A Lot Like Fishing—Until It’s Not

Photographing lightning is about 95 percent arms folded, toe-tapping, just-plain-standing-around-scanning-the-horizon—interspersed with random bursts of pandemonium. Usually, after all that waiting waiting around, with the first bolt usually comes the realization that you anticipated wrong and either, 1) the lightning is way over there; or 2) the lightning is right here (!). What generally ensues is a Keystone Cops frenzy of camera bag flinging, tire…

Hurry up and wait

Photographing lightning is about 5 percent pandemonium, and 95 percent arms folded, toe-tapping, just plain standing around. A typical lightning shoot starts with a lot of waiting for the storm to develop and trying to anticipate the best (and safest) vantage point. But with the first bolt often comes the insight that you anticipated wrong and: 1) The lightning is way over there; or 2)…

Roll over Ansel

A few days ago I was thumbing through an old issue of “Outdoor Photographer” magazine and came across an article on Lightroom processing. It started with the words: “Being able to affect one part of the image compared to another, such as balancing the brightness of a photograph so the scene looks more like the way we saw it rather than being restricted by…

Release the brocken!

So how cool is this? The shadow is me. It’s called a brocken (named for a mountain in Germany), and the rainbow is a solar glory. This extremely rare phenomenon requires the perfect alignment of sunlight, moisture, and observer, and I just happened to find myself at the fortunate convergence of these conditions. Yesterday evening Don Smith and I photographed the vestiges of a summer storm at Lipan Point…

Some assembly required

Putting together material for the Grand Canyon Monsoon workshop that Don Smith and I do each August, I came across this image from the  first shoot of our first workshop. With so many pictures in the two weeks we were there (for two workshops), and given the incredible events that followed, it’s amazing to me how well I remember the specifics of this early…

Heaven on Earth

*    *    *    * Let’s see, this day included an eight hour drive, a torrential downpour, lightning, and a rainbow, all sandwiched between breakfast in Barstow and this sunset. Just another day at the office…. Top to bottom landscapes Many people spend a tremendous about of time pursuing beautiful images with little or no regard for the half of the scene….

Striking lightning (before it strikes you)

Let’s start with the given that lightning is dangerous, and the distinct possibility that photographers are stupid. Combining the two is a recipe for disaster. Add a shear, one-mile deep canyon with lots of exposed outcrops and…, well, you get the idea. Okay, seriously, lightning is both dangerous and unpredictable. Before attempting anything that requires you to be outside during an electrical storm, it behooves…

2012 Grand Canyon Monsoon Mayhem tour

*    *    *    * The drive from Northern California to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim is about twelve hours. When Don Smith and I scheduled our (first annual) 2012 Grand Canyon Monsoon Mayhem tour, the plan was to leave dark-and-early Monday morning, which experience told us would get us to the canyon just in time to photograph sunset Monday night. But with the National…