Here is something we can learn from dieterberghmans about the techniques and story behind this awarded photo and his story as a photographer.

"By seeing other ways of living, we widen our horizons and see our own reality in a new light. By sharing our experiences the circle continues and the stories live on..." With a love for adventure and living true to myself, I left my home country Belgium at a very young age. Australia it was that fulfilled my wildest dreams and helped me to open up and become the person I am today. Having worked my way around as a nurse for many years, I have witnessed and learned a lot. And the biggest lesson of all is to follow our hearts and enjoy as much as we can. And thats why I picked up my camera some years ago and started photographing the world around me. But over time, photography has become such a powerful tool for me, to not only express myself, but to also tell other people's stories. Capturing these stories and sharing them with the rest of the world is what I like to continue doing and along the way I would like to take everyone out there on a visual journey in the hope I can inspire all of you. Since the end of 2015, I have moved to Finland with my Finnish partner and our little son, and the new adventure has started.

Learn the story behind the runner up photo in the celebrating the sky photo contest:

The power of Lightning by dieterberghmans

Location

This photo was taken in Darwin, Northern Australia.

Time

Late in the evening, when the darkness had set in and when the storms rolled in from the ocean.

Lighting

Lighting in all its forms and shapes is what makes photography. Chasing that unique light and being able to capture it is not only a skill, but a true passion. Getting the right light and capture it in a unique way is what defines you. Trying to capture the forces of nature and these spectacular lightning bolts has truly been a huge learning curve in all kinds of ways. But flyer many tries and many near misses it is like a dream come true when you see the perfect light reflect in your own photo.

Equipment

My Canon 5 D Mark II with my 24-70mm lens f2.8 and my tripod.

Inspiration

Having lived in the Northern Part of Australia for a while I was fascinated by the forces of nature and these very powerful lightning storms that light up the skies here during the build up and wet season. It is also why Darwin is the lightning capital of the world. In many ways these storms scare me, but they also drew me out in trying to capture them.

Editing

Just some cropping and a small correction of the horizon.

In my camera bag

Always my Canon 5D Mark II and my Canon 7D. Then my 2 favourite Canon lenses which are the 24-70mm f2.8 and the 70-200 f.8. I also carry my wide angle as well as my 50mm prime. Always my tripod and of late my newest toy which is the Sony Alpha7II.

Tips

With Lightning you have to be prepared. First of all while chasing these storms you want to check the radars for where the storms are, which way they travel and the intensity. Always be careful on how close you get and where you position yourself. But once you are in control of the safety part, make sure you have your tripod and remote. Choose long exposures for the evening (I choose BULB, so I can control myself), and start shooting. It took me many tries in order to get the perfect shot, but the mistakes all lead to the perfect shot finally. I know many storm chasers now use these devices that recognize the lightning coming out of the clouds, but it is still the challenge in trying to capture it all yourself, which I did in this photo. And last but not least, with lightning you just don't know where exactly it will shoot or come out of the clouds. And my big mistake in the past was that I constantly moved my camera where I saw a strike. But be patient, choose an angle and trust you will get it.

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