Feb 20 2013

Anasazi Sunset

Anasazi Sunset

The Anasazi, or Ancestral Puebloans, occupied the Mesa Verde region until the late 1200s C.E. Early occupation began around 500 C.E. with the Basketmaker culture living in pit houses on the mesa tops, which was followed by the contruction of stone pueblo village on the mesa tops. But, the populations eventually moved down off the mesas into the canyons below where they built stone cliff dwellings – from small graneries to great houses occupied by large groups. This whole complex of dwellings were abandoned as the populations moved south… what drove them to move in mass is still a matter of speculation.

Below Chapin Mesa on the cliffs above Navajo Canyon is Square Tower House. In winter, the light of sunset bathes the ruin in brilliant orange and golden tones just before the sun disappears below the horizon of the cliffs across the canyon.

Winter, 2013 ● Nikon D800, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens @ 70mm; f/11 at 1/15 sec.; ISO 100


Jan 23 2013

The Tumbleweed and the Slot Canyon

Like Antelope Canyon, Canyon X is a slot canyon sculpted through iron-rich Navajo Sandstone. From above, it appears to be a just a crack in the landscape. But, below this narrow slash in the ground, water and time have carved out a deep cavern. Flash floods sculpt the stone walls with artist flare, and leave behind random bits of debris in a seemingly well thought out placement that any interior decorator would be proud of.

Winter 2013Nikon D800, Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 lens; 3 sec. @ f/16; ISO 100


Nov 22 2012

Photography at 314,000 Gallons per Second

With all four bypass tubes opened, 15,000 cubic feet of water per second (approximately 314,000 gallons per second) blasts into the Colorado River. It mixes with the more than 27,000 CFS of water moving through the Glen Canyon Dam powerplant for a total of 42,700 CFS at the peak of the five day release.

Glen Canyon Dam 2012 High Flow Experimental Release… With the new science-based protocol in place for conducting more frequent high flow experimental releases from Glen Canyon Dam, the Department of the Interior will initiated the first such release based on the new guidelines beginning November 18, 2012. The protocol allows for more frequent HFE releases to be conducted when the right conditions exist, through the year 2020. The goal is to determine the effectiveness of multiple HFE releases in rebuilding and conserving sandbars, beaches, and associated backwater habitats that have been lost or depleted since the dam’s construction and operation.

Fall 2012


Oct 11 2012

Autumn’s Sentinels

As the earth passes through the Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the suns rays spend more time warming the south than the north, the temperatures at 9,000 feet begin to plummet toward winter and within the Inner Basin of the San Francisco Peaks in Northern Arizona, a stand of aspen clones (Populus tremuloides) responds, turning gold with a hint of orange and red. The aspen leaves glow with the light of the sun.

Fall 2012 ::: Nikon D800, Nikon 24-120mm f/4 lens @ 46mm; 1/50 sec. @ f/11; ISO 100


Sep 14 2012

Artist-of-the-Month Reception This Afternoon at the Powell Museum

If you are in the Page, Arizona, area today, the Powell Museum will be hosted an opening reception for my September Artist-of-the-Month exhibit. This year’s theme… Atmospheric Disturbance: Lightning. I hope to see you there!


Sep 14 2012

Overpowering

The electrical potential of a lightning storm is staggering. On this July evening, a monsoon storm passed above the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) near Page, Arizona. Several large lightning strikes lashed out at the landscape with this one striking the power plant directly.

With the juxtaposition of lightning and a power plant, the question comes to mind… which is more powerful? There is not a direct answer since the lightning bolt is a single surge of energy and the power plant produces a constant energy source, but we can at least compare some numbers.

NGS produces 2,250 megawatts of electricity; a single bolt of lightning can produce as much as 1,000 megawatts of electricity.

The electricity generated by NGS carries about 175,000 amps; a bolt of lightning only carries about 10,000 – 12,000 amps.

It would seem that NGS is more powerful than a bolt of lightning. But, how about volts? NGS produces 13,000 volts from its generators, which is transformed to 500,000 volts for the transmission lines to places like Phoenix, Arizona. And, as a comparison, the largest burst of energy every produced by humans is 32,000,000 volts… and, that was no small accomplishment. So, how many volts are in a bolt of lightning? 100,000,000 to 1,000,000,000. For a split second, a bolt of lightning is far more powerful than a power plant.


