Trinity by Dustin_Wong_Photography

During my recent trip to Arizona I spent a lot of time looking at cacti. I met up with a friend of mine, Peter Coskun, who took me to his favorite spot in the Superstition Mountains. He has shot this area like no other. If you are not familiar with his work please do go check him out.

We spent a couple hours at this spot just soaking it all in. It felt very secluded and separate from the going-ons of the city nearby and the land was incredibly still.

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The desert plant life thrives in this part as few visitors come here. At sunset we heard a gang of coyotes howling into the valley which was eerie, haunting and quite exciting. Thanks to Peter for his input on the composition as well.

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via 500px

Explore Beyond by Pcoskun

This is an image I took earlier this year while scouting around for wildflowers. I had driven by this area countless times en route to other destinations that have hardly ever paid off. I was about to do the same again when I just decided why not. I pulled off the side of the road and began walking up a hill that dropped back down again. I always thought the views from the road were pretty nice, but when I got to the edge of this canyon I was pretty impressed. It’s a spot not many really photograph let alone visit despite it’s proximity to the road (and how far you feel like walking out). I noticed a few routes that went down to the bottom which I took note of and will check them out when the weather gets a little cooler here in the desert (it’s still 100+ degrees in the desert!). I didn’t think I would get much for sunset, but the light pushed through and just barely reached into my view. It’s a spot I will likely revisit, but I found it to be quite special for my first time checking it out. Sometimes it pays to go rogue…

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Superstrike by MikeOlbinski

In the wee hours of July 3rd, 2015…I captured what I feel is the most amazing lightning strike of my career. I’m still kind of in a state of disbelief.

Thursday night around 10:30pm, I was about to put my head on my pillow and crash. But I took one last look at the radar before I did and the storms over the Superstitions were getting bigger and I knew I’d regret it if the lightning rolled into town. I was tired, I had to get up at 6:15am to drive to Pine for a shoot, but hey…it’s lightning. Gotta go.

I made it out there a bit after 11pm. The strikes were way back in the mountains and pretty weak for awhile. I started shooting west until the bolts began to look better over this iconic mountain range.

At 12:50am…the heavens opened up and four incredible bolts exploded from the sky and rained down like I’ve never seen before. This is a single, 10-second exposure. No stacking.

This location has always been a favorite of mine. I’ve taken countless photos of sunsets from here, but I’ve always wanted one of lightning from the middle of the road. It’s been something I’ve been after for quite awhile.

But to have a shot like this…is beyond anything I could have possibly dreamed up. The road wet from previous rain and thus reflecting the light beautifully. Even the car feels like it belongs in this scene. And those strikes…such utter and unbelievable power. To capture all of that against the backdrop of the Superstition Mountains…just wow.

When you put in as much work as I do chasing storms…the miles, the hours, the time away from family, the utter exhaustion (like right now, as I never went to bed and am sitting in Pine typing this)…capturing an image like this leaves you without words to describe it.

All I know is I prayed on the way over…please God, give me something awesome tonight. Something incredible.

And…well there you have it. Hope you enjoy.

via 500px