Be careful what you wish for. LITERALLY! I have to say yesterday August 2nd 2017 was probably one of the most productive days in my photography careers as far as in the field of capturing the beauty of the Earth in 24 hours or less!
I woke up at 430am knowing that a passing tropical storm would light up the sky with color at first light bringing with it such awesome conditions in the wave department leading to the capture of in my opinion one of my best shots I've taken in the surf for quite a long time.
This moment in time will stand out in my mind as one of the most perfect waves I've seen in my life! It was literally that type of wave you dream about.
Having a beat on the weather constantly I had called a few friends and planned to hit the desert about 3 hours away on the chase for lightning. I stepped out of the water at around 730am and TRUST ME it was so hard to leave this good to epic surf!
A few friends on the beach couldn't believe I was leaving. I was thinking to myself at this point that I'm totally blowing it right now but continued on that path planned previous.
I got in the car and left to join up with my buddies and got to Joshua Tree national park around 2pm on the search for thunder heads and storm activity. As the sun begin to set I was thinking MAN we blew it coming out here.
I could tell the sunset to the West along the California coast line was going off hitting the scale at a 10 PLUS! A few friends starting sending me text messages of how intense the sunset was. I was seriously like WHAT!!! I can't believe this is happening right now!
I gathered myself together and thought about how awesome of a day it was in the ocean and in the park. I captured a bunch of time-lapses and called it a day. As we left the park a series of dark, ominous clouds rolled in. It looked as if we were going to be taken over by an alien civilization. It was no doubt some of the craziest weather I've seen in my life!
Lightning started striking everywhere on my weather app and all of a sudden, we were right in the middle of serious MADNESS! We raced ahead of the storm as it took a turn to the North East. Google Earth showed a small dirt road as an alternative route and I was hoping we could get in front of the storm fast enough so we could set up a shot.
Luck was on our side and we got about 20 minutes of shoot time, resulting in this single image of the dirt road combined with 3 images stacked of the sky in Adobe photoshop CC.
After this, all hell broke lose!!! The storm was on top of us the entire time! We were fearing for our lives but also laughing our heads off in all this craziness.
We bolted (no pun intended) as fast as we could to try and get in front of the storm again. Our destination was the California 62 and the 10 where I set up my rig for a quick capture of the power lines. The lightning rolled in so fast that the storm was on top of us once again nearly seconds after I pressed the shutter button! I got the guys together and ran, looking back at where I was just shooting in awe of all the lightning striking the ground in the very placed I had recently stood.
I left the desert last night and arrived home at 430am after being up for 24 hours straight. Despite the sleep deprivation, I hadn't felt more alive then I have ever felt before! I can't believe all this happened in less than 24 hours! It goes to show if your dream big and trust you heart to lead the way anything is possible.
I hope you enjoyed my journey enough to share this story with family and friends. As a photographer, my motto is always to explore, inspire and create. Bringing a story and images like this to you is what makes these adventures all worth it! This is life. This is living.