Friday, 25 April 2008

Thunder and Lightning! Strike at Night

"Thunder and Lightning!"
Lightning striking in a thunder storm at night
Sky Watch Friday
lightning strike - thunder storm at night with lightning striking and purple sky
Wow! That's what I thought when I saw this lightning bolt strike last night. We had a thunder storm here (fairly rare, I might add) and so I went out, like I did during our last lightning storm, in the cold and wet, to get some lightning photos. The noise of this particular strike nearly deafened me! It struck less than 1km away, so the thunder came almost instantaneously.

I took this picture on "B" shutter mode with about a 20-second exposure at F6.4. The lightning you see in the picture is actually the result of two strikes - one huge lightning strike (the large ball of white lightning on the left), and another smaller one almost directly after.

Because of the long exposure, and the brightness of the lightning, I had to use the GIMP to adjust the saturation curve for this image to make the lightning bolts visible. But I can assure you it isn't "touched up" in the common sense of the word - this is exactly what it looked like in real life! Even though I only saw the lightning for a second, I can still see the strike as if it was right in front of me now. And I can hear the thunder just as clearly - it was the sort of sound that's so loud and deep that you can feel it as much as hear it!

85 comments:

  1. Amazing shot David and very good catch description. As usual well done..

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  2. I agree with John - AMAZING!

    It amazes me you went out in the storm to take it! I would have cowered inside. Thanks for capturing it for us.

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  3. Hi John,

    Thanks for your comment, I'm glad you enjoyed this photo. Have a great SWF, hope you don't get caught in any storms like this one (unless you're getting photos that is)! :)

    Cheers,

    David

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  4. I enjoyed your photograph, David and also your vivid description. It is a really nice shot.

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  5. Wow! was my first thought, my second what we will not be to get a good/different photo. Stay safe.

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  6. Hi carletta,

    I wasn't actually outside for much time. I was inside working on my blog during most of the storm, hoping the power wouldn't cut out, but then the storm swung around into a good position for getting photos. So I went outside, it was freezing, and I ended up with a cold, but I think it was worth it for the shot!

    Hope you have a nice weekend, have you seen David McMahon's Anzac day post? It's a great summary of this important day in Australia.

    Cheers,

    David

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  7. Gosh I dream to capture that.Fantastic.

    Visit my Sky watch also the Goat Man.

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  8. Hi sandycarlson,

    I love getting photos of lightning, partly because of the colour. When the lightning strikes, it's so quick that you don't get to see the colour. It's only in the photo that it actually turns up, and then it looks amazing.

    Thanks for visiting, have a nice SWF.

    Cheers,

    David

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  9. Hi Abraham lincoln,

    Thanks for your visit. One question I have about the descriptions - do you like the bold words I'm highlighting, or would you prefer just plain text. I put them in thinking they might help break up the words, but it all depends on what you, the readers, think of it.

    Cheers,

    David

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  10. Hi me & my puppies,

    Thanks, I'll certainly try to stay safe, and during a lightning storm I never go out into an exposed space for that very reason. I still want to be around for a few more pics! :)

    Thanks for your comment and visit. Hope you have a great weekend.

    Cheers,

    David

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  11. Hi imac,

    Like the last lightning photo I took, I've always dreamed to get lightning shots, and if you keep trying it'll eventually work. I look forward to seeing your shots one day soon!

    Cheers,

    David

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  12. Great work, Dave

    That's literally Thunder Down Under!

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  13. David: What a great shot of the lighting strikes. Your photos are always outstanding.

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  14. Hi David McMahon,

    Thanks for taking the time to visit. I suppose you could say the thunder in the sky is actually "under", over, and around - quite a confusing description!

    Hope you have a "fair dinkum" Anzac day and enjoy SWF too. :)

    Cheers,

    David

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  15. Hi marcos santos,

    Thanks for dropping by, I hope you have a great day this SWF.

    Cheers,

    David

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  16. Oh my goodness, that is a truly awesome photograph. Bravo!

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  17. Hi fishing guy,

    Thanks for your comment, it's great to hear such positive feedback, it really helps to make the whole blog worthwhile. :) Hope you have a nice weekend, while we in Australia enjoy our long one.

    Cheers,

    David

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  18. Hi sherry,

    Lightning is one of the most awesome things in nature IMHO, I'm glad this photo could convey that impression to you. Thanks for visiting, have a great weekend.

    Cheers,

    David

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  19. A great photo with a no less vivid description!

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  20. Hi quintarantino,

    Thanks for dropping round, I'm glad you could enjoy the description. Have a nice SWF!

