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Submitted on
August 3, 2010
Image Size
5.3 MB


802 (2 today)
40 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
8/1 second
Focal Length
28 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jul 26, 2010, 9:43:47 PM


Creative Commons License
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Branching by PhotoAlterations Branching by PhotoAlterations
As a storm chaser, I know how hard it is to get a good shot. This was one night where I was incredibly lucky.

I decided to head out and see what I could catch. I drove and drove and drove in hopes of catching this one cell. While there were many cells firing there was one was the most active.

I ended up driving about 50 miles and came across the perfect spot. I had intercepted the storm and the show I was given was simply amazing.

The pictures from this storm actually made it on the local news in my area.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts!


While not my primary camera, I use the Canon XSI 450D for my storm hunting. I would literally kill myself if I got a drop of water on my Mark II. Haha
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assassin4 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:wow: This is just incredible!
PhotoAlterations Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010
Thank you so much! That was one incredible storm. Tonight there are storms surrounding us here in the mountains of NC. Might be able to chase a bit! Woot!
mbrsart Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
That's an awesome shot! I'd love to be able to get split-second shots like this.
PhotoAlterations Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010
Thank you so much! It is exciting catching this amazing storms!
mixedia Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh wow, this is brilliant. It's not just a wow as in "well done for getting the picture" it's a wow as in "it's an incredible picture too". The clouds above the lightening bolt look so angry and moody and you can really feel the rage of the storm coming through, like mother nature with PMS :XD: What are the other lights you can see? Are they houses or fires? Also, did you do anything special for this shot like use a filter and what were your settings? A pretty fast shutter speed I'm guessing?
PhotoAlterations Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2010
Thank you so much for your positive comment! It means a lot to me.

As for this storm, it is most intense I have ever witnessed and I was CLOSE. About 7 miles away or so.

There were some shots that I missed because I had the camera zoomed in instead of zoomed out that were equally incredible. Doh! Hard to shoot a storm when you are in a truck because you are scared!!! Haha

The lights below the lightning are from a small community known has Honeycutt (I believe that is the name). Those lights are coming from homes and streets lamps.

As for my camera and settings, I do not use any filters. I do have a UV filter on the camera to protect the lens but that doesn't affect the shot. A tripod is a MUST. If the camera moves at all, consider the shot funked. I will post a picture that I took from this night here in a bit that shows a lightning bolt striking extremely close. Close enough that it shook the camera. It is scary!

As for my settings, I set my camera in manual mode. You also need to set the lens for manual focus. Automatic focus will not work as it is too dark for the camera to lock on to a subject. Make sure to check your focusing as well. You do not want to be zoomed in too far!

For this shot, my settings were...

Shutter Speed:
8/1 second
Focal Length:
28 mm
ISO Speed:

I personally set my camera to a timer and to take 3 photos at a time.

Hopes this helps! Let me know if you have any further questions.
mixedia Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, I'd say you were so brave, but then I think of those poeple who got stuck in their houses, my god that must have been scary for all of you!!

Ah I see, no-one's ever actually explained filters to me in over 5 years of doing photography courses, everyone's so intent on teaching you their style of taking pictures, it's ridiculous. Thanks for letting me know that, I am now kicking myself for loosing the UV filter that came with my camera because I often take pictures of the sunsets around my home city which hurt my eyes, never mind the poor camera lens!

Yeah I very rarely use auto focus on my camera mainly because I find I can do a better job myself but also as you said the lack of lighting etc. Also when taking a picture at night like this, no doubt your camera on automatic would have tried to use the flash? Mine did and scared the life out of the hedgehog I was trying to capture!! I have a monopod but I really want a tripod. It's definitely on my "wants" list.

I don't know if it's just because it's england but we very rarely have lightening that looks like it's hitting earth. normally the best we get is a flash or maybe a fork going across the sky, but nothing this intense, I can't imagine what it must have been like.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, it's really appreciated! :hug:
PhotoAlterations Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2010
Hey Hey, thanks again.

When we are out chasing it is all about the rush. When I was younger there were so many storms that I remember vividly. Probably the reason why I am so drawn to them now.

As for your photography course, I am sure you will learn a lot. I would love to take one myself. As you said, each photographer has their own style and their own way of getting results. It boils down to the way they understand it and the way they can make it work.

Once you find your way you will be on easy street. Heck, once I find my way I will be one easy street. :-) No photographer knows it all!

Regarding night shots, I took some photos of my sun at sun rise with a flash and a long exposure and the results were crazy. If you ever get to mess around at that time try taking some photos of people. The sky behind my son was absolutely crazy looking!

Anyways, enjoy the day my friend. Thank you for the chit chat! It was a pleasure!
XelestedDrawer Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2010
This is one lucky shot... I always end up with a black sky when I try this
lymanluver257 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2010
same with me xD
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