My luck in photographing lightning seems to be improving.
While in Moscow, Oksana and I hooked up with Vika, an old friend of hers who used to be a fellow Russian exchange/international student in Juneau. She and her boyfriend, Vanya, took us out to a restaurant on the 22nd floor of a university building. As the sun set, all of Moscow was laid out before us.
Just before dinner arrived, at Vanya’s insistence, I attempted to capture a lightning strike from a fast-approaching thunderstorm. Only three shots into my attempt, Oksana called me back to the table; dinner had been served. “Last one,” I called, just before a bolt shot down.
During dinner, the storm built in intensity. As soon as I finished my meal, I excused myself for another attempt. The very next photo, the one pictured above with two almost-simultaneous strikes, was the result. Seconds later, the wind and rain chased us inside.
By the time we settled the check and made it downstairs, a good-sized pond had formed in the building’s courtyard and doorway. Vanya and Andrey bravely sacrificed their aridity (but not their shoes) in a mad dash out to the car for the umbrellas stashed within.
Canon Digital Rebel XT
Date: 15 July 2006
Focal Length: 18mm
Shutter: 25 seconds
Photoshop: Minor color correction, minor cropping
While showing some of my photos to Oksana’s family, I was surprised to come across another lightning picture in the series I’d taken on the first day. While we were on a boat tour of the Moscow River, a late-afternoon thunderstorm rolled in. Although my camera was sheltered under the boat’s awning, it was still too bright out to set the shutter speed long enough for lightning. I went back to photographing interesting architecture along the riverbank and never even realized that I caught a jagged little bolt in the corner of one frame.
The EXIF data reveals a shutter speed of only 1/200th of a second, so while the photo isn’t visually all that interesting, I still think it’s pretty neat.