It’s the middle of July and the North American Monsoon is in full swing now with near-daily thunderstorms across northern Arizona. It was time for another photo shoot in Sedona in hopes of getting great lightning shots with Sedona’s famous redrocks as a background. A few nice sunset photos wouldn’t be too bad, either.
After a quiet afternoon in Flagstaff with little in the way of thunderstorm activity, clouds finally began to develop in the late afternoon. A quick check of the radar data using RadarScope showed that thunderstorms were developing over the higher terrain of the Mogollon Rim and were moving slowly to the south-southwest. This would put some of these storms near or over Sedona in an hour or two. Time to jump in the car and head south.
It began to rain as I drove down the switchbacks into Oak Creek Canyon. This was the site of the Slide Fire in May and the threat of flash flooding exists whenever moderate-to-heavy rain falls in the area. Luckily, rainfall remained light and there was no threat.
My first location was on Upper Red Rock Loop Road with a view to the east so that I could capture lightning along with some of Sedona’s famous rocks — Courthouse Butte and Cathedral Rock. No luck today — but I did get some good images the previous day from this same location. Still, I was able to get several lightning strokes over the cliffs and create a composite image.
As the sun began to set, the activity shifted and it was time for another location and I headed to the Sedona Cultural Park. The sunset colors just got better…and better…and…well, you get the idea. And there was also plenty of lightning to shoot as twilight unfolded.
All-in-all, a very successful photo shoot.