The summer storms in Utah can get pretty intense. The usual sequence is first you see the thunderhead approaching. Then comes the wind, often energetic, which may proceed or join with the rain. When the rain hits, it hits either soft or hard, there is no in-between. After that the storm clears and things (usually) get calm.
On the evening when I took this photo, things felt different. All the proceeding happened, but the rain lasted longer, and was definitely on the "hard" end of spectrum. The storms this summer have always been on the soft side, so I decided it was a good idea to step outside with my camera.
There are days when I'm glad at least some fluffy clouds will join me in my photos, and there are days when there are none and I wait for "magic hour" and hope for at least some golden light. Then, there are nights like this where the sky steals the show completely and becomes the entire subject. I did two passes up and down my street, one with the a longer lens (the Fuji XF50-140), and one with a wider lens (the Fuji XF18-55). This photo was taken on the first pass, one of the first photos of the night. At this point the rain had stopped but it was not at all clear it would stay that way. I initially stepped out hoping to get the mists passing around Mt. Olympus, or maybe some shots of lightning. That all dissipated in about half a second after I looked up at the sky. There was really only one subject that mattered.
I ought to go look up what sort of clouds these are, in my memory I associate them with the conditions that might spark a tornado. Shapes and swirls abounded, with layers and layers of different shades of grey going into pinks as the higher clouds caught a bit of the setting sun. I can sit and stare at this photo, and new phantoms emerge each time.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor