Catching Lightning - Jared Luther

A lot of unique challenges to catch a photo of lightning - the weather is bad, lightning bolts appear with no warning as to where or when, and they're literally gone in a flash.  I think most people realize it's tough to capture such a photo and that's why those images are so impressive.  There have a been a number of stormy days here in northern Utah, so I thought I'd share this capture from a spring storm.  

I was on my way back from a photo club gathering.  This storm was approaching from the west, but the wind and rain had not reached me yet.  So two problems solved - I had my camera gear with me, and the weather was not bad at my location... yet.  I parked my car and found this vantage point.  The trick to "catching" a lightning bolt is to leave the shutter of the camera open for an extended period of time.  About 30 seconds in this case.  I ended up with a couple dozen shots of this scene with no lightning strikes at all.  Finally, you do a little PhotoShop magic.  Many, but not all, images you see with multiple lightning bolts are a composite of separate images merged into one.  Three in this case.  Again, not all photos are like that.  A real ferocious storm or a longer shutter will catch more than one strike at a time.  

It's been a long time since I've caught one of these elusive strikes of light.  I hope I can catch another one soon.  

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