MiguelLecuona PRO
MiguelLecuona

Lightning over Hye, Texas



Spectacular Lightning display in the Texas Hill Country, taken from Compass Rose Cellars, Hye, TX.

Spectacular Lightning display in the Texas Hill Country, taken from Compass Rose Cellars, Hye, TX.
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People's Choice in lightning Photo Challenge
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Contest Finalist in Time And Light Photo Contest
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Contest Finalist in Adrenaline Rush Photo Contest
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41 Comments | Report
MikeCeglady
 
MikeCeglady September 26, 2016
Hands down winner for the Adrenaline Rush contest. This makes my shot look ordinary!
mikehillen
 
mikehillen September 26, 2016
Join the conversation. Add a comment or even better, a critique. Let's get better together!
mikehillen
 
mikehillen September 26, 2016
Brilliant shot, it really captures the power of nature, well done..
lox083 PRO
 
lox083 September 26, 2016
Just amazing
pattabibalarajan
 
pattabibalarajan September 27, 2016
iT IS FANTASTIC AND MASTER PIECE SHOT
MiguelLecuona PRO
 
MiguelLecuona September 27, 2016
Thank you all! This bolt exploded and spread for miles in every direction, it was a thrill to capture it. So this is not a composite image, its one of a series from a 2 hour storm traversing the horizon. I have a 45-sec time-lapse of the complete display on my FB. "Hill Country Light" in Videos.
JasonTrikes
 
JasonTrikes October 03, 2016
So Very very COOL!
cyrillinegoodman
 
cyrillinegoodman October 11, 2016
OMG! SPECTACULAR CAPTURE. Just looking at this photo and I get an adrenaline rush. I wish this was my photo, I am jealous, LOL. Truly spectacular. You are my WINNER! In my country ( Barbados) when someone does something spectacular we say " I want to be like you when I grow up." I want to take photos like this as I grow up. Congratulations my WINNER.
clarababobabo
 
clarababobabo October 15, 2016
Parece uma árvore no céu ! ....
douglasgreen
 
douglasgreen October 16, 2016
thats insane
libbsguajardo
 
libbsguajardo October 18, 2016
So cool!
jacki_c
 
jacki_c October 25, 2016
Amazing!
pedroneves_3895
 
pedroneves_3895 November 16, 2016
WOW!!! I am amazed! Brilliant shot! Congratulations!
kevinshanks
 
kevinshanks November 16, 2016
Amazing mate , we get some crackers in Australia but yours in just stuning ..
amason47
 
amason47 November 30, 2016
Woah! What a fantastic capture.
andinorwich Platinum
 
andinorwich December 15, 2016
Killer capture!
Caustin17
 
Caustin17 December 21, 2016
BEAUTIFUL!
Passionatephotographer
 
Passionatephotographer March 30, 2017
Wow - awesome picture!
jameslynch_7214
 
jameslynch_7214 March 31, 2017
Wow
Aeri
 
Aeri June 23, 2017
Brilliant shot.... Perfect timing
Emmajc
 
Emmajc June 25, 2017
Wow!!
bobchilton PRO
 
bobchilton July 08, 2017
Once in a lifetime image!
PeterFo
 
PeterFo July 13, 2017
BOOOOMMM insane shot
dankeeley
 
dankeeley July 22, 2017
Holy Hell! Great stuff.
Sharena
 
Sharena July 26, 2017
Amazing
davidisaacyoung PRO
 
davidisaacyoung August 03, 2017
Absolute jaw dropper. Incredible shot
Byronfairphotography PRO+
 
Byronfairphotography August 06, 2017
superb. Love this.
CPF_Photoart PRO
 
CPF_Photoart August 16, 2017
Fanastic!
kimmarieostrowski
 
kimmarieostrowski August 17, 2017
OMG!!! I love lightning and DAMN! is this an awesome shot. Wish I could just capture one branch. Wish I could use this as my desktop!
ArizonaSky PRO
 
ArizonaSky August 18, 2017
True talent! After seeing this I knew I couldn't even attempt to try. It is Amazing.
o7stoneyo7
 
o7stoneyo7 August 27, 2017
I could only dream of taking photos like this ????????????????
jolandarozema
 
jolandarozema September 03, 2017
Amazing!
lindabrooksfrazier
 
lindabrooksfrazier October 04, 2017
Incredibly unique capture
beckyreding PRO
 
beckyreding November 01, 2017
AWESOME
Kees
 
Kees January 22, 2018
excellent shot!!
Corabelle
 
Corabelle February 02, 2018
Wow!
jeisons11
 
jeisons11 February 08, 2018
without words !!
jteems
 
jteems February 10, 2018
Amazing shot! Thank you for sharing!
That_weather_nerd
 
That_weather_nerd March 11, 2018
Amazing spider lightning!
simonmccabe
 
simonmccabe May 03, 2018
Wow !!!!
marciahughes
 
marciahughes June 02, 2018
Whow. Magnificent shot. What a capture.

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken at a Texas Hill Country winery with huge views, this is facing North-northwest. May 2016, Memorial Day Weekend.
Time
An evening storm lingered during a warm spring night, this shot captured around 9PM.
Lighting
Mother Nature knows how to light the sky, it's our job to capture it! The lightning patterns were unusual -- spider lightning would spread across one part of the sky, and linger before dissipating. I set up to expose for the lights in the tree against a dark sky, at ISO125, in order to have an extended shutter and to capture lightning as it traversed across the sky.
Equipment
Nikon D750, and one of the Nikkor trinity lenses - 14-28mm F/2.8. This shot captured at the full 14mm width (and full frame), F/4.5, ISO 125 and a 13 second single exposure. This photo was picked up and published in NatGEO Spain.
Inspiration
Storms are always a favorite moment for photographers and this one was unique in how it acted, and the timing was very lucky in that I was already at a winery with a great view, to capture a tasting event. As this storm drew near, we could see it was very different -- mostly electrical action. And moving across the horizon, not at us. We never got wet, hardly heard a ripple of thunder, and yet the lightning was prolific. Some flashes were quite epic, so I set up to try to capture spider lightning with a wide angle lens, giving up on some distant strikes. This particular bolt just exploded right in the center of a 14mm field of view and spread in every single direction, coming straight to and over the top of the winery! That it also mirrored the lit tree was a bonus! It seemed to last for about 4 seconds in total, people asking "did you get it did you get it?" Yep, I got it!
Editing
Just a little clarity, and a darker black point, to bring out the cloud cover high above the lightning. Since this picture in 2016, I have migrated to Capture 1 (I was an Apple Aperture hold out until the bitter end). C1 is terrific, but this was done in Aperture.
In my camera bag
There's always a full size tripod and a smaller table top in the Jeep. Usually a light stand and an off camera flash. In the bag now are the two Nikon Mirrorless cameras Z6 and Z7 and native lenses -- 14-30mm F/4; 24-70mm F/4; and primes at 35 50 85 F/1.8. I keep a D850 with a 70-200mm mounted to it (the Tamron g2 it's terrific), and carry a 105mm F/1.4 or macro 2.8. And lately a drone with a landing pad.
Feedback
An intervalometer can help for capturing long exposures. I used the one built into the camera for this, but you don't want Time Lapse you want Interval Shooting to have full Res of each capture. Set up in M for all aspects including focus, ISO and exposure values. There's a fair amount of luck since we don't control the strikes, but you can do your homework on site with respect to lens, composition and exposure values. This storm called for a horizon line well below the typical 1/3 level. I don't have a motorized slide but I can imagine how that would be useful. DO NOT OVEREXPOSE. You want every chance to catch all those filaments as they die out at the end of their run.

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