Rain, Dust, Rainbow and Lightning in Tucson

I watch the radar daily during monsoon season as I love the excitement of shooting lightning. I am searching for the penultimate lightning shot, what ever that is. I think this one is pretty cool.


I saw this storm blowing into town and knew that there would be some action. I delayed the plans for a movie with my wife and jumped in the car. Shooting from my usual place near my house, I got some decent shots. It was hard to get really excellent shots because of the light. I was shooting at ISO 100, f/32 and 1/8 of a second, but the images were too a tad too bright to really see the lightning well. Nighttime shooting is much nicer because you can keep the shutter open long enough to get the whole strike and I shoot at f/8 to f/11 depending upon how close I am to the storm. I got rained out of the usual spot so I tried to out race the storm and drove down Silverbell until I got to a dry spot. I found this spot in an area that was being developed. To get a decent shot I had to run up a hill and brave the dust storm that blew in with the storm. It was really tough getting this shot because there were large drops coming down and I had to keep wiping my lens. I was shooting with my lightning sensor that opens the shutter when it detects the leader stroke of the strike.


I really like this shot because it combines the power of the storm and the beauty of the rainbow. Not my penultimate shot, but a really good shot.

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Taken on July 10, 2009