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Steven Noyes | all galleries >> Arizona Monsoon Lightning Photography >> Lightning Photographs A > Lightning Panoramic : Week 4
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Summer 2004 Steven Noyes

Lightning Panoramic : Week 4

Chandler, AZ

What can I say, a day or two early, but I liked how this panoramic turned out:-) I have to say that we got totally pounded last night with one of the biggest monsoons that I can remember. It peaked at over 800 lightning strikes per minute and maintained this for several hours. That is MORE than 10 per second folks. I estimate that the valley got more than 100,000 strikes that evening. Not bad for about 4,000 square miles of land. Yep that is about 25 strikes per square mile. What can I say, it was a light show.

Seeing that this monsoon storm was coming, I headed out to the Southwest Valley about 10 miles from my home. I found an area that was far enough away from the danger (This is never 100% safe people) and had an OK foreground. I liked the farm/water tower even though some cool cactus/mountains would have been pretty nice as well.

I then took a series of 10 second (ISO 200 & f5.8 to f8.0 for those so inclined) and each location getting several strikes per shot. I then rotated the camera to get the next frame. This lightning was easy hunting folks as it was everywhere. Blending the panorama was a challenge because of dramatically shifting White Balance and Brightness for each strike. This panoramic lightning shot here represents about 3-5 minutes of activity and weighs in at 14MP.

Canon EOS 1D Mark II ,Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
This is a 5 image stitch with 2-3 images per frame. full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
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Ben Leung04-Oct-2010 15:55
This is the most excellent lightning shot I have ever seen!
Carole Stevens11-Jun-2009 09:38
Incredible images, so beautiful and so dramatic!
Guest 20-Nov-2008 12:58
How many people died? 0.0
Christine 06-Jul-2008 20:00
I am interested in purchasing a copy of this image. Can you let me know sizes and costs available?
Guest 11-Mar-2008 15:59
Very impressed with your work. Vote !
Sam Rua18-Aug-2007 01:00
Very impressive work, Steven. I haven't tried stitching for a larger panorama, but may give it a try after seeing this. I appreciate the work it took to get the color balance to match for each shot. Fun stuff.
Guest 21-Jul-2007 23:12
Im impressed. Thanks for the hard work of putting this together.
Cory 21-Jul-2007 15:49
Very welldone anychance i could request a print of this it would look amazing in our rec room let me know
Guest 01-Jun-2007 06:07
Well done, what a fantastic image.
julia bradley 11-May-2007 18:30
let me know how I can order this in the poster size! I'd love to hang it in my living room!
julia bradley
columbus, ohio
Guest 02-Apr-2007 01:23
Guest 12-Jan-2007 04:33
wow, what a ridiculous shot! Seriously, this is awesome, I am very jealous :) v
Peter 05-Jan-2007 09:14
Wow! I am totally stunned. You are a genius.
Peter 05-Jan-2007 09:13
Wow! I am totally stunned. You are a genius.
Steve Noyes14-Dec-2006 16:54
Steven.....Just got around to checking your "stiched" images. This panaroma made my hair stand on end! Look forward to more.
From another Steve Noyes....
Nick Powell06-Dec-2006 23:21
Stunning shot, well done! You have some really impressive panoramic images. Voted
Paul Chan02-Dec-2006 15:08
Impressive shot.
firstbrook30-Nov-2006 22:11
BleuEvanescence29-Nov-2006 02:36
Très impressionnant, à tous points de vues!
Nature is powerfully and amazingly beautiful...
Serena Bowles27-Nov-2006 18:28
Just awesome! What a storm. Great shot.
Steven Noyes14-Nov-2006 06:25
Thanks Karen. For digital Try ISO 200, f5.6 to f8.0 for 10 seconds. Repeats as often as you need.
Karen Moen16-Oct-2006 05:00
Gorgeous composition with amazing workmanship to stitch the images together so flawlessly. I have not been able to capture lighting with a digital camera. I used to with 35mm. I am in awe! Voted.
Guest 07-Aug-2006 12:25
magnifique !!
Philippe M. Chemin31-Jul-2006 20:55
Wonderful, I vote.
It is better to be in a good Faraday cage at the time of this kind of storm.
Magnifique, je vote.
Il vaut mieux être dans une bonne cage de Faraday lors de ce genre d'orage.
Steven Noyes09-Jun-2006 14:24
I am glad you found a single photograph that you liked after half an hour or so:-)

Guest 08-Jun-2006 20:11
finally a good one.
Jim McKinlock21-Jan-2006 00:23
What an amazing shot, makes my hair stand up just thinking about being there.
Guest 18-Jan-2006 02:15
What an electrifying image! Also, voted because this is intense!
Hubert Schäfer16-Jan-2006 10:22
Top Notch !
William G. Mancebo12-Dec-2005 06:49
Phyruxa 29-Jun-2005 14:50
the best way to capture natures true beauty is photography.youre doing a good job, keep it up!
Della Huff05-Apr-2005 18:36
Everything I have said has been stated. This is a masterpiece! And shows your obvious dedication to the art. Very impressive.
Steven Noyes17-Feb-2005 04:36
If you are checking back here, I will be getting back to you on Thursday. I have been in Yellowstone/Bryce for the past 10 days and will be getting home on Thursday.