    Cheers,

    David

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  21. Great shot for SWF! mine's up too, hope you can drop by. Have a wonderful friday and weekend!

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  22. It's a very great shot! I wonder when i could take a photo like that. I can just imagine how loud the thunders must be. It must be deafening and real scary for the lighting to hit humans.

    Happy SWF!

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  23. Hi pretty life online,

    Thanks, I dropped by your site, love your pics. Have a nice day!

    Cheers,

    David

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  24. Hi sunshine4life,

    I encourage you to simply keep trying if you want to get shots like these. I have tried quite a lot, and after much practice now know basically what to do with the camera to get what shots. But lightning shots, like photos of small children and animals, involve a lot of chance - just keep the camera there, keep snapping photos, and eventually you'll get a photo that you think - "WOW!"

    Cheers,

    David

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  25. yes, you nailed it. Great shot.

    Scotty

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  26. Hi lilli and Nevada,

    Thanks for dropping round, hope you have a nice weekend. If you've got some time, please check out my Anzac day post, I don't know if you know about it but it's an Australian war memorial day.

    Cheers,

    David

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  27. fabulous photo - I've always admired the ability to photograph lightning having never had any success it myself.

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  28. Hi ackworth born,

    Why don't you have a go? When the next storm comes, just take some shots, slower shutter speeds are best for a start (20-20 seconds is good). It's really quite easy, just keep at it until you get a good one.

    Thanks for dropping by, have a nice weekend.

    Cheers,

    David

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  29. I really must try this out.. I love shots such as this.. thanks for showing it today.. We have a range of hills and moor land around us.. I have parked up my a time and watched the storms moving across the views in front. I will try to capture the next one.

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  30. Hi scotty graham,

    Thanks for dropping round, hope you have a nice weekend.

    Cheers,

    David

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  31. Hi old wom tigley,

    Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. I look forward to seeing your storm photos, drop me a line when you do post, otherwise I might not notice! It'll be interesting to see if your storms are any different to the Australian ones, like the sunsets seem to be.

    Hope you had a nice SWF as well as Anzac day, have a great weekend.

    Cheers,

    David

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  32. Hi juliana rw,

    Thanks for dropping round, I've visited your site & love your photo.

    Cheers,

    David

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  33. Hi picturing,

    Thanks for your visit. Hope you have a great weekend.

    Cheers,

    David

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  34. Excellent, like most of your pics. Taking pics of lightnings is really hard. I tried it and couldn´t get any so that makes me respect good lightning shots more.

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  35. Fantastic, amazing, excellent done.

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  36. Hey David,
    This is amazing! Great capture. Thanks for stopping by my blog :-)

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  37. You're right, David. I do love your SWF shot this week. Great CG (Cloud to Ground lightning) capture! I love the way the sky turns purple in lightning shots. Phenomenal.

    My SWF Shot

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  38. What a great shot !! Wonderful !

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  39. i thought hanging out the window to get mine was dangerous, but going out in with that lightening about beats me.I love, purple, love storms, and absolutely love this magnificent image. Sublime capture.

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  40. Oh my goodness! I can almost here the cracking and feel my hair stand on end. Marvelous shot!

    And the thunder made you nearly deaf - I can believe it.

    Great.

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  41. Really amazing picture and the colors are fantastic!

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  42. Beautiful and so difficult shot.

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  43. This is best Sky Watch Friday picture this week.
    Great shot..

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  44. This is awesome!! I tried to do lightning today but failed miserably!!!need to practice that shutter speed on a tripod I guess! Thanks for the blogger draft info..I have seen comments from other people but you actually told Scotty how to get there...I appreciate the info!

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  45. Hi chrome3d,

    I'm sure if you keep at it you'll be able to catch a good lightning shot one day. I look forward to seeing the photos you get in the future. If you're looking for something different to try, put the camera on 30-second exposure or bulb, and when a big lightning stike comes, stick a cap over the lens for the rest of the exposure. This helps avoid glare.

    Cheers,

    David

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  46. Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for visiting, hope you have a great weekend. Did you remember Anzac day in America yesterday?

    Cheers,

    David

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  47. Hi Chrisss,

    No problem, it was a pleasure to drop by and see your lovely work. Thanks for returning to visit here. See you soon!

    Cheers,

    David

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  48. Hi Dewdrop,

    I'm glad you enjoyed the shot. That purple colour is amazing - I wonder what causes it.....?

    Cheers,

    David

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  49. Hi Gattina,

    Thanks for visiting, have a great weekend.

    Cheers,

    David

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  50. Hi babooshka,

    Sometimes to get good photos you have to take risks. It's just up to you how far you go! I'm glad you like this picture, thanks for dropping round. Good luck with your lightning captures!

