Haboob Photos - a Large Dust Storm Hits Phoenix
These are photos of a 'haboob' - a large dust storm - as it is about to hit Phoenix. During the late summer months, Phoenix goes through a monsoon season and these haboobs will build in to massive dust storms that roll in, usually from south of the Phoenix area. These dust storms bring high winds and of course a lot of dust and debris with them.
I took these particular images from a news helicopter with my iPhone. I know - I'm kicking myself that I didn't have any of my DSLR's with me. I was actually focused on running the video camera on the helicopter to show viewers at home that the dust cloud was headed toward Phoenix. Its funny, because the photos were really just an afterthought. I just snapped a couple of them to text to my wife to let her know the reason I'd likely be home late.
I posted these photos to twitter from the helicopter, and a lot of people saw this photo come across their twitter feed and said "That is totally photoshopped!", but other than basic color correction, it hasn't been retouched. This photo of the haboob depicts how it really looked up there. The sunbeams were really there, though the rays of lens flare were probably enhanced by the smudged fingerprints on my iPhone's camera lens. Hit the linked photos below for full-res versions of these photos.
I've been really humbled that so many people have seen and appreciated this photo. Mother nature has been really kind to Arizona, and as an aerial photographer, I get to see so much of the beauty that I'd otherwise take for granted. It's been really neat to see this photo go 'viral' (not my words, by the way). Thousands of people around the world now have a better understanding of this uniqe weather phenomenon called the 'haboob'.