Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lightening Strikes!

Firework vs. Lightening
I had my first successful photo session with lightening last night!!  Needless to say the night sky display that the Lord put on beat any 4th of July fireworks they would have put off had the storms not rolled in right at 10pm!  After a short 5 minute display the city fireworks suddenly stopped, and instead we started watching a different light show.  That new ND filter came in handy and allowed me to click my shutter like crazy, while exclaiming alternating shouts of triumph and disappointment as I either captured the bolts of lightening or missed them.

Frustration mounted as I seemed to always point my camera in the wrong direction of where lightening appeared, and as soon as I moved it, a great display of bolts would strike where I had just been aiming!!  Now if only I had a wider angle lens to capture more sky at once! 

I have a feeling I will get better with practice.  I have a great location for watching lightening....our second story front porch!  It provides some cover, unless the wind picks up with the rain, and then I am driven indoors to protect the camera equipment.

It was great fun!  So please enjoy these pics, and be sure to keep scrolling as some really interesting ones are last.  I didn't do the cloud to cloud stuff justice due to the porch roof and the lack of a super wide angle lens, but you can get the idea of the whole sky lighting up. It was breathtaking!

A double exposure - two shots overlaid!

As the storm came over the house bringing rain

 I normally don't adjust my photos, but on a few of these (which I will mark) I played with some settings to let you see what the camera lens detected and in a split second our minds might not register.  (I am convinced our eyes see this because the lens of our eyes is the most sophisticated on earth!)  I bumped up the color saturation in the above photo so you could see the color of the lightening, pink and blue!  In a flash it seems white, but it is actually colorful!

 The contrast on this was bumped up a bit to show the intensity of the lightening as it really appeared.

Cropped the porch roof out of this one to really show the tentacles off that bolt of lightening.

I like this one above because it almost is an optical illusion with the lightening fingers looking like layers of clouds.

Imagine this shot but across the whole sky....I just captured a little piece of that as it moved 360 around the porch!

 The wind chimes blowing in the foreground.  They were swaying softly with the left over breeze from the storm after it was past our house, and this 30 second exposure shows that little bit of motion blur.

All in all it was a fantastic 4th of July night, and while many may have been bummed out by the storms that rolled in, they were the icing on the cake to my Independence Day!!

I hope to be able to share more lightening shots soon, but remember what the weather service says....if you can hear thunder, you can be struck by lightening.  ;-)


  1. Awesome pics!!

  2. Yep, really liked these ones. We did get lucky. Columbiana's fireworks ended minutes before this show.