How I Got That Shot - Jack Dykinga in the Sonoran Desert

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jack Dykinga ( blends large-format, landscape photography with documentary photojournalism. He is a regular contributor to Arizona Highways and National Geographic. His book Jack Dykinga's Arizona is a compilation of his best Arizona images along with accounts of his personal wilderness experiences. Dykinga’s fine art images were featured along with the work of Ansel Adams in an Arizona Highways Magazine retrospective shown at the Phoenix Art Museum, The Center for Creative Photography, and the Museum of Northern Arizona. In April 2010, Jack’s image: "Stone Canyon" was selected as one of the forty best Nature Photographs of all time by the International League of Conservation Photographers and he received: The 2011 Outstanding Photographer of the Year Award from the Nature Photographers of North America.

Jack:  "My goal was to record an intense summer 'monsoon' storm in the Sonoran Desert near my home in Tucson.  Easier said than done. Storms are fickle in both direction and intensity. After several unsuccessful attempts, a massive storm rolled in from the Southeast, and I felt my luck had changed. I fired up my truck and ran straight toward the dark grey clouds.  My problem was, that in order to get the lightning image I wanted, I had to drive through the storm, set up my camera, and let the storm come to me. The sun was setting as the rain began in ernest with the flashes of lightning marking the storm's direction.  I set up quickly using the "Lightning Trigger" to capture several flashes with the multiple exposure function on my Nikon D3x.  Rain pelted the camera and between flashes I swabbed the lens to keep rain drops from the front element.

It ended as quickly as it began. Only one image had the lightning flash behind the saguaro cactus. I finally caught my storm."


Camera: Nikon D3x
Other: Really Right Stuff tripod, ballhead


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ArizonaHow i got that shotJack dykingaMay 2012Nikon d3xReally right stuffSonorean desert