Photographer captures real-life purple rain

May 19, 2018, 8:52 a.m.

When photographer Joshua Moore set up his tripod along the Blue Ridge Parkway about 25 miles south of Asheville, North Carolina, one Sunday in May, he was planning to shoot a sunset. Instead, he got something more breathtaking: a captivating image of purple rain.

"The purple rain was made possible because of the weather conditions," Moore tells MNN. "As the sun set behind the mountain range in the distance, the sky turned pink. That happens a lot, but when the rain moved in front of the mountain range, it put off a purple hue."

Moore says he and his wife immediately knew they were seeing something special.

"We both thought it was spectacular and beautiful to watch," he says. "You have to be eye level with it just about, and I am sure it is a very rare thing to witness, I am very thankful for being able to capture it and it will be a moment I always remember."

They joked that they had actually found "purple rain," made so popular by musical artist Prince.

"Another thing I really liked was the lightning flashes that went on with it as well," Moore says. "I captured that with the purple rain as well. It wasn't streaking, but it would illuminate the clouds. The purple rain lasted for about 20 minutes and I had plenty of time to set up and capture what I wanted, even enough time to capture lightning flashes with the storm."

Moore's images have been a hit on his Facebook page and website, leaving people amazed by the ethereal event.

"I am glad people are seeing them and enjoying them, because most people may never get to see something like this," he says. "Photography makes that possible."

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