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lightning

Lines

I am always intrigued by desert plants and how they grow and bloom.  The agave (above) grows from a tightly packed center.  As the leaves peel outward, they retain the lines of the leaves they grew adjacent to.  The plants provides great lines and textures and photograph well from many angles, but I always liked this one showing the core.

Bolts of lightning always leave fascinating lines, whether a single strike, or a multitude.  This was probably the most potent and tightly concentrated thunderstorm I ever photographed.

lightning, Arizona, monsoon, desert, Steve Bruno

Another weather situation that can provide great lines to photograph are icicles.

icicles, Oregon, waterfall, Steve Bruno

I’m always looking for trees to photograph, mostly based on their lines and the shapes they create.

tree, patterns, Steve Bruno, Oregon

Sometimes, I don’t even have to look upward to see the photograph I want from a tree.  Ponderosa pines are one of many types of trees with great bark patterns.

tree bark, ponderosa pine, forest

I find that landscape photographs are often best when there are lines that take you through the frame.  The southwestern US has many locations with powerful lines.

Escalante, Utah, canyon, desert varnish, gottatakemorepix

The canyons near Escalante, Utah streaked with desert varnish, or the twisted sandstone of the Vermillion Cliffs are just two examples of that.

Vermillion Cliffs, National Parks, Arizona, desert, sandstone, Steve Bruno

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sunset To Sunrise

Just because the sun has gone down for the night doesn’t mean it’s time to put away the camera.  For some of us, it’s the opposite.  This is when the best photos can happen, starting with the blue hour (above).  Once the blue hour has passed, you might be lucky enough to catch some stars.

Hawaii, stars, Mauna Kea, Steve Bruno

While some don’t venture into the great outdoors after dark, city streets can always provide subjects for your camera.  Perhaps you will even encounter some ghosts.

Seattle, ghosts, pedestrians

It wouldn’t be much fun watching fireworks in daylight, whether manmade or natural.

fireworks, Las Vegas, Steve Bruno

lightning, desert, Arizona

If you ever have a chance to witness lava flows up close, you will want to do this after sunset.  It’s quite difficult to see the lava underneath the surface, and you might be on top of it before you realize where it’s at.

Hawaii, sunset, lava, Steve Bruno

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sunset To Sunrise

WPC: Opposites

This week’s Daily Post Challenge is Opposites, which presents many possibilities.  The above shot was taken on the Navajo Indian Reservation, and doesn’t need an explanation.

Not far from there, I spent a day at the Grand Canyon where it was fogged in.  At one point its opposite, complete sunshine, made an appearance on the distant cliffs.

Foggy Grand Canyon

When you have a positive and negative charge, you get a spark.  Opposing charges created in the magnitude of a thunderstorm produce lightning.

lightning 03

 

In northern Michigan, land and water come together in a serene setting.

Lake Superior

WPC: Pure

Lightning over Phoenix, Arizona by Steve Bruno

Shortly after I moved to Phoenix, Arizona a number of years ago, I was fascinated with the storms that came roaring through the desert in summertime.  There was a great vantage point on a hilltop at the edge of town that used to be my favorite spot to take photographs.  This higher lookout also meant that my tripod and I were going to be favorable targets if the storms got too close.

One particular August evening, I was on my hilltop watching the storm move across the city.  It was a very intense storm with distinct and numerous bolts of lightning.  As the storm moved, I noticed the strikes were nudging along at a pretty consistent distance, so I put on my longest lens and aimed where I thought the next one should be hitting.

This was the only shot I tried with that lens, and the last bolts of that storm.  With the mirror locked up during exposure, I wasn’t able to see through the viewfinder, but I knew I was aimed right where I needed to be.  The feeling was pure adrenaline that night, and again when I developed the film.

So…..pure luck, pure timing, pure electricity, pure adrenaline?  I think this shot finds a couple ways to fit this week’s Daily Post Challenge.

The Rider

You’ve seen him before.  That rider on the 21st avenue bus route, always getting on at the June Street stop.  You know – the one covered in tats with that godawful music blaring through his headphones.  Some of the people don’t make eye contact with him, and most are glad when he finally gets off.

He seemed a little different this time around.  He might have showered, but it was so hard to tell.  I mean, his new brand of cigarettes – that lingering stench practically reached the front of the bus.  And his music wasn’t quite as angry sounding, and just a little quieter.  Maybe his ears have finally had enough abuse.

Oh well, here comes his stop.  September Street.  When he gets off, there’s always this strange woman with the red and orange hat getting on.  I’m not sure, but I think I detect him smiling at her.  She soooo doesn’t seem his type, but who knows – perhaps there’s something genial about this guy after all.

Sunday Stills, the next challenge: Danger

lightning in the desert skies

I was always fascinated with trying to capture lightning, and tried to maintain a safe distance – relying on the power of various telephoto lenses to close the distance.  As I set the camera up on this night, the storm had been very concentrated with downward strikes, but soon started to lose strength.  The flickering overhead made for a great photograph, and was one of the last of the storm, but was the point where I felt uneasy being out there.

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