Sep 3 2012

The Moon and Lightning Gods Meet

The 2012 Monsoon Season started early in Northern Arizona with several good storms in early and mid-July. But, then a high pressure ridge parked itself over the American Southwest bringing record high temperatures and stalling the monsoon storms. For nearly a month, it appeared that the season was going to be short and anti-climactic… until mid-August when storms started to build in the north again.

Just after sunset a small, but powerful monsoon storm cell formed along the northern edge of the Paria Plateau where it rotated in place for two hours just west of Page, Arizona, and drenched the landscape while lashing at it with energetic bolts of lightning as the moon sets above the cliffs in the distance.

Summer 2012Nikon D800, Nikon 16-35mm f/4 lens @ 21mm; 30 sec. @ f/11; ISO 100


Sep 3 2012

Artist-of-the-Month

If you are in the Page, Arizona, area during September, I will be the Featured Artist of the Month at the Powell Museum! This year’s theme… Atmospheric Disturbance: Lightning. This exhibit contains 17 of my recent lightning photographs presented in three mediums… Canvas Gallery Wrap, Metal Prints, and traditional Framed and Matted Digital Photographic Prints.


Aug 21 2012

Dirty Dancing

The 2012 Monsoon Season started early in Northern Arizona with several good storms in early and mid-July. But, then a high pressure ridge parked itself over the American Southwest bringing record high temperatures and stalling the monsoon storms. For nearly a month, it appeared that the season was going to be short and anti-climactic… until mid-August when storms started to build in the north again.

Just after sunset a small, but powerful monsoon storm cell formed along the northern edge of the Paria Plateau where it rotated in place for two hours just west of Page, Arizona, and drenched the landscape and lashed at it with energetic bolts of lightning such as these that appear to be two people dirty dancing.

Summer 2012


Jul 23 2012

Monsoon Season is Upon Us!

The monsoon season has finally arrived in full force and over the past week, the storms have become more powerful. This means more powerful lightning! I’ve been out in a few storms already with the night before last the strongest yet. It slowly skirted south of town dropping heavy rain on the mesas and the atmospheric disturbance was quite fierce for a while. So, today, I’ll begin to share my lightning photographs for this season. I am turning this into a bigger project with the titles of Atmospheric Disturbance, and I will be adding video and time-lapse to my efforts.

A Vortex Opens Over Page, Arizona

A small, but powerful monsoon storm cell came rumbling into Page, Arizona from the east just as the sun set and twilight set in. It continued to move slowly along the south edge of town, putting on a show of Atmospheric Disturbance.

Summer 2012 ::: Nikon D800, Nikon 24-120mm f/4 lens @ 24mm; 30 sec. @ f/8; ISO 100


May 28 2012

Stormy Spring Equinox

After a mild winter without much in the way of storms or snow, the first day of spring on the Colorado Plateau was greeted with unsettled weather that brought mostly dry storm cells drifting across the landscape and the sight of virga (rain that does not reach the ground) months before monsoon season when it is normally found. Along the southern edge of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, a slow moving storm cell brought drama to this spring landscape.

Spring 2012 ::: Nikon D700, Nikon 24-120mm f/4 lens @ 44mm; 1/800 sec. @ f/8; ISO 200


May 21 2012

Sunset Eclipse Over the Vermillion Cliffs

On May 20, 2012, an annular solar eclipse passed directly over Glen Canyon, the Colorado River, and the Vermillion Cliffs. As the sun sets near Powell Point on the Paria Plateau, it is nearly an hour after the moon blocked nearly 94% of the sun’s light and the last moments of the eclipse are still visible. This was a spectacular event in the area with people descending on the small town of Page, Arizona from around the world. After a fair bit of scouting, I settled on an area south of town and below the highway with a good view of the Vermillion Cliffs with a layering of the Echo Cliffs and various Navajo Sandstone teepees in the foreground. It turned out to be a fairly popular spot as people setting up their telescopes and cameras and homemade viewing devices along the ridge above my chosen location.

Spring 2012 ::: Nikon D700, Nikon 24-120mm f/4 lens @ 55mm; 15 sec. @ f/22; ISO 200