An Evening In Glamis
Glamis is well-known for off-highway vehicle hobbyists, but it can be a wonderful places for photographers as well. My Friend Alex Kunz and I decided to go out and do an evening and night landscape photo shoot in East San Diego County and Imperial County. This link will take you to Alex’s post on Pinyon Point in the Laguna Mountains. Here is my Pinyon Point blog post.
Most of our night was focused near Glamis at the Algodones Sand Dunes. Despite Summer temperatures still in the 90s, we left for the Osborne Overlook just South of Highway 78.
Below is a gallery of images, with more explanations below. As always, clicking on any of these images will launch the slideshow.
About That Weather
The weather was a challenge. It was warm of course, being August in the desert. The breeze was hot and very dry. It got progressively more windy as the night progressed. To the West and East, monsoon storm clouds provided a consistent light show. Much of the evening, I pointed my camera East, making 30 second exposures. Almost every frame had lightning strikes.
With the wind gusts making us a little concerned about our camera gear on the dunes, we trekked back to the parking lot. We headed East on Highway 78 and found a couple stops near the Southern terminus of the Chocolate Mountains. A cloudburst to the West approached very quickly, and I was able to catch a cloud-to-cloud lightning strike that was even more stunning in person than on camera.
Lightning Is Your Friend…
Finally, for the first time all evening, we started hearing thunder. Lightning was on the edge of 10 miles out from us, and the cloudburst was heading our way. It was time to call it a night. One underappreciated thing about night shooting is how much it throws off your sleep cycle. I try to stay consistent during the week because of my office job, and I ended up sleeping almost the entire Sunday after we got home. That being said, I can’t wait to go again when the conditions are looking good.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the images.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.