Thunder & Lightning

We had a bit of a thunder & lightning storm here yesterday. As we sat at the kitchen table, watching it, it struck me that this would have been the ideal time to make an attempt at lightning photography — it wasn’t raining! I’ve never even thought about it before, I didn’t even go out on the balcony to try but instead I spent some time last night, reading up on it.

We live on the top floor of the building and there’s no roof over the balcony. Most of the times there’s heavy rain and strong winds associated with those storms. That came much later yesterday. Saw some spectacular lightning bolts as we have a panoramic view of the neighbourhood.

It wasn’t any big, huge thunder storm. Nothing like when we were here, just visiting, before we moved here. We stayed in a cheap motel and one night we got a real, good thunder & lightning storm. The building shook and it’s one of the two thunder storms I remember the best. The first one took place in Florida when I was there with Mum.

When I was a kid, I was terrified of thunder. I was outside when it struck a nearby transformer and I fell to the ground. Nowadays, I’m not as scared … I do have a healthy respect for it, but I like to watch them. How small you feel when the forces of nature are at play!

Now, after all my reading yesterday, I know theoretically how to set the camera. Should we ever be as ‘lucky’ again, to get a thunder & lightning storm without rain, I will try. Having read all that, I still think that many of the great lightning shots we see online are pure luck.

Here’s an old picture … it’s of Lac Saint Jean in Quebec and I shot it with our very first, little camera. It’s one of my own photos that I really like and I remember well what it felt like when I shot it. There was a thunder storm approaching, everything was completely calm … and quiet! Nothing was moving … it was like everything had been put on hold.

This Sunday has just started, and it’s foggy. It’s still a blank slate…


16 thoughts on “Thunder & Lightning”

  1. We had a thunder and lightening storm here in Bulgaria as well. Like you I respect it but my dogs do not like it one bit.
    One roll of thunder and they either hide under something or if its night time, it is under the bed..They try getting ON the bed but that is not allowed.

    We shall wait in anticipation for the photos but I like the one you have shown us.

    Thank u love P

    1. Yes, our cat McDuff doesn’t like it one bit! Yesterday, we saw the storm coming, and we were just waiting to see how long it would take before he went into hiding. Then he gets very low and takes off into the cupboard underneath the kitchen sink..

  2. Like you, I have moved from having a terror of wind, lightening and thunder to a healthy respect for nature’s ways. There is a beauty in the storm . . . as long as it doesn’t destroy life and limb. Hope your day proves to be a pleasant one!

    1. They sure can be very beautiful … I’ve seen pictures of clouds before a tornado and they are totally awesome, but oh so destructive!

  3. I agree and like you, think that a lot of lightning pictures, are just plain luck! having said that, I’m hoping to be so lucky one day. We had a fierce storm here a couple of weeks ago and for the first half hour there was thunder and lightning without rain! Felt a bit spooky. I do love to be outside, protected on my screened in porch, during a rain storm. One time in Florida we watched the storm come down the beach for about half an hour. It was an incredible sight.

    1. The calm before the storm sure feels spooky! The atmosphere is so charged with … whatever it is … I’ll never forget that one in Florida! I even remember the movie … Deliverance! The whole theater shook.. Must have been incredible watching it coming down on the beach!

  4. Hi,
    Some storms can be terrifying, they can certainly cause a lot of problems, here in OZ we also get some huge thunder and lightning storms normally followed by loss of power due to trees coming down on top of power lines. I think a lot of people get a bit frightened during a storm, as you really do feel helpless, you just need to let Mother Nature take her course and hope for the best.

    1. Quite often there are power outages here too … because the power lines aren’t buried, I guess.

      I think most people would be a little scared, unless they are adrenaline junkies like the storm chasers must be…

  5. I would love to have some rain here. Just miserably hot. Now at 100.9F. I would think to get a good lightning shot there is luck and maybe taking a series of shots in rapid succession. I have never tried. Always hope I get a lucky shot though!!! The calm with storms tends to frighten me. Often it is really calm before it gets really bad.

    1. Continuous shooting would be one method, yes.. Terrible temperature you have there! I’d die ..

      I always enjoy looking at your storm cloud pictures!

      1. I love to take cloud photos. And even innocent clouds can be made to look dangerous depending on how I hold the camera!!

        It is beyond hot. I need to go to the car but do not want to Ick. back over 103F now.

  6. Except for those who specilaize in weather photography, I belive that it is almost always luck! I love those moments of calm before a storm. You know it is seting you up for something but in the meantime nothing moves and the air is so heavy…

  7. Hi Rebekah,

    I have the advantage of having the garage to shoot from. It’s big and I can set up my tripod for lightening. The disadvantage is it usually happens in the wee hours and we have a lot of trees and power lines. I have gotten some decent shots though. I use Manual with the bulb setting and just hold down on my remote switch for a minute or more at a time. Letting up and then doing it again. I like your photo as well.

    1. Yeah, the garage must be excellent! And yes, that’s the setting I’ve seen recommended the most, now that I’ve tried to read about it.. This storm that we had wasn’t very intense so it was very long in between the lightnings… I’ll wait 🙂

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