I’ve beet at home in Los Alamos for the latter half of this week to catch up with friends and family. I stopped by Mouser’s place last night to visit, and we ended up going outside to take pictures of some night-time thunder storms that were passing through. (Not until after we spent an hour swapping web videos and watching a DVD of ATLAS rocket launches gone wrong, of course). Los Alamos has the most spectacular thunderstorms during the month of July; the month that people people around here call the “monsoon season.” This has been a particularly wet year in New Mexico (still not very wet) — apparently it has been raining very hard almost every day.
To catch the storms, we drove over towards Bandelier and set up our equipment on east gate road pointing toward Santa Fe. There were two active storm cells to our left and right, but they were dying down when we got there so we only managed to get a few good pictures in. Nonetheless the results were fairly spectacular.
I spent some time touching the photos up in Lightroom, and I found that by cranking the white balance way down (to 3500K) the predominant colors in the photograph changed from an orangish brown to a spectrum of reds, blues, and even a little bit of green. I’m not sure what the correct white balance is for photgraphing lightening, but the low white balance gives a very dramatic effect. I like the results.
I’ll be travelling on Sunday to Tuscon with my brother to drop him off at grad school, and then I’ll fly back to the Bay Area on Monday.