Watch monsoon 2022 through the eyes of a Valley-based weather photographer

John Sirlin has been chasing storms for years and teaches photography workshops in Arizona.
John Sirlin followed his passion in 2018, and weather photography is now his full-time job.
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 6:28 AM MST
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CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Monsoon can be downright dangerous and deadly, with winds powerful enough to damage your home, bring down trees, and cause power outages.

But one Valley-based photographer is finding beauty in the storms and the season. Monsoon is often the subject of John Sirlin’s photography. He was born in Tucson, Arizona, but grew up chasing storms in the Midwest. Sirlin has been back in the Chandler-area since 2005.

After working in marketing, Sirlin followed his passion in 2018, and weather photography is now his full-time job. He teaches workshops throughout the state through his company “Incredible Weather Adventures.” For the first time, he’s now holding classes in the Valley.

When it comes to chasing weather, Sirlin says the day starts with looking at weather data and the forecast for the day. It gets pretty technical with a lot of numbers involved. It’s important because safety is always the top priority, Sirlin said.

“First and foremost, anytime we go out, we want to make sure that we’re aware of where lightning is striking,” Sirlin told Arizona’s Family. “We have a couple of different apps we use to keep close tabs on where the lighting is compared to our position. And we always want to sure these guys are safe.”

Sirlin was recently in Death Valley, California during historic flooding.

Sirlin tells Arizona’s Family the roads were just buried. Rocks and debris were everywhere and it ended up taking about seven hours to get out of the area.

Locally, Sirlin loves taking shots of the Superstitions, Four Peaks and discovering the lesser known areas of our state where nature is unspoiled and there isn’t a huge human footprint. No matter where he is, Sirlin says he’s guaranteed a light show that no one has ever seen in that exact spot.

“Every time you get out there it’s different. You wake up in the morning, you know you’re going to go out and see a storm,” he said. “You know you’re going to see a great landscape. But you don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like because every single storm is different.”