Oct 8 2010
And then comes the PUNCH !!!After posting yesterday’s image of a storm passing over an open field at sunset and commenting about the lack of any lightning strikes, yesterday afternoon some major storms arrived in the Gauteng and North West provinces of South Africa and boy did they pack a punch. Around 4:30 pm all hell broke loose and we had some serious lightning strike activity which of course took out power to the whole area for several hours. Having waited several months for the return of our storms and now into my 6th season of storm photography, I was out like a bullet with my camera and started photographing a very quickly approaching storm which within a few minutes had me back in the vehicle. Then the heavens opened and it poured with the most glorious rain. I was then confined to my vehicle for the next 2 hours crouching and sitting in the most uncomfortable positions and was also forced to shoot handheld from then on. Now you ask, can you shoot lightning handheld and the answer is of course yes you can. I’ve been forced many times in the past to shoot handheld as it was too dangerous to stand out in the open not to mention often pouring with rain making photography an absolute nightmare. It’s not my chosen method of photographing lightning but when all else fails I’ll give anything a shot and the hit rate is greatly reduced versus using a tripod. Let’s say it’s not a very comfortable way to take photos, especially of lightning, as I had to hand hold the camera while fixing myself and my arms in the most awkward positions to steady the camera. So much so that after an hour of sitting like that I had all but lost feeling in both my arms which in the end turned out to be a good thing as it helped to steady the camera even more. We did have some notable rain which is often not the case with our first storms and within minutes my garden and dam burst into life with the chorus of frogs. You could actually hear nature breathe a sigh of relief as that first rain hit the ground and likewise I’m pretty sure I could hear many farmer’s breathe an equal sigh of relief as they plan their crops for the season ahead. I quickly downloaded images this morning and picked this one to send you off with into the weekend, I have a few more from the shoot I’m rather happy with and will get around to them over the weekend hopefully. That’s it from me for today, hope you have a great Friday and an even better weekend.
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