Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Yesterday (Tuesday), I took 87 pictures. 16 of them were for the Round Robin Photo Challenge. With my usual predilection toward overkill, I had trouble narrowing the list of pictures I actually posted to just six, plus one photo I took a week earlier. So what were the other 61 photos, and what possessed me to take so many? Well, I'll tell you. (Was there any doubt?)

Tuesday sunset from my front yard

First of all, there were sunset photos to be taken. Here's one of them. Never mind that I have a backlog of rather nice sunset shots you haven't seen yet.

Same place, different camera setting, a few minutes earlier

The sky doesn't put on an amazing show every night here, even though it seems like it sometimes. When there's a good one, I have to grab the camera. That poor thing has had some hard and heavy use, in all kinds of Tucson weather. (Okay, not snow.) I'm sure I'm not going to be able to get free warranty work done on it at this point.

The Catalinas across a rainy parking lot at 22nd and Kolb

So anyway, I took about ten sunset shots, maybe a few more, and a handful of basic cloud pictures. The other forty-plus photos were a valiant attempt to photograph the lightning to the south and west of me. Until I get a tripod (John claims we own one, but if so it's lost in a box somewhere), I figure my best chance of capturing lightning with my Nikon is to try it before it gets so dark outside that the exposure time is prohibitively long. So Tuesday night at sunset, I pointed the camera at the two parts of the sky where the lightning hit most often, switching back and forth based on wild guesses where it might strike next. I took a bunch of photos while nothing was happening, just in case something did happen after I pressed the button.

And guess what! It worked! Aside from one really lousy shot from last year of a lit section of cloud, I got my first-ever photo with lightning in it. Here it is:

A shoestring of lightning, seen from my front yard

Okay, so it's not terribly impressive. There's just that one broken shoelace of a zot, and you kind of have to look for it. But that's okay. It's a start.

Looking south across my front lawn. Zot!

Then as I was going through the rest of the photos, deciding which of the almost-identical shots to delete, I belatedly noticed that another photo had lightning in it! Can you see it? I cropped a close-up version, but it doesn't look that good. S'all right. I'm happy anyway. Maybe I'll even improve on these before this summer's monsoon is over.


Tucson monsoon tracker - NWS

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DesLily said...

while I'm running and hiding from lightening youre running out to take pictures! lol...

Shelly said...

Wow, Karen. Lightning did strike twice. heh. Nice shots, too.

Bea said...

Hey, you did it!! I haven't been able to capture lightning, or even a meager zot!!! I'm impressed with your determination and patience...great shots, Karen! bea

Carly said...

Impressive lightning shots. :) Lovely sky, very well done!

Becky said...

Wow! It's incredibly hard to capture lightning! Cool!