MikeCeglady
11 Comments | Report
 
susanneradke August 15, 2016
Incredible capture - great work....
PRO+
 
RDVPhotography September 26, 2016
Awesome Mike!! Ran across your shot when looking at the finalists in 'Adrenaline Rush', made the finals myself, good luck.
PRO
 
MiguelLecuona September 27, 2016
I think this is so well planned with foreground, mid-focal and of course the span across the horizon. Well done!!
 
cyrillinegoodman October 11, 2016
GREAT CAPTURE! Congrats on being a finalist!
 
andinorwich October 31, 2016
wicked!
 
pohhuaysuen December 27, 2016
woo stunning capture
 
Mindy1930 March 14, 2017
I like the way the lightning actually looks like the tree!
PRO+
 
larryhorne March 29, 2017
Outstanding
 
Svea_Knetzke May 17, 2017
Great photo!
PRO
 
Byronfairphotography August 06, 2017
Very cool, Outstanding capture
 
Contributor9 September 24, 2017
Wow! Lightning here is very well shot.

Dead Tree Storm



Views

3700

Likes

Awards

Contest Finalist in Unedited Photo Contest Vol3
Featured
Member Selection Award
Contest Finalist in Night And Rule Of Thirds Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Social Exposure Photo Contest Vol 5
Contest Finalist in Adrenaline Rush Photo Contest
  View more
Peer Award
Absolute Masterpiece
+68
Superb Composition
+63
Top Choice
+46
Magnificent Capture
+36
Outstanding Creativity
+18
Superior Skill
+14
All Star
+4
Genius

Submitted to Photo Contests

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Categories


Behind The Lens

Location
I took this photo out on a country road near Masaryktown, Florida. I've scouted out all of the pastureland in the area for foreground elements to be used with summer storm and lightning shots.
Time
Summer evenings in southwest Florida are often stormy. Sometimes things get ugly with small tornadoes and hail, but mostly there's just a lot of rain and a lot of lightning. The easiest time of day to get lightning captures is at night - no special equipment required. This shot was taken at about 9:30 pm.
Lighting
When taking lightning shots like this, some experimentation is required. After all, you're looking for the the lightning to do all of the lighting. A little ISO bump usually helps, and you have to change your exposure time to adjust to ambient lighting conditions.
Equipment
This shot was taken with my Nikon D3200, Sigma 18-250 lens @ 18mm on my "beater" tripod - the old Slik with the video grip. It was raining lightly during this shot, so I was holding an umbrella up above my camera as far as possible. Some might call that a lightning rod... I guess that sometimes you have to take risks to reap rewards.
Inspiration
I've always been fascinated by lightning. Growing up on the east coast of Florida exposed me to hurricanes constantly as a kid. My parents used to take us out into the carport during the eye so we could see the phenomenon firsthand, how it builds to a crescendo and then drops to nothing... I guess in a way I've been desensitized to the danger involved. When summer comes around, I watch the skies. Lightning is like a little piece of visual candy for me, and capturing it is like magic.
Editing
The post process is important here. Mostly the manipulation of curves to bring out the dynamic nature of the clouds... But also to increase the clarity of the bolts themselves. This shot is not a result of a "strike", but a spark that ignited in one area and crawled and spread across the sky like a spider stretching its legs. The peripheral edges were weaker and dimmer, so they needed to be treated singularly to balance them out.
In my camera bag
I carry the usual bevy of necessities, but the basics alone made this shot possible. Camera, lens, tripod as described earlier.
Feedback
So if you're out for lightning shots, my advice is this: Try not to die. Taking photos of lightning from afar isn't impactful or dramatic. You have to be close. The trick is to put yourself in a position to succeed. If the lightning is inside of, above or behind the clouds, chances are slim you'll end up with the shots you want. Don't try any lightning shots if there's anything more than a light drizzle. Your camera and gear is too valuable to waste, plus there'll be raindrops all over your lens distorting your photo. And frequency. If the storm isn't producing consistent naked lightning at least twice a minute, don't bother. You can become frustrated very quickly with shot after shot of glowing clouds. Other than that, basic rules apply. Long exposures. Put camera on tripod. Point toward flashy lights in sky. Cross fingers. Oh, and make sure something interesting is in the foreground...

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