I originally moved to Reno in 2004 from the California Coast for one main reason: I needed weather. On the Central California Coast the weather is fairly constant, and that's OK! But I found myself spending more and more time driving to SeKi or Yosemite or the Mojave Desert looking for inspiration that I just couldn't get from the beautiful coast. Reno fit that bill perfectly: 30 minutes to mountain snow (Tahoe), and 30 minutes to high desert. For a photographer looking to expand his horizons in landscape photography, it was the right decision for me. And I've created a lot of great images in my time in Reno!
Whenever summer rolls around, I spent a lot of time staring at the weather maps on Weather.com to find a storm front that looks promising. On July 3rd 2013, I was watching a cell move across the northern Nevada desert in the Gerlach area above Pyramid Lake. I could see it growning, and then the report said the cell had stalled! It was just sitting there, not moving, and I KNEW I had to get out there. I grabbed my gear, dumped it in the Xterra, and hit the road!
I got to Pyramid shortly before sunset, and started shooting immediately. The southern end of the storm was as clearly defined as you see at the right, and it was getting darker and windier with every passing minute. Something great was coming!!
The show started early and kept going! At times there were so many lightning strikes in rapid succession (above) that the sky lit up like it was daytime! I was sitting on the south shore with several dozen July 4th campers, with the lake in the foreground and the mountain range on the north side, all wonderfully lit and framed by this amazing, unmoving storm! I spent several hours out there, shot HUNDREDS of frames, and had the time of my life!
Techie stuff: Nikon D7000/Nikon AF-S 18-105mm 3.5/5.6G @ 24mm f3.8, manual (1.3 seconds), ISO 800