At the edge of a lightning storm

Lightning Photos

Jenni (Mrs. Elhajj that is) and I got to the campsite after a twelve and a half mile hike through the Withlacoochee State Forest and were treated to an amazing lightning storm.  I don’t know about you but this lightning cloud just looks like Godzilla’s mouth to me.  Jenni and I got a kick out of it.

Inverness Lightning Storm

Storm Track (that little blue circle is us)

Back to the story, we hadn’t yet setup camp and the question was do we setup or just stay in the car a bit?  We decided to just setup the tent (as the storm was still in the nascent stages) but quickly hopped into the car to check the weather radar and stay safe for a couple of minutes.

The thunder told us the strikes were very close, but fortunately we were just at southwestern edge of the storm (see the photo on the left from RadarScope) and it was moving northeast (and more importantly: away) from from us.

Seeing as we were just waiting in the car for a storm to pass, I figured the best thing to do was to take a large metal pole (i.e. tripod) with a metal box (i.e. camera) on top out into the storm to work on the easy task (yeah right) of focusing a camera in the dark.

I got the camera and intervalometer setup for 30 second exposures and jumped back into the car with the wireless remote.

This was the first spot I setup and I really liked the trees in the foreground.  I ended up moving the camera later to capture some shots of lightning without the trees, but this is the shot I liked the best.

The storm did quite a bit of damage.  We hiked into the path of the storm the next day and saw many charred and downed trees.  Glad we didn’t get caught up in that!


By the way, I had about 60 or so images from the night so  I decided to put together a very quick and dirty timelapse to give you an idea of what were seeing.

Here it is: