radarStorms rolled through the area all afternoon yesterday, bringing the welcome sound of thunder. On one hand, it was frustrating watching one storm after another pass us by, but on the other I enjoyed the views of the large thunderheads during the afternoon and once it got dark we saw some spectacular lightning all around us.

When I observed that there was lightning on all sides of us, I checked out the radar and found that a donut of precipitation had somehow formed around us. If we weren’t so desperate for even a drop of rain I would have very much enjoyed the perfect scenario for photographing lightning. Actually, I still did enjoy the scenario.

I didn’t get anything great, but here are a few shots that I thought were fairly interesting.

lightningOne thing I always find interesting about photographing lightning at night is that it allows you to see what the storm actually looks like. Otherwise you never have any way to see the shapes of the clouds, if there is a rain band, or anything else of interest. Without a camera, all you see is darkness with occasional bright flashes that overshadow the detail in the clouds.

After awhile it seemed the lightning had subsided so I altered my camera settings in hopes to try and get a shot of a rain curtain (if there was one). Of course as soon as I did, a huge bolt of lightning struck right in the center of the frame, completely overexposing. Luckily I had the camera on RAW mode, which as it turns out has some astounding capabilities at recovering overexposed image data.
Just to illustrate how much detail I was able to recover by using RAW, here is the original:

Eventually the very last part of the series of storms did manage to give us a short, but still appreciated shower, so it was a nice ending to the day.