I’ve posted a handful of galleries and photos from my recent hiking trip to the Grand Canyon, but these two photos are by far the most exciting couple I have to share.
It’s been a dream and goal of mine for years to photograph lightning—specifically at the Grand Canyon. The first two days my dad and I spent there were beautiful with perfect weather, but that also meant that the sky was crystal clear with no clouds in sight. This was great for hiking, but down right boring when it came to the photos I was shooting.
When we found out that our last day at the National Park had a gloomy forecast and could potentially yield some moody skies and rain storms I was mentally prepped to make my dream come true. I would finally get the opportunity to photograph lightning!
Just as the forecast predicted a storm rolled through in the afternoon and the second I spotted lightning off in the distance over the canyon I put our hike on hold, set up my tripod and held the shutter on my remote so the camera would continuously shoot until the memory card was full. I did this for about 20 minutes and had to erase the memory card more than a handful of times, but never caught any lightning. I finally filled the memory card one last time and decided move on just as the storm had.
Eventually another storm reached us from a different direction so we waited out the rain under shelter and then went back to the rim of the canyon to see what kind of post-storm beauty nature had in store for us. I was absolutely astonished when I spotted a double rainbow stemming from the middle of the canyon and literally ran to start shooting photos before it disappeared. Luckily the rainbows stuck around for several minutes and I was able to shoot plenty of photos before the sun went down and we headed back to camp calling it a day.
The following evening when I got home I decided to look through my memory cards, including the one that was nothing but the same image over and over again from my attempt to capture lighting. I crossed my fingers with very little hope that I had actually somehow managed to get lucky, but to my surprise and excitement there was in fact a single frame out of the 500 or so images on the card that had two lightning bolts in it. I could not believe my eyes…my dream had come true and I didn’t even know it until a full 24 hours later.
My photo of lightning at the Grand Canyon may not be the most epic shot of all time, but considering the back story of it, and paired with the photo of a double rainbow in the canyon from the same day, it’s certainly one of the most epic photo couplings of my career, and I hope people reading this get a glimpse of how special these shots are to me.
Contact me if you would like to license or purchase any of these images. Please do not use without my permission.
Below are some of the other shots I got on my trip…