I anticipated monsoon season, while living in Arizona, for months. The cooler temperatures would surely be welcome, but I also had a great deal of excitement around the photographs I might be able to capture.
Enhanced sunsets, lightning strikes, water in the desert landscape, dramatic clouds and pops of color from the flowers and greenery that come with the rain. I was excited!
As luck would have it, there was a nice clearing at the edge of my neighborhood where many of the storms came rolling in, over the mountains. I spent many evenings walking to this lookout point to see the sunset colors and distant lightning strikes.
When I captured the Tucson Lightning photograph, the storm was approaching quickly. I noticed the lightning bolts were coming in pairs, about two seconds apart from one another, almost every time. Without a tripod to set up a long exposure shot, I knew the likelihood of capturing the first bolt of lightning was a slim chance. I could, however, time for the second strike, given the rhythm of the storm.
I stood with my feet in a wide stance for extra stability and held my arms close to my chest with my camera pressed against my left cheek. I would watch through the viewfinder and when I saw the first lightning bolt, I would count and press the shutter button, while holding my breath, two seconds later. Admittedly, I missed several lightning strikes before capturing this photograph! Having patience to keep trying paid off :)
I ended up running back to my house in the dark as the storm quickly rolled into my neighborhood.