A strong cell of thunder and lightning storms rolled in around 11PM last night. We get a lot of lighting down here during the summer, but very little of it is good to photograph because it is generally accompanied by rain. Rain in the air obscures the clarity of the lightning, gets your gear wet and makes lightning shooting a lot less fun.
Until I find a new and better perch, I like to go up to the top of the casino parking garage that was recently built by the levee. The top floors are generally empty and as long as the rain isn’t blowing sideways, you are reasonably shielded from the elements. One of these days I’d really like to get up to the top on of one of the newer state parking garages closer to the capital but until I find a way to sweet talk my way past security, I am stuck with what the casino hath built.
All the same, this parking garage offers as a near 360° view of the city. And when the conditions are right, you can get some pretty amazing stuff. I shot for about an hour and ended up with many frames that had lightning in them. However, one high cloud burst really illuminated the whole tableau or downtown and sent its twisting bolts all across the skyline. I wish I knew more about the types of lightning because you can see some pretty clearly different forms in the shots shown here. But, I am still very much the layman when it comes to the things meteorological. I hope you enjoyed the show. Word has it that one of these shots will run on the news tonight and may already have run on the mid-day news.
Shot with a Canon 5D MKII on a my fancy new carbon-fiber Vanguard tripod using either the Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM or the Canon EF 28 f/1.4 L USM. Most of the shots were taken with a didymium filter to notch out some of the red tones generated by the city’s street lights. The EXIF data tells the tale but the shots were all at ISO 100 and f/8 with the shutter ranging from 20-30 seconds. I also used a AOE Lightning Strike II to trigger the shutter.