Meanderings of a lightning photographer
I was born in Western Australia and had a passion for
lightning and severe weather from when I was very
young (age 4 years so I'm told).
In 1991 I travelled up to the North of Western Australia
and decided to photograph lightning.
Part of this was to help my friends understand the reason
for chasing storms, what it was that I was after and what
I could come up with (a product always helps to explain a point).
I started with no idea at all about photography . To get a
good lightning strike turned out harder than one could tell. I
already knew how storms worked and where the lightning was
likely to strike in a storm. But the rain, wind and general
misgivings of this kind of weather made it hard to get a clear,
unmistakable lightning strike.
I also found that photographing lightning made it slightly
more dangerous. To get a photo you needed some vantage point.
It is well known that vantage points get struck by lightning
more often than lounge rooms or backyards. So safety became
closely involved with my photography.
When I chase I need to be sure if its a good storm. All
natural phenomena photographers will tell you of the chase
that went nowhere. I have had this many times.
As a lightning photographer, nothing hurts more than not being
able to chase.
Work, important engagements and exams all seems to arrive
the same time that a perfect storm does.
But it is all worth it when you get a film processed and there it is.
The lightning strike you were sure you had, but at the same time,
Me pointing to a lightning strike channel
that killed this huge Karri Tree.
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