Weekly Post Challenge: “Ephemeral”

Lightning Photography

Finger of God

I don’t care what a few optimistic quantum physicists say. It’s impossible to read the mind of God. Predicting lightning strikes is far easier but that’s not to say that it’s easy. Not much gets any more ephemeral than lightning.

Most of my shots are inevitably wasted but there are those successes that I treasure. Can a photographer ever get bored of shooting lightning? I can’t imagine that. It is a highlight of my summertime experiences. It’s sheer fun through imminent danger, the extreme of nature/scenic photography while still in this planet’s atmosphere.

Lightning is, as everybody knows, a natural phenomenon that occurs all over the world, so I don’t have to travel to exotic locals or storm-chase, in order to shoot it. I can just wait for it to come to my general region. There are, nevertheless, special places that I’d like to go where the bolts and the backdrops are sure to create spectacular images.

I prefer to show lightning doing something really interesting, like striking a grounded object, not just arcing between the earth and sky. Such shots are really rare, occurring completely by blind luck. You’ve got to be in the right place at the right time for those kinds of images. Lightning is lightning. You get what you get!

Good lightning photography always causes observers to speak in expletives, and evokes thought and dialogue on nature, science and spirituality. Those reactions are what I aim to bring about through my lightning photography.


27 thoughts on “Weekly Post Challenge: “Ephemeral”

  1. This is a brilliant shot. Like shooting sunrises and sunsets, shooting lighting requires a lot of waiting, and you have to have everything set up, ready to go at any instant. I suppose you get a rush of adrenalin each time you get a decent shot like this one. Almost always impossible to predict the future, but we can always get ready for it.

    • My wife gets so stressed whenever I do it. I’ve gone out on metal rail balconies and into wide open fields to shoot lightning. Yes, I do fear getting struck but at the same time there really is a bit of a rush to see what it might feel like! The true reward, of course, is getting a satisfying shot on film or memory card.

      • I don’t think the odds of getting struck by lighting while standing out in the open during a storm are high (something to Google if you’re bored). And here I am complaining of shivering and turning red from the cold while I’m out chasing sunsets. Good luck with shooting lighting, Mofman.

    • Like most children, thunder and lightning terrified me as a kid. I think the turning point was around the age of 12. By then, I had so many hard life experiences that made me grow up fast that I stopped seeing lightning as a threat and more as a powerful phenomenon to admire. An arc could literally vaporize me in a flash but it has never even tried. I’ve met many people, on the other hand, that proved far less caring about my well-being.

      Lightning truly is beautiful.

      • I tried to find Firefly Books by googling. I found a site that appears to sell a plethora of paperbacks about a gazillion different topics. Is that it? Do you have a link? I’d like to look at it. Good luck with your dream. I’m sure it’s not too far off. 😊

        • As a publishing company, Firefly Books doesn’t have a website; probably the best way to prevent artists from inundating them that way. They seem to be a division of an umbrella advertising, entertainment and media communications corporation called Northern Response International Ltd that is currently based at 50 Staples Avenue, Richmond Hill, ON, Canada (formerly 66 Leek Crescent, Richmond Hill). Their website is:


          Is that the company you found?

          Firefly has a P.O. Box at 1338, Ellicott Station, Buffalo, NY but they print their publications in Canada. They create beautiful and highly popular products (I also like their Astronomy calendars), and they seem elite. Artists don’t dare try to solicit them, they exclusively scout out artists; mainly photographers.

          For their Daily Weather Trivia calendar it appears that their main source of images is a stock photography agency or shooter named Kent Wood/Photo Researchers Inc.

          Phone: 505.803.3734
          e-mail: KentWoodPhotography@comcast.net.

          Seems to also have an account on fineartamerica.

          • Whoa! Thanks. No. The site I found was http://www.fireflybooks.com
            I have a very good friend that’s a children’s author. I thought that it might be something that would help her. The site I found does have something to do with children’s books but I guess it’s not the same one that you mentioned. Thank you for all the information I will look at it anyway just as a matter of interest.

  2. Pingback: April Fooled.. Last of the Literary Fest | litadoolan

  3. Pingback: Ephemeral | My Atheist Blog

    • Thank you, Patti. I remember that some of the best lightning shots I’ve ever made were in 2005. In my neck of the woods, there was an extraordinary high amount of lightning storms that year that were incredibly intense. Multiple arcs per shot galore. I want to get back to making those kinds of images.

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