Sunday, August 14, 2011

Flash photography

From what I've read, Florida is the lightning capital of the US, and from what we've seen so far in the few days we've been here it's living up to its reputation. I find thunderstorms fascinating, although I do apply common sense and try to stay out of harm's way by following the adage "when the thunder roars, get indoors !"

Last night I missed an opportunity to capture the sunset illuminating towering cumulonimbus clouds just to the east of us. By the time we got home though, frequent flashes of lightning lit up the storm clouds. (I suffered numerous mosquito and no-see-um bites to get some captures, but no bugs were hurt during the session).

(all shots made with an 18-55mm lens at f8.0, ISO800 and shutter speeds of 1/5 to 1/8 sec)

click on images for a better view

27 comments:

Lisa RedWillow said...

Magnificent! Love the colors also.

Tricia said...

Awwwesome! =)

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Amazing sky, and amazing how you got those pictures! Glad you braved the bugs to share with us. :)

Marty said...

dommage pour le sunset ! chaque fois qu'il y a un orage, j'essaie de prendre les éclairs en photo et je n'ai jamais réussi ! et ça m'énerve!!! et en plus j'ai peur!
tes photos sont très réussies et très
belles, les orages doivent être impressionnants chez toi !
et voici dans un éclair des bisous électriques !
joyeuse semaine Rick

darlin said...

Your shots were worth the wait! I love how you captured the lightening. I have a question for you though, how many shots did you have to take to actually capture the lightening bolts?

The mosquitoes are bad there as well? They're been crazy here this year, not too bad in this past few weeks but for a while there people were darn near running from their vehicles into the stores, they were that bad!

Riet said...

Oh prachtig Rick. I love Florida, we have been there many times and even once had to evacuate because of the storms.

imac said...

You really did well Rick my friend, just love these shots, and a bonus with capturing the streaks of lightning

Katherine said...

Wow Rick.... the first one, where you can't see the lightening rods, has an ethereal feel.. like the heavens are a-glow! Actually they all have that feel...they're amazing. How amazing are our skies!!!

Fábio Martins said...

Magical light, Rick. Nice shots

Scott said...

I've been away for a couple weeks, but I'm glad for the chance to get back and try to catch up. I see you're keeping busy on your blog.

Looked back over several of your recent posts and enjoyed them. I'm with you on the thunderstorms, I love them. Love those areal shots of the clouds too - really cool.

S. Etole said...

I like the unusual color in these ... you can sense the building storm.

Farmchick said...

I love a good storm, but when I am at my parent's house (in the FL panhandle) they are a bit scary!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Amazing shots.

pumpkydine said...

Great captures of a very interesting subject. How awesome to watch thunder storms from a distance.

Rick said...

Thank you, Lisa !

Thanks, Tricia - it truly was, standing out there watching it for a while.

Thanks Elizabeth. I apply some Benadryl ointment to the bug bites which works pretty well to reduce the itch (otherwise it would drive me bonkers !).

I'll have to save capturing some of the beautiful sunsets here for another day, Marty. Yes, the storms here in Florida are spectacular - you must have some good ones in France, n'est ce pas ? I send you some thunderous bisous for your week !

Rick said...

Thank you, Darlene. I found the only way to capture lightning is to put the camera on continuous shooting mode with the other parameters set, and keep on shooting. That was easier here in FL due to the amount of lightning - eventually you'll capture some. I think I had about 25 keepers out of 125 shots (the beauty of digital). I don't have my tripod here but if it's dark enough you could put your camera on a tripod and open the shutter (bulb mode) and keep it open until you capture a bolt. We seem to have more mosquitoes here this year than last, and also those nasty no-see-ums !

Hallo Riet - ja, wij houden ook van Florida - altijd lekker warm (of heet). We hopen geen orkaan mee te maken !

Thank you, Stewart. Lots of opportunity here to capture lightning - a daily occurrence this time of year.

Thanks, Katherine - there was a lot of lightning happening behind the clouds which really lit them up nicely. A photographer's dream !

Thank you very much, Fábio !

Rick said...

Hi Scott - nice to see you're back, and thanks for your kind words. I haven't been doing as much blogging or visiting due to recent family events, and a very poor internet service back home. Now I'm in Florida for a couple of weeks with excellent internet service, I'm able to come around more - will visit soon.

Thank you Susan. Fortunately (I think), the storm continued moving eastward away from us.

I agree, Farmchick - I was trimming the hedge here last week and made a quick run into the house when there was little delay between a bolt and a clap - no point tempting fate !

Thank you, Ruth !

Thanks Randy - this one was at a safe distance from me, but we've had a couple of very close ones the last few days. And yes, very interesting to see all that power !

Jeanne Klaver said...

The cloud layers give this an ethereal feel. The streaks of lightning are awe-inspiring. Great shots, Rick.

Soraia Brito said...

Thank you :D

Awesome photos! :D

Cloudia said...

bravo!


Aloha from Waikiki;


Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >

Saz said...

Wow Rick! Those are brilliant shots!! I've tried getting lightening shots before, but I tend to find I'm either looking at the wrong part of the sky, or I'm too slow hitting the shutter! Haha.

Rick said...

Thank you, Jeanne - it was a fantastic sight to watch - and capture !

Thanks, Soraia.

Mahalo, Cloudia. Aloha from FL !

Thanks, Saz. Not sure if your camera has a continuous shooting or burst mode - try it next time and you might get lucky. Sometimes it takes quite a number of tries - lightning's pretty quick !

Beyond My Garden said...

Sorry you missed the sunset, but the lightening is a great substitute and, I think, harder to capture. (thank goodness for digital) When I lived in town, I loved storms and would lie next to my bedroom window to watch. Now that I live in the country in a solitary house on a hill top, I think differently. I stay away from windows and mornings after a storm I go outside to see if any of our trees were hit.
nellie

Rick said...

Thank you, Nellie. I too love to sit and watch storms but also from a safe distance. And with the lightning down here, that usually means getting indoors quickly when you hear the thunder crack !

Leslie said...

i was caught in a bad storm yesterday, while taking my mom to the doctor, and the lightening was terrific!

you captured the light show quite nicely with these photos.

lisa said...

The tones and mood of these are just wonderful.

becky said...

Lightning is tough to capture! You never know exactly where it is going to strike. I caught a strike accidently a couple of weeks ago when I tried to "film" a segment of an intense thunderstorm, but had it set on photo instead of film, LOL, and lightening just happened to strike when I hit the shutter. Not a great photo, but fun none-the-less. Sorry about my infrequent commenting- not much time for blogging lately, but always hope you are doing well.
:)