Friday, September 07, 2012
Chasing Lightning on Okinawa
Shot from my stairs at home a big thunderhead was slowly moving down the island.
Let me start by saying I'm totally a sucker for lightning. When I lived up in Fukushima I would often go out chasing thunder storms for hours on end trying to find the perfect vantage point from which to shoot natures fury. Since moving to Okinawa however I've only seen actual bolts of lightning perhaps a couple of times. The past 3 nights however have been the most I've seen in the past two or so years.
Unfortunately it seems my timing sucks and I was either in meetings or having my post wedding shoot beer relaxing at home. Last night I could see it would be perfect conditions for photographing lightning if I was further up north. It was very predictable and good strikes every 10-30 seconds or so. After a call from good mate David Orr confirming that yes it was in fact "going sick" up where he was in Onna village, I grabbed my tripod, camera and cable release and jumped on my bike to fly up north as from home I was only able to see the flashes from the lightning, not the actual bolts. By the time I got there though as usual it was starting to die off a bit. I sat for a while and made a few images at about ISO 400 f5.6 and bulb mode exposed for about 1 minute or so just to see what I could capture.
I managed to catch a few which had some pretty decent bolts forking out from behind the clouds. And I ended up compositing two of the shots together to come up with this shot below which I call Purple Sparks.
I was really hoping for better in both images but hey like they say beggars can't be choosers. I'll take what I can get!
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Im an Australian photographer based on beautiful Okinawa, Japan. I've lived in Japan for the past 13 years or so and have shot 1000+ weddings in my time here. When Im not shooting weddings I mostly love shooting seascapes and water sports, teaching photo workshops and traveling.
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