Ride The Lightning

Fantastic lightning strikes photographed in Southern California

What do I mean by Ride the Lightning? The last few weeks we’ve seen thunderstorms build in the local mountains due to the monsoonal weather coming up from Baja California. While we continuously hope every single day that those thunderstorms will come over the mountains and into the valley, that never seems to happen.

Finally though, last week an isolated thunderstorm moved off the mountains and started drifting across the edge of the valley. We had thunder and lightning but no rain. At first the lightning seemed to be way back behind the massive thunder cloud formation so I just sat and watched. Each strike just lit the clouds like a giant lantern. Before we knew it though, the wicked bolts of lightning were visible as they ripped across the dark sky. It was truly spectacular!

Since we had beautiful clouds, aggressive lightning strikes every 15-20 seconds, and no rain, I decided I had better grab my camera and tripod and try my luck with capturing one of those great lightning strikes. I love night photography and I’ve always wanted to try capturing lightning, but since aggressive thunderstorms are so rare in Southern California, I’ve never had a good opportunity.

I tried a couple of different settings then I caught a strike and I knew that I was close! Now, my only concern was whether or not they would come out sharp. Time to ride the lightning!

I have to say, I’m very pleased with how the photos came out. Now I can’t wait for another thunderstorm to roll through! Take a look and please let me know what you think.

Isolated thunderstorm in Southern California produces great lightning strikes
An isolated thunderstorm passes through Southern California, August 2012, and produces great lightning strikes.
Fantastic lightning strikes photographed in Southern California
August 2012, an isolated thunderstorm rolled through Southern California and produced some great lightning.
My first time photographing lightning as an isolated thunderstorm rolled though Southern California in August of 2012
A rare thunderstorm in Southern California produced some amazing lightning in August of 2012.

So what do you think? Please leave me a comment as I’d love to hear your opinion.

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