Summertime brings rain and thunderstorms to the Southwest allowing you an opportunity to get in the right place for rainbows and lightning strikes. This was the main reason we headed to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah in the heat of July.
Mornings were cloudless limiting any decent opportunities but that was made up for by the afternoon storms. When lightning was striking, we either stayed right next to an open car door or shot from inside the car itself. With an SUV, you can actually set up a tripod just inside the window. This might not work from all locations, but at Arches, it worked pretty well.
I usually try to capture sunrise and sunset colors, but there is something about the way the blue skies contrast with the red rock formations that is colorful and pleasing to the eye.
We took a couple of days to go down to Canyon de Chelly to photograph Spider Rock (see the last photo), and it may be a location I will go back to again. The lush greenery in the bottom of the canyons is different from anywhere else I have been.
I would have stayed there longer, but I got a virus from something I ate or drank that resulted in us driving back to Moab, going to the ER and losing two days to photography time. I guess that’s just going happen occasionally.
It was fun, lack of sleep and virus aside, and I’ll be going back in November when the sun rises and sets at a much different angle resulting in different opportunities. Next up is Mount Rainer in Washington State in early August for the wildflowers. Snow-capped mountains and flowers will certainly be the opposite from the Utah desert.
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