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on Aug 6, 2012 in Moose Cam

A Moment with Sierra Lightning

Saturday night we had the makings of a thunderstorm actually producing some much needed rain. By sunset, nothing. Then I thought I saw a flash but never heard any thunder. Forty minutes later the fast moving storm had gone north past us. Using the iPad app Radar, I saw the track of the storm to be right over the house so I grabbed the D4, 24f1.4 AFS and tripod and went out on the deck and waited. I got outside and just set up when the first “close” claps began. Just then it started to pour so wimping out, I went inside.


Once inside (and back to the Olympics) I switched out lenses to the 50f1.4AFS because I could see less of the sky. My settings were basic night lightning settings, ISO100, 8sec f/4 – f/5.6, Manual Focus, Flash WB (so the house lights would be warm). I attached the MC-36 and while watching the Olympics, every time I heard the shutter close, I depressed the shutter release. And as fast as the storm started, it was blown past us. What you see here in the video is the start of the storm, the meat of the storm and then the last downpour light up by car lights. In one of the last frames, while there is no bolt of lightning, dead center you’ll see a Big Brown Bat flying by.

When it comes to creating the video, that’s a snap. I took all the images and had them in a folder. Launched Photoshop > Time Line > Add Media and selected all the images. I put a Cross Fade between each image and then Export > Render Video and upload. It was that simple! I like the video presentation for the storm rather than the stills you see here (my favorites from the shoot). And if I could, while you’re watching the video, I’d be right be hand your chair yelling, BANG!