Friday, July 20, 2012

At Least I Scored Two...

Early in the evening yesterday the sky suddenly went dark and ominous, then thunder began rolling across the valley.  The boys weren't happy, but bribing them with dog cookies always helps to calm the nerves.  As I was turning on a lamp--it really was that dark--I saw this startling, perfectly vivid streak of lightning flash over the mountains.

Lightning is nearly impossible to photograph, at least for me.  With the right setup, maybe time lapse, tripod and a massively fast shutter speed, it can be done.  I don't have that kind of skill, but I went outside anyway, game to pit my reflexes against Zeus, the god of thunder and lightning.

55 shots later--seriously--I was convinced this was a pointless quest after all.  I had decided one more shot was it...and then I got this.  It's not very good, the gloaming was upon me, but hey, if you look really close you can actually see that little bolt of lightning in the middle of the photo. 

Mission accomplished, I went inside, downloaded 56 photos, deleted 55 and called it good.

Later, full dark, I was shutting the blinds in the back of the house and realized the lightning show was still going strong, though the thunder had stopped an hour or so earlier.  Camera in hand I went out to the back deck.  I should have tried to set up my tripod, adjust my camera settings, etc., but honestly, I didn't think I would get anything; the lightning was striking so fast, before I could even react quick enough to press the shutter, it was gone.

I took about 30 shots of nothing then, waiting for just one more chance before I gave up, the most amazing shot in the world flashed across the sky: Two horizontal bolts--one left, one right--struck out at each other over the mountain ridge.  I hoped I got that precise moment...but no.  What I got instead was the aftermath when the two jagged spears of light collided.  Not as dramatic, but still pretty cool. 

Deep in the night, it stormed with a wild fury of wind and torrential rain.  I love being all warm and toasty under the covers as a good storm rages outside; that feeling of comfort, being safe from the elements--unless the wind is blowing the roof off the house, of course.

This morning the air is clean, refreshed, everything is a bit more lush and green in my part of the world after the tumult and chaos of yesterday. 

And though the score turned out to be Zeus = 85, Me = 2, I'll take the two and be happy for it.  I was competing with a god and his lightning bolts, after all.


  1. Getting two is quite an accomplishment. Lightning is so hard to catch!

    1. I attribute most of it to my most excellent camera; my part was being too stubborn to give in, a trait that is sometimes a curse, sometimes a blessing.

  2. You vs Zeus! lol I love that image! Your picks are beautiful love, I adore storms so I might be rather biased... xo

    1. The lightning show was just spectacular--way better than the 4th of July--with bolts flying everywhere. It was amazing really.

      And yeah, there's nothing quite like a good, wild storm, is there? I think it speaks to the primitive in us.