Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sort of like a hunter ...

Last week, a tornado meandered its way over to Western Massachusetts and threw everyone for a loop ... and cover. Thankfully, my town was spared, as well as any of my family's towns and homes. Those family and friends with homes in the destruction zones miraculously remained unscathed. A family friend's home in Brimfield used to be surrounded by a forest - now her home can be seen from the road. I've viewed so many photos from news sites and from my own papers' readers. I sent out a request for photos to be published in my newspapers and had a handful of friends happily oblige. The images are unreal. Western Mass hardly ever has tornadoes in this area. It was hard to be prepared.

Since then, we've had some craaaazy weather! Sean and I were in Iowa from last Thursday for the wedding (we left late because there were tornado warnings all Wednesday night) until Sunday, so I can't attest to those days, but it's been extremely hot and humid. Last night we had heat lightening, while other towns and cities had actual storms with their lightening.

After franticly bringing in our basil, hot pepper, morning glory and sunflower from the balcony, I sat in front of our balcony door at the ready with my camera. I wanted a good lightening shot. When I was younger and would hear a thunderstorm at night, I would try to take photos of the lightening but to no avail. With houses and trees obstructing my view, it wasn't happening. BUT! Now that I live across from a graveyard, there's a perfect view of the sky! And the tall trees make for some awesome silhouettes.

I put the ISO all the way up to 2500 and set the aperture at f/7. I set the exposure at 125 and used the "high speed continuous" setting. I wanted as much light to come in as quickly as possible to capture the veiny bolts without much blur from over exposure. Then, I sat.

Leaning up against our five gallon buckets of basil and hot peppers and crouched as low as possible to get as much sky in the photo, I snapped photos for probably 20 minutes. Sean made me dinner and I didn't even eat it until I was satisfied with my shots. I checked what I had shot periodically and between a lot of basically black shots, I had a few gems. Yes!!!

The bolts lit up the sky as if it were day light. This shot was taken around 9 p.m.!

Needless to say, I still absolutely love thunderstorms, but Western Mass could certainly do without them for a while.


  1. Cool pictures!
    Camera on tripod, I assume?
    Are those successive exposures, or different computer settings on the same exposure?

  2. Thanks!
    No tripod! Just a relatively steady hand!
    Those are successive exposures from the same lightening strike! :)