Dave 15-Feb-2005 10:16
I to would be interested in purchasing a print of this...
Email me with the information on how to purchase one...
Dave 15-Feb-2005 10:12
That panoramic is on awesome pic. I have a sister who lives down
in Casa Grande and she was telling me about these monsoons....
Steven Noyes18-Nov-2004 17:19
This prints a very nice 12"X36" and looks good up to 16"X48". I charge $30 USD/ft^2 + Sh/Hand (typically around $15 USD).

Steve 18-Nov-2004 09:45
Please email me about sizes and prices. I'm interested in buying a poster of this
dan 19-Oct-2004 16:39
wow. that means 40x120 cm in my way of thinking about sizes :-)
maybe you could write me an email, because I don't have yours.
Then we can talk about shipping etc.

Steven Noyes19-Oct-2004 15:36
Yes. I have printed it to 16"X48" with great effect.

Let me know.

dan 19-Oct-2004 10:24
is it possible to get high quality data or printed out posters?

I like this very much and want to pin it to my wall.
Guest 28-Sep-2004 21:03
Guest 27-Sep-2004 02:10
OMG this is a GREAT picture.. bravo good job
Steven Noyes24-Sep-2004 23:40
Thank you for your kind words. I hope to have several more about this time next year. In the Phoenix area, they come once a year and last about 6 weeks.

If you need a picture for your school project (I don't think you will actually be making your own lightning storm) let me know and I should be able to help out.

Crystal 24-Sep-2004 19:28
I love lightning storms and I only saw one picture of it. I thought that the picture was amazing but yours are way better. It is like a beautiful masterpiece. It makes me feel as if I were right there watching the whole thing. Your picture has actually inspired to do lightning storm for my 7 Month project at school. I think that you should keep on doing what your doing because it's magnificent.
Guest 22-Sep-2004 20:40
your images of this lightening storm are amazing, but ultimately this image is breathtaking, your work is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing and letting everyone know how you went about it.
Steven Noyes15-Sep-2004 17:54
The pano software is PanoTools but the software to blend the different exposure I wrote and ended up using 1 of two methods. I simple brightest pixel and a bit more complex on based off of this formula:

Guest 15-Sep-2004 14:05
I join the crowd, this is an outstanding image Steven! You said you wrote the software to stitch lightning panos? That's cool! Can you comment more on that plz?
Darin 10-Sep-2004 01:30
Awesome!!!!! I am redoing my office and my new theme is "storm pics". How do I go about purchasing this?
Guest 29-Aug-2004 04:47
Very powerful image... In fact, the series is just incredible!!
Guest 28-Aug-2004 03:47
Great shot! Was this taken at Snedigar Park? I'm trying to place that water tower. I live about 5 miles from Snedigar.

Guest 25-Aug-2004 19:35
WOW - what a capture! Printed this would sell very well I expect? I for one like this shot!!
Guest 25-Aug-2004 15:10
WOW!! all the photos are awsome but this one is the best.
Steven Noyes24-Aug-2004 22:23
This was an amazing night. There is a cool site if you like to try lightning work:

That lets you see the current state of lightning in about 50% of the US. There may be similar sites for other countries. Basically, the map of Phoenix was just RED. All red with peak counts of 800 strikes/min.

It was great. BTW. I don't like to hear the thunder while taking pictures of lightning. I pack it up when it gets close enough to hear.

Carmen24-Aug-2004 13:27
So was your hair standing on end at the end of this night? Mine would have been from excitement, if not the lightning! This is really magnificent.
Zane Paxton23-Aug-2004 05:04
Stunning image!
Steven Noyes16-Aug-2004 13:25
That is why you use a telephoto:-) This storm was actually further away than it looks.

Guest 14-Aug-2004 20:06
Awesome. I'm not sure I would have the guts to go there by myself...
Steven Noyes11-Aug-2004 18:29
It was an easy storm to capture. Point camera, open shutter, get lightning.

Thanks for the compliment.

Guest 10-Aug-2004 21:28
Incredible Steven, what a superb image to back up this amazing phenomenon you describe.
Steven Noyes07-Aug-2004 00:11
So am I. Glad you enjoyed it.

Guest 06-Aug-2004 15:34
absolutely brilliant. glad I found your gallery!
Steven Noyes23-Jul-2004 14:43
The storm was simply amazing. We get something like that once every 5-7 years. It was simply great.

Guest 23-Jul-2004 04:00
I´m amazed with this picture. It is incredible...
Guest 22-Jul-2004 19:10
It is stunning. Lightening strikes always captivate but you have captured humanity cowering to Mother Nature by using the watertower as a back drop. Nice touch.
Steven Noyes22-Jul-2004 04:26
Not that long (10-15 minutes), I have special software I have written that blends lightning for me. It requires the foreground to stay 100% the same, however.
Guest 22-Jul-2004 01:18
Now, that is what i call a lightning storm. How long did it take to blend all those shots together? Anyhow, nice capture.
O.Olsson 18-Jul-2004 10:34
Nice job, stunning
Steven Noyes16-Jul-2004 23:25
It is too bad that we only get this for 3-6 weeks a year:-(
Guest 16-Jul-2004 20:10
An amazing composition, i love lightning, and you have captured it beautifully, i wish i lived somewhere with so much activity.
Piotr Siejka16-Jul-2004 19:20
Absolutely stunning.
Steven Noyes15-Jul-2004 15:56
Thanks. I had been thinking awhile on how to pull this one off. I was happy with the results.

Nice looking pooch BTW. Is he/she yours?

Guest 15-Jul-2004 07:58
Awesome pano even with the different exposures. Great job!!