Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Well - I'm at Kitt Peak National Observatory for the next three days. Its offically "down-time" for the summer monsoon season and we have the next 4 weeks to perform upgrades and maintenance on the the telescopes.

This afternoon however, the monsoon storms began rolling through the valleys surrounding the mountain and I was treated with a SPECTACULAR show of lightning and clouds.

Around sunset the rain showers in the valley west of the mountain became backlit with the setting sun and provided some very interesting telephoto abstract imagery.

Later, as the storms intensified I witnessed a violent down draft south of the small town of Sells, AZ that produced a large dust storm - and what appeared to be a rain shaft not unlike the look of a tornado . . .

As it got darker, the lightning became so intense south of the mountain that you could point your camera just about anywhere and with a couple of seconds capture astounding strokes with the observatory domes in the foreground. All images shown here were made with either a 200mm or 400mm lens. Exposures ranged from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.


Michael said...

How'm I gonna steal these incredible images with that big, fat watermark all over them?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Totally spectacular. I'm just glad you weren't near it.