Lightning Strikes the Triangle

date May 13, 2011 location Chicago, IL comments 20 Comments

I think I found a new favorite subject to photograph: Lightning. This shot was a miracle for many reasons. First, it was a crazy coincidence that I had my equipment on me when I was here in this highrise. Second, this was my first attempt at shooting lightning ever. I didn't really know what settings to use, but through trial and error and an enormous amount of luck I was able to make this capture.

For those interested in capturing lightning, the concept is pretty simple. You'll need a tripod because you'll want the expsosure to last a few seconds. Since I was behind a rain covered glass window, I had to turn my aperture lo enough to get the fewest number of dust and rain drop spots in the frame. The rest is pure luck.

Lightning Striking the Gold Coast TriangleView Exif InformationView on Map

Lightning Striking the Gold Coast Triangle

Posted by Scott Ackerman on May 13, 2011 7:12am

Very cool shot bud! I can tell you my first attempt at lightning was no where near this good! Nice work.

Posted by murphyz on May 13, 2011 7:23am

Super shot...there was me thinking you needed a load of super duper expensive lightning detecting equipment.

Posted by Chris Nitz on May 13, 2011 7:33am

All I have is a jaw dropping WOW!

Posted by Chance on May 13, 2011 7:44am

Outstanding! You need a big print of that on canvas. Great work.

Posted by Vladimir Dostalek on May 13, 2011 7:49am

Splendid! Great job.

Posted by Brian Furbush on May 13, 2011 8:08am

Holy hell dude - this is unreal!

Posted by Bob Lussier on May 13, 2011 8:26am

You rocked this! Great job!

Posted by A.barlow on May 13, 2011 8:27am

Totally cool man!

Posted by Jesse Pafundi on May 13, 2011 8:40am

Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor.

Posted by Chris Frailey on May 13, 2011 8:56am

Holy crap that is awesome!

Posted by Sathya ( on May 13, 2011 9:03am

That is freaking cool !

Posted by John Manuel on May 13, 2011 9:49am

Pretty awesome. I'd say the lightning 'really makes the photo', but really, I like the processing of the whole thing. Very cool!

Posted by Kelly on May 13, 2011 4:42pm

Awesome. If you ever sell this as a print I'm definitely getting one.

Posted by Leer on May 13, 2011 9:41pm

Unfortunately the look of HDR ruins this, it's a good shot but i think HDR shots look cheesy.

Posted by John Coulter on May 14, 2011 11:26am

Wow, this picture is unreal! Thanks for including some tips on doing it! I think the HDR look is awesome!

Posted by Afu ( on May 19, 2011 12:13am

Nice shot, but I want to add one thing. In my point of view if you could have used the darkest shot and masked out the glow of the blues and lights on the vehicles (amber) it could have been just perfect. For most of the image, I have to say it's a job well done and an amazing set of works you have here. Keep it up. Regards from Maldives.

Posted by Dave DiCello on May 19, 2011 6:44am

Does not get any more perfect than this!

Posted by Alex k on May 29, 2011 4:11am

@afu... You're wrong The blues on the buildings make it look like it's a ghostly extension of the lightning. The amber of the cars grounds the photo. It shows how the lightning can come so close to human contact. I find this photo not a study of lightning, but a capture of spontaneaity. Great work.

Posted by ShutterRunner on May 31, 2011 1:08pm

Thanks Alex!

Posted by steve on October 18, 2011 3:26pm

How can I get one of these printed out so I can put it in a nice frame on the wall? Probably like 3 ft x 3 ft give or take a little... thanks