    Cheers,

    David

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  51. Hi Cherie,

    Glad you can appreciate the feeling of this shot. It's certainly awesome when you can stand there and feel and see the lightning, even better than the photo.

    CHeers,

    David

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  52. Hi Dot,

    Thanks for visiting. I appreciate your taking the time to comment on the post, it's very easy to just look and not give a comment too. Have a nice weekend!

    Cheers,

    David

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  53. Hi Luiz Ramos,

    Thanks for visiting. I hope you have a lot of success in the future with getting lightning shots yourself, it is certainly a rewarding experience (so long as you survive it! :) )

    Cheers,

    David

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  54. Hi Petunia,

    Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment. Have a nice weekend!

    Cheers,

    David

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  55. Hi Guild-rez,

    Thank you so much for your great compliment, it's certainly a great honour to be considered the best SWF picture. I hope you have great success in your photography in the future, SWF and beyond.

    Cheers,

    David

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  56. Hi Neva,

    I'm sorry to hear that your lightning shots failed. A sturdy tripod is essential for the slow shutter speed. Just drop me a line if you need some help, and I'll try and give you some advice if you continue to find it difficult. What I've found most important though is just practice!

    Glad you found the Blogger in Draft info useful too. I'm using that all the time now, it's certainly a very useful feature.

    Cheers,

    David

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  57. Hi chanpheng,

    Thanks for dropping round and commenting. I look forward to seeing you again soon. Have a great weekend.

    Cheers,

    David

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  58. Wow, that's an amazing shot! The power of nature...
    /Katarina

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  59. Excellent shot. We don't talk much but I follow your stuff with interest . And this post is top of the line not just for the photo but the commentary as well.
    I might be having problems passing the captcha test. Why do these damn things have to be so difficult. One plus One equals two would do the job.

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  60. Hi ida,

    I'm glad you enjoyed this lightning shot, thanks for leaving your feedback. Hope you have a great weekend.

    Cheers,

    David

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  61. Hi Katarina,

    The power indeed, it is amazing to see, I'm glad you could enjoy the photo and get this out of it.

    Cheers,

    David

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  62. Hi Davidlind,

    Thanks for leaving a comment. I too don't have much time to comment on peoples blogs (sorry!) but I do subscribe to your blog and read it. I'm having trouble right now with the CAPTCHA too, maybe Google's changed it or something. Anyway, I might have a go at removing it and see if I start getting Spam. One of these days I'll get around to changing to Wordpress where I can have real control of my blog! :)

    All the best with your blogging/photography, hope to see you again soon.

    Cheers,

    David

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  63. I really liked all the photos on your site, but the dove is special.
    You have a great gift. I so enjoyed my visit here.
    Have a great day!

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  64. Hi ga.farmgirl,

    Thanks for your visit, and your comment. I'm certainly glad you enjoyed your visit here, thanks for giving your feedback. Hope you have a great day too.

    Cheers,

    David

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  65. I absolutely love thunder storms. That's a great capture.. a true beauty of a shot.

    Sent here by the en-lightning David McMahon.

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  66. Wow is an understatement. That photo beats the other lightning one hollow! It is so alive!

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  67. Hi hilary,

    Thanks for telling me about Dave's post - I wasn't aware of the fact that this photo had recieved the "post of the day" award. I'm glad you could enjoy this photo, loving thunderstorms.

    Cheers,

    David

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  68. Hi anonymous,

    Thanks for sharing your comment. I'm about to update my sidebar with this photo - I agree with you, it beats the other one hollow!

    Cheers,

    David

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  69. WOW! Amazing shot! Great colours!

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  70. Hi Liam the hawk,

    Thanks for visiting. I'm glad you could take the time to comment. The colours did turn out pretty good, IMHO, although the saturation was adjusted. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this pic.

    Cheers,

    David

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  71. Amazing shot I ever seen.

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  72. Fabulous site. Thank you for bringing some beauty into this rather dull day.

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  73. Hi birdy,

    I'm glad you could really appreciate this shot, hope it brought light into your day.

    Cheers,

    David

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  74. Hi karan,

    I'm glad I could help, sorry it's been a dull day though. Try looking at nature in a different way every day and you shouldn't be bored. :)

    Cheers,

    David

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  75. Wow is right!
    I miss the T-storms I grew up with as a child.
    You did a super job of caturing the electricity!
    Thank you

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  76. Hi loraleigh vance,

    Thanks for visiting, I'm glad you could enjoy these photos. Hope you get some more lightning storms like the one in this photo again soon!

    Cheers,

    David

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  77. AMAZING,I wonder how did you took that photo

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