Evening Light Show

Doing visiting and tourist things in North Carolina (don’t worry, you’ll be seeing enough pictures to choke a horse) and I mentioned yesterday that we had an ominous dawn with clouds and a forecast of severe weather.

As predicted, after sunset, the thunderstorms built up and moved into the area. We had several hours of a very nice light show, mainly to our east and south, but with a couple of cells being close enough to rattle the windows.

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Trying to catch any of the lightning with the camera turned out to be challenging. I was just shooting through the hotel window, so there was some reflection off the glass, as well as some artifacts from the street lights shining through rain on the window. Here you can see some activity at the far right.

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Most of the lighting seemed to be cloud-to-cloud, so much of what I was seeing was more like brightening of the clouds instead of discrete lighting bolts. But there were a few bolts that could be seen between the clouds.

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While there were a few cloud-to-ground bolts to be seen off in the distance, the nearer cells had some amazing cloud-to-cloud activity. It was very cool watching multiple bolts crawl across the sky from storm cell to storm cell.

Living in Southern California I don’t have a lot of opportunities to practice taking pictures of lightning. As a result, I approached the challenge of capturing some of the storm on camera much like I try imaging fireworks – ten second exposures, shooting one after another after another, hoping for the best. It’s a brute force approach, but by casting a wide enough yet and sticking with it, a few of the many, many images caught a little bit of what I was watching.

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It’s not ready for “National Geographic” yet, but it’s a start. It’s a pity the weather’s supposed to be good for the rest of our stay here!

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Filed under Photography, Travel, Weather

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