Lightning streams from a cloud during a recent monsoon storm.
 Lightning streams from a cloud during a recent monsoon storm.
(Steve Piepmeier photo)

We want to see the monsoon photos you've taken this summer. The newsroom will select the top five best storm photos we receive.  

The NABUR with the top storm photo wins a $15 gift card to Dairy Queen and a NABUR T-shirt, and the rest of the NABURhood that rounds out the top five will earn NABUR T-shirts.

Reply to this post with your photo submissions (limit of three photos per contestant). Submissions are due by Monday, Aug. 8, before 11:59 p.m.  

Good luck NABURs! 

Storm photographer Lori Grace Bailey was kind enough to judge a monsoon photo contest last summer and advise the community on taking photos during a storm.

Be sure to watch my full video interview with Lori from last year:

You can follow Lori on Twitter @lorigraceaz where she regularly shares her storm photography. 

Check out Lori Grace Bailey's tips on taking beautiful storm photos below.

Safety First

"I do want to always mention you want to make sure you're safe when you're doing this," Bailey said. "First and foremost, I like to tell people that you can capture a storm from the comfort of your home or the comfort of your car. That's a very safe place to be in, even if you're just driving; pull over in a park when you watch the storm."

Using an affordable camera is perfectly OK

"Even a simple DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera) - this is my baby, by the way, this is a Sony mirrorless camera - but even the ones you can buy at Walmart or Costco work," she said. "They come in a package, and Cannon sells a kit, and they're probably around 300 or 400 dollars."

Download an app that controls the camera on your smartphone

"Even cell phones can take a great photo of sky, whether it's the moon or the stars or lightning, and the ways that you can do that is tip number three: download an app that controls the camera," Bailey said. "You want to be able to have full control over the camera settings, and, especially for lightning, you want to increase your shutter speed. So when you download an app - There are several, I can't even think of any right now, but you can just go into photography apps and use one that gives you full control over your camera's ISO and aperture, and things like that."

Use a tripod for your smartphone when taking photos

"On Amazon, you can get those things where you can stabilize your phone, get a little tripod with a little stand on it and stabilize that image," she said. "Once you do that with the tripod, plus the software, you can sit back and let the camera just take photos of the storm, and even then, it couples with the safety of it. Once your camera's on the tripod doing the work for you, you can get back into your car, be safe, and shoot it from a far distance and enjoy it, rather than taking any unnecessary risks."