When folks come to go to me the place I dwell in Prescott, Arizona, I can’t wait to take them simply down the street to Watson Lake. The drive is brief, however there’s the winding activate Freeway 89 that begins to slowly reveal the towering formations of the Granite Dells and the accompanying awe of the passenger as their breath catches they usually fumble for one thing to say.
I’ve spent a very good portion of the final 10 years strolling, climbing and climbing on that granite, all the time with a digicam readily available and an eye fixed to the sunshine and shadow play, the ever-changing foliage and the overwhelming uniqueness of these formations that glow at sundown. Realizing the atmosphere at Watson Lake, the place to step—and extra importantly, the place to not step—got here in useful for this shot of an incoming monsoon thunderstorm after darkish within the rain.
The shoot began as any regular shoot does for me. Lookup on the sky, decide the place the clouds are most prevalent and attention-grabbing, and head out at sundown. The clouds that night took me to Watson Lake and placed on a spectacular shade present because the sundown broke by way of. I used to be very happy with what I had shot after the solar had gone down and was comfortable to go house and get a have a look at the pictures on my monitor.
Whereas making the hike again to my automobile, I heard the rumble. Distant thunder was calling me for a more in-depth look, so I made my method again up the granite. As soon as I bought to greater floor, I stood for fairly some time within the darkness, ready. Nothing. My flashlight batteries gave up on me, so I made my method again down and was packing up the automobile when the rumble occurred as soon as extra, after which once more. I unpacked my gear and headed to the decrease shoreline the place I do know the world higher and will get round with out my flashlight.
Flashes of sunshine intermittently lit my hike right down to the shoreline, the thunder nonetheless distant and the wind starting to choose up. I felt my method as much as a perch on one of many granite cabinets and arrange the tripod for a shot I had taken many occasions earlier than within the night gentle. The storm was nonetheless slowly coming in over the lake, however the lightning was offering some very good spotlighting on the formations throughout the lake. When the wind started to extend and the sunshine rain started to take a toll on my lens, I made a decision to change places. I made my approach to the primary shoreline close to the boat launch the place one other huge granite formation awaited.
In spite of everything that climbing, I ended up on a granite perch that I may have walked to in about 10 minutes from the place I parked, however I used to be proud of the pictures I had taken alongside the way in which, and people pictures gave me an thought concerning the subsequent one. The way in which the lightning was flashing throughout the lake on my earlier pictures would make for a dramatic background with the large granite formation within the foreground.
I don’t personal a lightning set off, so I shoot lightning the old-school method: depend, pray, cross your fingers and use lengthy exposures. I shot this fashion regularly for about 10 minutes, taking time between pictures to regulate the framing, change from a hotter to a cooler white steadiness and wipe the lens. This shot was in that first sequence whereas the lightning was actually solely getting used as a background impact. I stayed out for one more 30 minutes, catching the storm because it handed overhead and the lightning moved a lot nearer, however it was the rain that ultimately made me transfer from the perch. By the point I arrived again at my automobile, I regarded like I had been swimming in my garments! Even the park ranger bought a chuckle out of that one.
I’ve all the time thought that Watson Lake was a particular place, however I come up brief in trying to explain the scene. I believe perhaps that’s as a result of it’s greater than only a scene—it’s a sense. Wanting over the pictures from that night time, the sensation that involves thoughts is creation.
See extra of Bob Larson’s images at boblarsonphoto.com.
Sony a7, Rokinon 14mm f/2.eight ED AS IF UMC. Publicity: 30 sec., ƒ/11, ISO 400.