I've taken my earrings off, just in case!

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NIKON D70 - 126/5 sec, f14 at 50mm

Today the weather forecast was for heavy rain and thunder late in the afternoon. That was a bit hard to believe given how sunny it was this morning. But for a change the Met Service was right. There was (very) heavy rain, and just as I got home there was a nice lightning display out over Rangitoto Island.

I yelled to the kids to come look. I grabbed a jacket, the tripod, an umbrella and the camera and ran across the road to a good vantage point.

As we were running, Sarah was worried about the metal in her jacket zip. Then she was concerned about the metal in my jacket zip. And then she told me, "I've taken my earrings off, just in case the lightning gets me".

I had to laugh at her, thinking how little metal there was in her earrings, compared to how much there was in the tripod and the umbrella I was carrying.

The Photo

In theory, this should have been an easy shot. Set the camera to bulb, open the shutter, wait for lightning, close the shutter and think smugly what a clever bastard I am. Reality was a different matter. Judging how long I could keep the shutter open combined with having it open and a flash of lightning happening at the same time was tricky stuff indeed.

And in my haste, I forgot the basics of proper focus. Never mind.

But I'm pleased with the shot I managed to get. I'm even more pleased I wasn't hit by a bolt from the sky through the tripod and even happier Sarah's ears are lightning free.

Map of the photo location
Post Meta

Posted: Wednesday, 4 July, 2007 18:44

Captured: 2007:07:04 17:50:42

Add your own comment

  • Thats an excellent lightning shot man. Thank god for digital aye.. Imagine how much film you'd waste getting a shot like that.
    Daniel - Wednesday, 4 July, 2007 19:33
  • I agree. I took 22 photos to get that shot, and then 4 more after it trying to get something better. That's a roll of film right there.
    Dave - Wednesday, 4 July, 2007 19:36
  • Well done!! I've been told that some people never get a shot like this. I died of laughter about the earrings.
    Scott - Wednesday, 4 July, 2007 19:58
  • thanks Scott. Not only is it a tough shot to get, but it's complete chance that the lightning is even photogenic too.
    Dave - Wednesday, 4 July, 2007 20:04
  • q) What do you do if you're playing golf and there's an electrical storm? a) Hold a 1-iron above your head, even god can't hit a 1-iron!
    Rik - Wednesday, 4 July, 2007 20:53
  • Thats a great shot Dave. I've tried lightning several time with limited success. There nothing like half a frame illuminated by a bolt "just" to the left. My fav lightning shot (of KPNO) is http://www.noao.edu/noao/noaonews/sep98/node1.html (I have an A1 print framed on my wall.)
    Glen - Thursday, 5 July, 2007 22:46
  • Wow! I would like to take such a photograph at least one in my life time. So far, no chance... Great work! I used to live in North Shore City (Birkenhead/Glenfield) and now in Nelson. I still clearly remember the Auckland skyline from this side (North Shore) motorway and from the Birkenhead point just under the bridge... So, the previous post of yours bring some memory back. Cheers.
    Ben - Thursday, 5 July, 2007 23:11
  • Wonderful photo,awe inspiring. Oh yes,get the earrings off. My mother use to turn off the power face any mirrors to the wall and open the windows incase lightening got trapped in the rooms and it could escape out through the windows.
    Nova - Thursday, 5 July, 2007 23:50

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