Wild Horse Lightning

Calculated risks can often produce great results, and with this image it was certainly the case.

All the data for the weather suggested a southerly position south of Adelaide River even as far south as Katherine or Pine Creek would be a good target area. With storms and lightning photography it is harder due to the high volume of local and international storm chasers that converge on Darwin and the surrounding areas. Given I am always chasing images that are unique I needed to find fresh ground - so off I went. I positioned myself on the northern edge of the cell and waited. I could see the flashing in the distance but nothing really happened where I was. My gamble had not worked and I was going home empty handed. I decided to do some exploring and it was then that a few crawlers started to appear.

I had tentaively driven through an area of black soil towards a fire I could see when I came across this dam. Quickly setting up I waited and managed a few "sighting shots" before getting a potential composition set up. Silence for about 15 minutes and I thought it was over. The debate with myself began of how long to wait. Willing just one more crawler to reach out I waited some more. Then it came. Clean crisp very white and fast. The cable release was briefly activated. Did I get it? Quickly looking at the large screen on the back of the Phase One IQ180 it told the story. Full frame edge to edge clean and crisp white lightning with a magical reflection in the water.

The rain then started and given my location it was time to get out on to safe ground so I could get home in the morning.

I also needed a name for this new image .... remembering that I had seen stock horses grazing quietly, unaware of the impending storm, as the sun was setting early in the night, and I had captured the image in an area which had an association with wild horses. The trail of fingers where like cracking whips from mounted drovers running the mob.

A calculated risk to get that shot no one else had finally paid off and Wild Horse Lighting was captured.

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Paul's Lightning Photography Tip.

Rather than go for quantity and get every bolt of lightning, I concentrated on moving around the dam in order that I got the right composition. In this case getting the reflection in the water rather than just a bolt of lightning in a black sky.