Category Archives: Photography

An Extraordinary End to Monsoon 2016

Today is the last day of Monsoon 2016.  The best Monsoon I’ve experienced in my 11 years here.  I’ve neglected the blog so the entries of our microburst  in Oro Valley last month, varies rainbows, lightning shots, downpours, and other sundry Monsoon 2016 occurrences are missing from mikeshaw.tv.  Perhaps I will go through my pictures and catch some of those things up.  Perhaps.

Before I get into my story about last evening’s drive home, here’s how the day started yesterday:

092916ppsunriseYeah.  Not bad!  I love the view from my deck here in Oro Valley.  I’m happy to say that sunrises like that happen pretty frequently here and I have a front row seat.

Now.  On to yesterday’s drive home from the radio station.  Extraordinary indeed!  Every direction of sky brought joy and wonder (too much?).  It was a cool night.

It was raining pretty good when I left the station with a bright rainbow forming but nowhere to pull aside and grab a shot.  As I raced toward downtown I mostly drove out of the rain only to have it catch me again as I navigated down Congress.  I drove out of the rain again as I headed north on Granada which turns into Main which turns into Oracle.  As I approached River I could see a bright rainbow against the Catalina Mountains contrasted by dark menacing storm clouds.  I found an apartment complex off River Road and grabbed this shot:

092916rainbowToo bad I can’t include the rumbling thunder in the jpg, but it was cool.  I then continued on my trek north on Oracle and noticed the sunset was starting to pop.  I made it to Family Life Radio near Ina and Oracle just in time.  I pulled into their back parking lot.  Parked.  Walked to the eastern fence of Tohono Chul Park, and facing west (often the best direction for capturing sunsets), I got this shot:

092916sunsetI needed some supplies, so I doubled back a block to the Safeway and did some shopping.  By the time I got through the line and back to my car I could see lightning to the northeast.  As I neared my apartment it was apparent that the lightning was frequent and, as lightning tends to be, rather bright.  I parked in my spot.  Gathered my things and climbed to my third story apartment.  I efficiently put away my groceries, grabbed a cigar and my phone, and went out on the deck.  What a great light show!  I tried to get some shots with my iPhone 6S Plus in burst mode and they came out surprisingly good!  Grainy, yes.  Still not bad.  Here’s the best one:

092916lightningLast day of Monsoon 2016 is today.  There is a slight chance of storms in our forecast.  Will this evening equal yesterday’s in amazingness?  Not likely, but I’ll share if it does!

Here’s an animated gif of the storm just in case that works:

092916lightning

Tortolita Mountains Morning Clouds Time Lapse, July 25, 2016

Another beautiful morning in southern Oro Valley!  First, we started with this sunrise:

072516PPSunrise

Then I set up my phone to capture a time lapse of the clouds overlooking Oro Valley north to the Tortolita Mountains.  Here is the result:

Hopefully clearing skies will lead to scattered afternoon and evening storms.  I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos on how to capture lightning with my Sony a5100.  Maybe I’ll get a chance to try it tonight!

Happy Monday! Not an oxymoron. Not around here :-)

Best Sunrises and Sunsets on the Planet! January 23, 2016

Great way to start the day yesterday!  This is looking east to Pusch Peak from my perch here in Oro Valley.

012316PPSunrise

As 6:00 pm approached I had a feeling that the sunset would be special if the sun could duck underneath the high clouds.  It did.  It was.  I drove less than 2 miles from the apartment to a spot on Magee east of Oracle near Pima Canyon.  God does the hard part, I just point and shoot.

012316OVSunset

No doubt that Arizona is God’s favorite place to paint!

January 27, 2015 Oro Valley Sunset

I can’t always tell when there is going to be an amazing sunset, but sometimes it is painfully obvious.  Today was one of those days.  I left the station on the south side of Tucson about 5:10 in the evening.  A few minutes earlier than most.  The western sky was mostly overcast with mostly high clouds, but a few at mid levels.  I was thinking, “if the Sun can get below those clouds tonight’s sunset will be really nice.”  As I was driving north, the Sun came out.  The Sun had indeed gotten below the clouds.  The amazing sunset was on!  The next problem was, could I get to one of my favorite places on Magee in Oro Valley in time to get the shot?  Turns out I arrived with a good 10 to 15 minutes to spare.  I ended up taking at least a dozen shots, but this one is my favorite.  I think of all the places on the planet, Arizona is God’s favorite place to paint.

012715Sunset

Last Years Sunrise vs. This Years

I save my picture files by date.  So when I was saving this morning’s Pusch Peak Sunrise I noticed there was a Pusch Peak Sunrise from exactly one year ago today in my sunrise/sunsets folder.  Let’s compare the two and see how similar they are or which one “wins”.

Here is the Pusch Peak Sunrise from this morning:

081413PPSunrise

And here is the Pusch Peak Sunrise from August 14, 2012:

081412PPSunrise

Rain Shaft Lightning Sunset from the Deck

Another amazing evening on the deck last night.  A severe thunderstorm was directly west and from my vantage point the Sun was setting behind it.  The dark and menacing storm was being back lit with muted reds and oranges with flashes of lightning accents.  Really cool!  So of course I grabbed my camera.  I knew the odds of timing a shot and catching some lightning were slight.  After taking a few pictures I switched my camera to video mode and recorded for about a minute.  Toward the end of the recording I noted a particularly strong bolt of lightning in the field of view.  I was not disappointed when I went to get the screen grab.  After some minor tweaking in Gimp, this is the result:

Pretty amazing! The regular pictures didn’t turn out so bad either.

Of course I have already shared theses shots on my Sunrise/Sunset blog, www.TonightsSunset.com and on Facebook.  I will admit.  I am a little spoiled with such an amazing view here at the apartment.

 

Amazing July Pusch Peak Sunrises!

I admit it.  I have one of the best apartment views on the planet.  Located in southern Oro Valley, Arizona I am directly across the street from Pusch Peak.  In addition my view north overlooks Oro Valley to the Tortolita Mountains.  In the summer the Sun sets far enough north that I catch wonderful sunsets too.

We are having an outstanding Monsoon so far this year and as a result there are enough clouds at sunrise to create an unusual number of outstanding Pusch Peak Sunrises (patent pending).  It is amazing to be able to sit on the deck enjoying my first cup of coffee listening to the birds waking up and watching God show off His sunrise making skills.  I think this is one of His favorite spots.  I know it’s mine!

I have typed too long already.  These shots don’t need commentary.  Without further adieu (whatever adieu is : ) here are this month’s amazing sunrises starting with this morning and working back to July 2nd.  A few more shots are available at my blog www.TonightsSunset.com/category/sunrise/  Enjoy!

July 31, 2012
July 31, 2012

 

July 30, 2012
July 30, 2012

 

July 29, 2012
July 29, 2012

 

July 26, 2012
July 26, 2012

 

July 25, 2012
July 25, 2012
July 24, 2012
July 24, 2012
July 21, 2012
July 21, 2012
July 20, 2012
July 20, 2012
July 11, 2012
July 11, 2012
July 7, 2012
July 7, 2012
July 6, 2012
July 6, 2012
July 5, 2012
July 5, 2012
July 2, 2012
July 2, 2012