I love this time of year when the sky’s get very moody and the storms roll thru. I was watching the news and the weather person said there was a good chance for storms, soon after my buddy and fellow photographer Quincy Nelson called and asked what I was up to. We made plans to get out and photograph the Red Rock area later in the day. On my way out the sky looked very bland and just grey, I almost called it off but thought I didn’t have any reason not to go so I proceeded onward. We arrived to a very impressive storm that was building and there was some light peeking from under the clouds. I told Quincy we better make good use of our time as we only had about 15 minutes to get anything good. If you look at the progression of these shots you can see the changes in the sky. The lightning started to get much louder and you could hear the storm move ever closer.
Going back to our arrival I realized I had forgotten all my brand new panorama gear that just arrived and I was crushed. I had to rely on my old skills that I had used for many years to achieve these shots. Since this was Quincy’s first panorama excursion I was helping him with how to get a good result without any gear that would make his life easier. I had a slight advantage by using my Really Right Stuff BH-55, it has a level and a rotating base. This allowed for a horizontal movement with a level base. Quincy didn’t even have that. He did a great job and his shot looks great, especially since he had everything working against him, most of all was the sun that was setting. I shot four panorama sequences and then the lightning started, it was awesome. So I focused on the main area where the lightning was and captured several lightning strikes. Then we had some strikes that were much closer than before, not a comfortable feeling when you are the tallest subject with a carbon fiber lightning rod! So we were literally running for the truck to avoid being the next casualty of lightning.
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