Contender Klaus Priebe
2014 American Landscape Contest Contender Klaus Priebe captured a single lightning bolt within a Canyonlands National Park storm.
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Photographer: Klaus Priebe
Location: Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
When did you take this photograph? August 6th, 2013.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens, Gitzo 3541 tripod, Manfrotto 054 ballhead, lightning trigger.
The story behind the shot:
During the summer months I love to chase and photograph the monsoon weather in the desert southwest. I do a lot of research on the weather to determine a location where I would like to capture storms and moody weather that happens during monsoon season. The weather reports looked very favorable for the Moab and southeastern Utah that week. The little micro thunderstorm was headed just about right toward me as I hurried to setup my camera to capture the storm. I managed to capture only one lightning bolt out of this storm before it went past me and began to dissipate. The sunlight through the clouds and the little micro storm moving through the canyon made it one of the most magical experiences I have ever had shooting the weather.
Did you use any special techniques in-camera or in post-processing?
As I shot this image I knew right away with the clouds and mood I wanted this to be in monochrome. I processed it in CS5 and then did the monochrome conversion in Silver Efex II using the red filtration to bring out a little more of the cloud features.
Why is this scene of the American Landscape special to you?
For me, this image epitomizes the iconic American southwest during the summer months. The wonderfully moody weather during the summer is what I love to see and experience. Just being able to experience this was truly a gift from mother nature. Seeing this storm, lightning, rain and sunshine, feeling the cool breeze and capturing all these elements together will forever be engraved in my memory.