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Island in the Sky Rain No. 5



An isolated storm over the canyons in southeastern Utah, USA

An isolated storm over the canyons in southeastern Utah, USA
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Awards

Action Award
Chatter Award
Zenith Award
Legendary Award
Top Shot Award
Contest Finalist in A Storm Is Coming Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Rain Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Wicked Weather Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Around the World Photo Contest By Discovery
Featured
Contest Finalist in Force Of Nature Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in 300 Rain Drops Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Depth In Black And White Photo Contest
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Peer Award
Superb Composition
Absolute Masterpiece
Top Choice
Magnificent Capture
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Outstanding Creativity
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Love it
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Superior Skill
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Genius
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Impressed
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18 Comments | Report
californiapaul
 
californiapaul August 20, 2015
Great capture of localized showers!
IanLiptonPhotography
IanLiptonPhotography August 20, 2015
Thanks so much!
nandicmb
 
nandicmb September 11, 2015
Congratulations on your Contest Finalist win in Depth in Black And White Photo Contest!!
NanaSue54
 
NanaSue54 February 23, 2016
Awesome!! Congrats on being a finalist! Good luck!! :)
IanLiptonPhotography
IanLiptonPhotography February 24, 2016
Thanks! Good luck to you too.
perfectway76
 
perfectway76 February 24, 2016
Amazing!!!
IanLiptonPhotography
IanLiptonPhotography February 24, 2016
Thanks!
JDLifeshots
 
JDLifeshots March 01, 2016
Amazing capture! Congrats.
carolcardillo PRO+
 
carolcardillo March 25, 2016
Wow! Congrats on your Awards!
jmatthewlarson
 
jmatthewlarson August 27, 2016
Very nice composition! Black and white was a nice choice for the shot to accentuate the cloud detail and the varying greyscale lends itself well to the feeling of a bit of dreary contrast to the open landscape. I only have one question, though: How did you get all that rain to fall into a big hole for you? That's cool ! ;-)
IanLiptonPhotography
IanLiptonPhotography August 27, 2016
Thanks! As for how did I get the weather to cooperate? I drove through Utah for a week getting rained on every day and nature finally decided to throw me a bone!!
MsJPhotography
 
MsJPhotography September 07, 2016
That's really a really awesome photo! Love it
RenefromHolland
 
RenefromHolland October 12, 2016
Congrats ! impressive
IanLiptonPhotography
IanLiptonPhotography October 12, 2016
Thanks!
httppluto
 
httppluto April 02, 2017
Epic shot ????????
IanLiptonPhotography
IanLiptonPhotography June 19, 2017
Thank you so much!
leeanne_6709
 
leeanne_6709 July 05, 2017
Spectacular
Jade10Wolf
 
Jade10Wolf September 07, 2017
???? I need a smoke after looking at this eyegasm. Incredible! Well done.
captchaos111
 
captchaos111 April 02, 2018
Join the conversation. Add a comment or even better, a critique. Let's get better together!
captchaos111
 
captchaos111 April 02, 2018
A TRULY MAGICAL MOMENT
speterson6
 
speterson6 April 15, 2018
Awesome capture, very dramatic scene. Nice work Ian.
RamyDelariarte
 
RamyDelariarte May 20, 2018
Awesome
YvelaVerhuizenPhotography
 
YvelaVerhuizenPhotography February 04, 2019
Beautiful picture
Michelebell
 
Michelebell August 29, 2022
Great photo!
See all

Behind The Lens

Location
I took this photo near Moab, Utah. We were setting up camp on the plateau that is on the way to the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park. I was putting up my tent when I looked behind me and saw this. I immediately dropped the tent poles and ran to my camera to capture this image.
Time
This photograph was taken in the late afternoon. I remember this because our plan was to set up camp and then drive over to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park for sunset. When we got to the parking area for Delicate though we were told the trail was closed because it had rained earlier. This was the only rain we saw in that general area that day so while I did get this fantastic image, it meant sacrificing Delicate Arch. I'm pretty ok with that sacrifice though as I would much rather have this unique shot than one that thousands of other photographers will capture.
Lighting
In all honesty the lighting for this shot was mostly luck. The overcast sky behind the thunderhead helped make sure the cloud itself was well exposed without the highlights behind it being totally overexposed. Metering to expose the thunderhead is really important. It is always a lot easier for me to pull details out of the shadows than to try to recover blown highlights. Many times it is difficult to properly expose the highlights in cloud shots, especially during the day.
Equipment
This image was made on a Nikon D3 with a 24-70 mm f2.8 lens. Because I was in a rush, I was just hand holding the camera this time.
Inspiration
I was on a trip with friends through Arizona and Utah and we got rained on every day for over a week. I never thought it rained that much in the desert, but that is how I learned about the monsoons of the US southwest. This was the last day of our trip and I finally got a shot that seemed to symbolize what we had seen throughout the week.
Editing
This shot was originally made in color so I did a black and white conversion in Photoshop. I also did a square crop because I feel like it really accentuates the main subject. The original image also had a small oil derrick in the midground that I removed because I felt like it distracted from the overall image.
In my camera bag
I generally always carry either my Nikon D3 or D700 and my 24-70 f.28 lens. Then depending on what I am going for that day, I will carry a 14mm for really wide shots, or my 70-200 or 80-400 Nikkor lenses if I am trying to do midrange or long range stuff. I almost always bring a tripod and shutter release cable with me for my landscape adventures. I have also started always bringing my circular polarizer as well as a couple of different ND filters just in case.
Feedback
First I would suggest having an idea of the image that you want and then being vigilant in looking for it. We had seen these isolated storms off in the distance so many times over the course of the week but either the timing or the location wasn't quite right. The second piece of advice would be to practice even when the shot isn't perfect. Exposing both the sky and the foreground at the same time can be very tricky, especially in the middle of the day. I had played around with different exposure scenarios so much over the week that when I finally saw this I knew exactly what I wanted to do. This particular moment passed by so quickly that if I hadn't had my idea and hadn't practiced I would never have captured this moment.

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