Mt. Lemmon Monsoon...

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May 2, 2005
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Tucson, AZ U.S.A.
So once I was shooting for a while at Windy Point on Mt. Lemmon (see previous post), the monsoon rolled in from the southeast and started to Tucson in the valley below. I caught some great shots of the monsoon. As the storms rolled in, everything ended up getting bathed in this great orange/peach colored light and the clouds started looking bluer and bluer. The colors were great, but so was the texture of the clouds so I was really torn between color and b&w with some of these. Sometimes I did both with a given shot. Anyway, I haven't processed them all yet, but here are a few of them:

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Here's one for a sense of scale at Windy Point:
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Those same people are visible on the same rocks at the bottom of this pic:
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Any and all comments welcome.

thanks,

Dave
 
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Southeast Texas
Nice shots, Dave! I prefer the color versions, but the B&Ws are also awesome. I like the sense of scale created by the people in the shots. Well done.
 
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didn't get wet at all...

All of the rain was down in the valley. As I was leaving, it had started to sprinkle a little, but that let up quickly as I made my way back down. Once I got down the monsoon had moved westward. It made for some dramatic sights there too. The setting sun was right behind it and you could see a dim orange disk through the rain, otherwise the column was completely opaque. I got a shot of that too, but haven' t processed it yet. The setting wasn't ideal. It only lasted for a few minutes as the sun was setting and the storm was moving and I hopped out at a strip mall, so no dramatic foreground for that shot. Once I got home (which is further west), we got hammered by the storm.

Dave
 
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thanks...

I usually don't include people in my photos, but here it just seemed to work. You really do get a sense of scale that the rocks and the trees can't convey.

Dave
 
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Western Slope of Colorado
Dave -

These are amazing and powerful shots. #s 1, 2 and 6 convey. for me, the most strength. I'd even consider trying to see whether lightening the colors would make them even more dramatic - then again, I'm viewing them on my PowerBook, whose screen angle often influences my own editing . . .

I'd be happy to be torn over going with color or B&W with such images!

I had the pleasure of visiting UA twice to give seminars - in the winter - and I remember seeing both the remnants of and precautions against these downpours.

Thanks for sharing these with us.

Eric
 
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Seattle WA, USA
Fantastic images. I guess I prefer the color versions although the black and white conversions are also good. Comes down to personal preference I suppose.
 
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Excellent shots. I thoroughly enjoyed them. I find I prefer the color versions best; the color adds to the drama of the weather.

It's funny that the term "monsoon" is coming into use in the southwest to describe the frequent summer showers there. Of course it originated in the Indian Ocean simply as a name for the wind shift from northeast to southwest that seems to occur every year from June to September and brings heavy rains to India. But of course in India one day can bring as much rain as falls in southern Arizona in a year!
 
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monsoons... in the desert?

Isn't that the truth. I do believe we're a little behind on our yearly rainfall this year, we average something about 12" a year. Of course it comes mostly 2" at a time delivered over the course of 15 minutes or so. Now I do believe that they got close to 40" in one day in Bombay during the recent tragic monsoon storm. For me, having grown up in the Northeast, it always helps me to visualize that much rain by turning it into snow. The average conversion is 10" of snow for every 1" of rain. So 40" of rain is something on the order of 400" or over 33' of snow. That's alot of precipitation for one day.

Dave
 
S

saturnine

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I've wanted to capture shots like this during the monsoon season, but either I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time, or it's too dark to get anything! I should go up Mt. Lemmon more often ;)
 
Joined
May 2, 2005
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Tucson, AZ U.S.A.
Total luck...

I hadn't been out to shoot for a while and had a day off so I decided to go shooting. At first I thought I'd head out to Gates Pass, but figured it would be cooler up on the mountain. It was total luck that the monsoon decided to show up as it did. I know how you feel though. I have the same problem with lightning. Everytime there is a good storm I'm either not in a place to take advantage of it, or I am, but I don't have my camera.

Dave
 
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Aug 10, 2005
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I think I like the color better. Amazing textures with the B&W, but the color where the sun starts to get shut out by the clouds lends a real dramatic effect.

Sam
 
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Those are beautiful Dave! Especially the first one, the cloudburst is very locallized - it looks like a textbook storm! By the way, it's coming down right about where I lived during 10th grade, back in the 60's.
 
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Feb 22, 2005
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CT USA
I'll have to go with the crowd and say I prefer the color shots. I vacationed in AZ for over 10 years. One of the most frustrating things for me was when there was a great sky, there was nothing nearby for a foreground. When there was a great foreground, the sky was blah!
Still, I have thousands of shots (mostly film) several of which are hanging on the walls at home and work. Tucson area is my favorite part of the state. Haven't been out there since I bought a house, hope to get back someday, with my D200....
 
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