Last July, I had the pleasure of seeing this spectacular thunderstorm roll over the Sandia Mountains while I was back in New Mexico for a conference. I pulled off NM SR556 to shoot a few single frame photographs and panoramas of the passing rainstorm as it dumped precipitation on Placitas.
Monsoon Clouds over Sandias (2017, Pano #1, Color), outside Albuquerque, NM (16″x65″)
Monsoon Clouds over Sandias (2017, SF #1, B&W), outside Albuquerque, NM (12″x18″)
As we were hiking back to the car from Sheepshead, I stopped to take a few panoramas of the setting sun casting shadows across the grass and cliffs. Early morning and late afternoon are my favorite times of day in Cochise Stronghold because the grass turns a golden brown.
Last Look back at the Cliffs, Cochise Stronghold, AZ (16″x70″)
Setting Sun and Cliffs, Cochise Stronghold, AZ (13″x60″)
After climbing a multi-pitch route in Cochise Stronghold, we hiked back to the truck at sunset. I stopped to photograph the scrub oak trees cast long shadows across the high desert grasses.
Oak Tree Shadow in Grass, Cochise Stronghold, AZ (13″x44″)
After topping out on Sheepshead, we took a few minutes to eat a snack and snap a few photographs before walking off the back of the cliff and climbing more on the northwest face. Afternoon light contrasted with shadows and outlines of scraggly trees eking out an existence on the harsh clifftop. The air was surprisingly clear. Rows of mountains disappeared over the southern Arizona horizon.
Pothole, Tree, Shadow on Sheepshead, Cochise Stronghold, southern AZ (12″x18″)
Boulder, Tree, Shadow on Sheepshead, Cochise Stronghold, southern AZ (12″x18″)
While climbing on one of the fins at Windy Point (along the Catalina Highway outside Tucson, AZ) in August, I watched a monsoon storm rumble across the valley below. I took a few minutes to photograph the storm clouds as they approached us. After I drove home I realized that I had also captured a lightning bolt in the panorama.
Lightning and Monsoon Clouds fromWindy Point, Coronado National Forest, AZ (26″x64″)
While driving back to Arizona in August, I pulled off Interstate 10 to photograph this monsoon storm cloud north of Gage, NM.
Monsoon Storm Clouds north of Gage, near Gage, NM (16″x64″)
I liked the abstract feel of the curving railroad tracks in the foreground, desert scrub in the landscape, and gathering clouds in the sky.
Railroad Tracks, Desert, Sky, near Hatch, NM (16″x50″)
I frequently drive between Tucson, AZ and Albuquerque, NM to visit family. While driving to Hatch from I-10, I always notice a lone water tower standing over the railroad tracks along Highway 26. Last summer I finally stopped to photograph the structure and the railroad tracks. An approaching monsoon storm had also kicked up a dust storm over the wind farm across the road.
Wind Farm and Haboob, near Hatch, NM (16″x52″)
Water Tower along Highway 26, near Hatch, NM (16″x32″)
When I stepped off the plane from Nepal in late June, it was about 110F (~40C) here in southern Arizona. Fortunately, the monsoon started soon after I arrived. After work one evening I drove up to the top of Sentinel Peak (near downtown Tucson) and shot a few panoramas of the lumbering monsoon storms as they approached from the south.
Monsoon Storm from Sentinel Peak #2, Tucson Mountains, AZ (16″x74″)
Routes on the north and west faces of the rock promontory above the Prison Camp area make for great spring climbing along the Catalina Highway on Mt Lemmon. I especially liked the shadows of the passing clouds on the hills in the background.
Boot Hill Cliffs and Clouds, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x39″)