  The monsoons were rolling in and brought with them some angry clouds which dropped some pretty impressive lightning.  On one evening we headed down to the Mexican border and shot some lightning.  A really friendly Border Patrol agent stopped by and we all chatted for a while as bolts were lighting up all around us.  He shared some cool stories about his three years working the border so far.  We ultimately had to get outta there because the lighting had surrounded us without us realizing it.  (It's bad when you hear the thunder at the same time you see the flash right?)  And, believe it or not, the "unfriendlies" were closing in from the border as well.  It's like the wild west down there, no kidding.  

We also chased some storms to the Grand Canyon but by the time we got there we decided conditions were better for photographing the sunset at the South Rim.  I'd never been to the Grand Canyon so now I can say I stopped by and shot a sunset there.  I had grown up hearing about the GC and thought I was burned out on the place thanks to the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, etc.  Not so much.  Once I stepped foot on the rim my breath was taken away.  Badda-bing, badda-boom - we spent about an hour photographing one of the most dramatic sunsets I'd every seen and headed back to base camp in Phoenix.

Paul brought us to a great old ranch, the Empire Ranch in Sonoita.  That old place made for some cool pics too which you can see in the gallery!

It was a great three days of chasing, photographing, eating, drinking, chatting and driving.  Good times indeed.

One discovery we made along the way was definitley a sign of the times.  We spent quite a bit of time shooting pictures with our iPhones!  Taking full advantage of the arrary of cool photo apps available, we shot panos, HDRs, etc. with our phones and got great results (for phone cams).  Perhaps we saved our "real" cameras for the bigger scenes but even the quick phone images inspired us to really work a scene with the DSLRs.  I've posted some of the iPhone images HERE.  To view my entire gallery from the trip (sans iPhone images), including the lightning images, click one the images or HERE.