Late on this stormy afternoon, I set out to make a photograph that captured the spirit of the Sonoran desert.
At first, I set out towards the Superstitions, southeast of Phoenix, Arizona, near Apache Junction. However, as I approached I quickly became surrounded by six extremely violent monsoon storms.
Normally you should head into the storm for the best photos, but these were so violent and powerful, I deemed that unwise and turned around, speeding northwest away from the storms and up towards Scottsdale.
Remembering the McDowell Sonoran Preserve north of Scottsdale, I decided to try my luck out on the more than 100 miles of desert trails there.
As the day began to wane, thunderstorms circled about dumping cascades of rain all around, but not on me. As the sun began to set, the sky lit up suddenly in a vivid, surreal array of oranges, pinks, purples, grays and blues. I frantically ran around struggling to find a composition in the chaos of the desert and found these cacti standing in formation, showcasing the Saguaro, Barrel and Ocotillo, along with some desert bushes all living in harmony beneath the stormy skies.
Just as I set up the tripod, some rain fell in the southwest, and the sun filtered through it like a prism, igniting it in vivid pink columns, suspended in the sky. I tripped the shutter.