Lightning Strike

Lightning Strike, Olympia Washington, May 4, 2017
Lightning Strike, Olympia Washington, May 4, 2017

There was a very strong storm front that came through on May 4, 2017. There were some warnings ahead of time, but once the lightning started, I could tell it was going to be a lot more significant than most of the storms around Western Washington.

I set up my Nikon D810 on a tripod on the (covered) deck with and decided to use the 21mm Zeiss Distagon. I attached the remote control, set the lens focused at infinity and locked down the shutter release on the remote. On my camera, this will result in the camera taking one image after another until the memory is full or you release the shuttle button. Then I went back inside to watch and wait to see if the power would go off.

There were two main episodes of the storm. One about 4PM and another at about 9PM. After the 4PM front moved through, I reviewed the shots and was pleased to see that out of the 122 shots there were 2 with lightning strikes. I was less pleased when I saw that one swamped by the foreground image of the building across the street and down the block. The other was situated directly behind one of the streetlights. Yep. Just the luck of the photographer.

When the next front came through, I took the camera back out onto the deck and reset. This time the ambient light was much less and the storm much more severe. Reports indicated there may have been some tornado action (totally out of character for Western WA) … certainly a lot of trees were down. During that front, I got the photo above. Well, sorta. I didn’t realize that the wind had come up and blown mist all over the front of my lens. I ended up spending hours in Photoshop removing the hundreds of spots. They might not have been so bad, but I had the lens set at f/22 which meant they weren’t totally out of focus. But I think the final image was worth it.

Camera:  Nikon D810
Lens:    Zeiss Distagon 21mm
ISO 31    4/10th sec    f/22

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