So I was just sitting around doing nothing tonight and feeling pretty worthless. Then, I hear thunder outside. Oh goody! That means lightning too!!
I have always had an obsession with photographing lightning. Maybe it comes from my fascination with storms– one of the reasons I like living in the Midwest.
I grabbed my gear and headed down to McBaine, MO (where I am also shooting my final project) and set up shop in a soy bean field. The lightning wasn’t all that intense when I got there so I just sat on top of my car and watched the storm approach while taking in that “imminent rain” smell. While waiting, I grabbed a few shots of the light pollution coming from Columbia 10 miles Northeast. It’s kind of spooky– it almost looks like a sunrise/sunset. But, these photos were taken at 11:00 at night:
Then, the lightning finally started to pick up. I think a good lightning shot needs something in the foreground to make the photo more interesting. Simply capturing the lightning on the horizon isn’t good enough. So, I used my car headlights to illuminate a big tree in front of me:
I grabbed a few other shots before I realized I needed to call it quits. When do you call it quits as I did?
A) You are standing under the biggest Burr Oak Tree in the United States ( Strike 1 for me )
B) If you weren’t under the big oak tree YOU would be the biggest object around ( Strike 2)
C) You are playing with a big metal box attached to 3 big metal poles next to a big metal car (Strike 3)
So, I am happy with what I got. This wasn’t the best type of lightning (simple cloud to ground). What I really wanted was the spider like lightning that branches off into 20 different directions all over the sky. Maybe next time. Enjoy: