Zeus’s Handywork

There are devices one can buy to facilitate photographing lightning. They are expensive. I have often tried my luck testing my reflexes against the speed of light. 

It’s odd, don’t you know. Lightning appears to linger up there for a sufficiently long amount of time to make capturing it on film a seemingly easy task. Trickery! It’s actually quite fast. 

Last month we had a number of fast-moving and powerful storms swing through. This is what the sky looked like on June 16th. The panorama spans from looking directly West to looking directly North. The photos were taken from my deck.


Now, you can click on the above and get a 1280 pixels-wide photo, or you can go to THIS SmugMug Gallery and get the full version of it.

I think storm clouds lend themselves to B&W treatments . . . 


Perhaps more than one B&W treatment . . . 


Anyway, as the fast-moving storm approached I tried capturing some of the frequent lightning . . . and for the first time in my life, I succeeded. 

Here is the three frames burst spanning less than a half a second.




It would have been more dramatic had not the sun been shining behind the clouds. Nonetheless, I am happy with what I got. 

Ninety seconds later the storm was upon us, big drops slamming into the house. One last shot looking up (the corner of the roof is visible on the upper left of the frame) and in I went.


I processed this last photo in B&W because it was mostly that anyway . . . and then I went back and reprocessed the three frames with the lightning in B&W.




It may just be my imagination, but I think the B&W shows off the bolt a bit better than the color version.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Black and White, Clouds, Environment, Photography Stuff and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Zeus’s Handywork

  1. PiedType says:

    I agree, storms look particularly impressive in b/w. But in these shots, I love that steel blue color. Tough call. In the bottom 4, I really like the sharp detail of the tree branches against the clouds. Storms are so full of possibilities!


    • disperser says:

      I like them both for different reasons, hence why they are both here. I think the B&W processing matters; there are a lot of different ways I could have post-processed them, but then it turns into a long post with the same photos shown twenty different ways (I’ve done that – – – no one cares after the first nineteen).


  2. Cool shots Emilio. I love the clouds! :)


  3. oneowner says:

    The best lightning I’ve seen was in Florida while on vacation. Of course, I was driving at the time and never got any photos, but it was a helluva show.


    • disperser says:

      Colorado used to be, and may still be, second only to Florida in lightning strikes. If there is a storm coming, we have lightning.

      The best display I ever saw of cloud to ground lightning was here (I wrote about it a few years ago), but the most impressive display ever was in Chicago when I was working summers as a mailman . . . it was cloud-to-cloud lightning and it looked like an electrical grid above me. Vividly remembered not only for the visuals, but also because I was out there, walking under it and hoping it stayed up there.


  4. I agree! I love the B&W versions!
    I love watching, and listening to, storms! The summer ones seem to be especially spectacular shows!
    Your photos are amazing!
    HUGS!!! :-)


  5. Louise says:

    Cool pictures of the storm clouds. I took this last night. To the west and southwest of my house was this cloud.

    Then this was to the north

    Cool. There was a corridor sunshine in between. Louise

    Sent from my iPhone



  6. AnnMarie says:

    Hard to pick between the color and B&W’s. They’re’all impressive, especially the panoramas!


  7. No wonder Greece is in such a mess what with having Zeus playing silly buggers in Colorado!


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