Monsoon came to visit yesterday hidden within the forecast and radar soundings. I saw the towering cumulus yesterday afternoon and decided to go visit with them. This season has been frustrating; once I get to a location, the cell either moves away or collapses. Saturday looked to be no different. Once I got to my first location, the lightning just seemed to die off. I could see a line reforming so I headed to my favorite little valley near the Superstition Mountains. Before too long they were firing up again. I was positioned well to see the storms approach from the north and they kicked out a few bolts. The sun was on its downswing in the lower western sky and rainbows were created around me. Soon the rain bands were the holders of the rainbows. It was beautiful. I had two cameras in action waiting for that holy grail of lightning images; positioned inside a rainbow.
All of a sudden, a huge, very high based cell started to douse the Superstition Mountains in a heavy rain that created a bit of fog as the temps quickly dove by 25 degrees. It was a fantastic compliment to the dark, harrowing skies of the north.
The sun was nearly setting and bathed the rain shaft in gorgeous warm light, lit by an amazing sky in the west. I spent my time running back and forth between my two tripod mounted cameras, the Canon EOS 1DX and the EOS 5D Mark III, tuning where they were aimed to match the moving cells.
At one point I looked east and over the horizon rose the full moon. It was Monsoonal Ecstasy!! It was truly a remarkable display to watch with the Sun setting in the west, lightning illuminating the rain shaft to the south, the full moon rising in the east and a new line of lightning popping to my north. I was in awe of the storms, photographing their magnificence and not wanting to leave the area which I have begun referring to as Ecstasy Valley.
In the past two weeks this basin has been a major producer of fine imagery.
I have a feeling that I will be spending another peaceful day there again one day, waiting for a return engagement!
Ken Sklute has been honored as one of Canon’s Explorers of Light, a designation shared by only 42 top photographers worldwide. Ken has enjoyed a diverse career photographing people, professional sports, architecture, weddings and landscapes.
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