"Is it weird that I find this beautiful? My goodness, that is a serious shot!"
This is how a friend described the image below when I first shared it on social media last August. Personally, I think it is beautiful... but what do you think of Dorian's Light Show?
Dorian's Light Show is available as a canvas print in standard sizes up to 4 feet wide
For a nature and landscape photographer like me, the hurricane season comes as a mixed bag. On one hand, it rains much more often, which makes it more difficult to hike certain trails. On the other hand, rain clouds always make images more interesting.
This was the case last August when Tropical Storm Dorian was picking up speed near the Leeward Islands. In Dominica, we only expected some storm surge and light thunderstorms and this meant that I may have the rare opportunity to capture some lightning.
A screenshot showing all 110 images in the sequence.
Capturing the Shot
It is difficult to predict when and where lightning will show up. I usually point my camera towards the heaviest sounds of thunder, and set it up to shoot multiple images using very specific settings.
This time was no different - I locked in my settings and programmed the camera to capture 1 images every 30 seconds. In all, I captured 110 images and used 5 to create this image which I call Dorian's Light Show.
Creating the Image
Photography is all about capturing and manipulating light. Long before the era of digital photography and the advent of Photoshop, some photographers would manipulate their images in the darkrooms.
Particularly for my chosen specialty - landscape photography - practitioners would darken and lighten certain areas to create emphasis. Some would even remove objects that were distracting, so as to keep their viewers attention on the intended subject.
I did not remove anything from this image, but I did add quite a bit.
The three lightning strikes seen in the final image came from 3 separate frames. I also added 2 additional frames where the sky lit up very brightly, to add more "life" and vibrancy to the image.
The final image, like many of my other "blended" photographs aims to depict the passage of time and the viewer's experience as if she had been there with me. Not simply a snapshot in time.
Question: how do you feel about lightning and images such as this one? Are they beautiful? Or do they evoke some fear and anxiety?
Let me know with a comment below! Please share this article with your friends.