Flashes from the heavens

I felt like interrupting my fireworks pictures posts with something a little different, so here it is. Actually, this is really pretty similar. Same technique: Camera on tripod, open shutter and wait. This time though, there isn’t someone on the ground lighting the fireworks.

Shot in Flora just south of the ball fields.

That was probably my cleanest fireworks shot. This one is my favorite, but I’ve already featured it.

This one is near Southwire in Flora

This one is another favorite. There isn’t one dominant bolt, but there are tons of smaller ones. There may even be some cloud to cloud lightning, but I’m not sure. Anyways, thanks for checking it out. Next up, a look at my favorite fireworks shots. From a long career of setting things ablaze.

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A new start, an older photo

Ok, so it’s not that old. I wanted to start strong. My reason for starting my photoblog is so that I can put my images up on a daily basis, but I feel that I need to lay some groundwork first. And that means older images. So….

Lightning strikes in the distance after a rain storm. Puddles are on the tarps, rolled out after the games were cancelled in the afternoon.

Lightning strikes in the distance after a rain storm. Puddles are on the tarps, rolled out after the games were cancelled in the afternoon.

Man, do I love lightning. I love fireworks too, and the technique is basically the same, but you know where and for the most part, when, the fireworks are going to be. Lightning is a little more difficult. This was one of the first images I shot after I started working in Flora. I shot it earlier in the day for a bit piece on the ball games being cancelled. I decided I wanted something better and came back at around 10 p.m. just after the storm had passed.

The Image is shot looking to the east. puddles in the foreground are on the tarps that they laid out to keep the field from getting soaked. I used my go-to camera, a Nikon D70. Exposure is about 20 seconds at f22 at iso 200. I used a tripod, of-course, with an umbrella (the rain kind) that was suspended above it by using two Bogen superclamps, one on the tripod column, connected with a spud to another on the umbrella. I’ve tried that setup again and realized it doesn’t work as well in the wind and switch to a less high-tech plastic bag with a hole for the lens, but it was calm that evening. I used an infrared remote to trip the shutter.

I have, as I said before, always loved lightning shots. I got lightning on film twice before this (funny I should phrase it that way, because on both of those occasions I was actually using film), but both times I was shooting through glass. Once was through a dorm window, the other was through a windshield in a moving car. Neither time did I really think of the images as successful. The time from the dorm room, the lightning strike was small and off-center and there was a reflection elsewhere on the image. The other time it was because, oh, I don’t know, I shot it through a freakin’ piece of slanted, tinted glass in a moving vehicle, hand-held for about 1/15 of a second and wide-open. The fact that it was a touch grainy was the least of my problems.

This image though, I think was successful. I’ve gotten cleaner lightning pictures with more detail in the strike since, but none I like better. Anyway, hope you like it.