Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Lightning Strike

I submitted a slightly lighter version of this shot to the Capture Cincinnati book, which comes out today.  I'm not sure if any of my photos are included, but this is one of my favorites I've ever taken.

I was on my porch trying to catch cloud-to-cloud lightning very late at night when this one lit up the sky and scared the hell out of me.  I scurried back inside with the massive steel tripod with which I had been tempting fate.  It's a single 1-second exposure, a very lucky catch.

From Covington Blog 2009


Mark said...

Wow, how close was this to you?

Evan Kline said...

Wow! Great photo. You are braver than I am. I would have been curled up inside, waiting out the storm.

I really like how the lightning is framed by all the tree branches. Nicely done.

Jim said...

Thanks! My normal joke is that it took hours for my balls to drop back out of my body after that blast. It really did scare the hell out of me!

My impression is that what I captured were several tendrils from the main bolt, which hit a steel bridge a block away at "8 o'clock" from the perspective of the image.

If you look closely at the light reflected off the wet leaves and the roof of the house across the street, as well as the light coming through the branches in the far left of the image, you'll see what I mean. The other tendrils (what's the real term?) dropped like a net around a radius of a few blocks.

I got obsessed with getting more good lightning shots after that. I built a couple of weatherproof boxes for the camera to work with a remote, and larger ones to contain the camera gear and a laptop to take time-lapses of entire storms from the roof of a local condo complex... yet still haven't gotten anything close to this one despite hours upon hours of soaking in the storms, heart pounding and hands cramping from the tension and constantly hitting the button on the remote.

But more chances are coming in the spring, and I have even more schemes in preparation!

Mark said...

What the hell is with all the spammers?

nathan s said...

Hey Jim! Nice to see you're back in action! Cool pics \m/

Jim said...

Thanks, Nathan! I'm just posting occasional photos for the moment, and I know you've seen the lightning shot before.

Mark, I suspect you aren't getting the spam because Wordpress has a few mechanisms for filtering it. Google has similar ones, but I haven't activated them yet.

I think they are finding the site through the Blue Moon post. I notice most of my hits come through google searches on the topic. One thing I neglected to note on that post is that there will also be a partial lunar eclipse in the eastern hemisphere that night. Since I did include my eclipse shot, it's still hitting on that keyword as well.

Beanyhead said...

I love that picture of the lightning!