Lightning is beautiful in a multitude of ways. The show is impressive but the best part is the emotion I feel when I get back to the studio and look at the end product. Interesting aspects of lightning photography is the challenge of finding a good vantage spot and the patient wait for the perfect moment when the sky displays an intense storm. Storm chasing and capturing the special photo is not about looking for the adrenaline rush that danger can give, it´s about passion and beauty.
There are some storms, especially the ones with ‘string lightning’, where you can feel the danger. I had an experience where I was surrounded by lightning and it struck less than 10 meters from me. I felt electricity coming from my arm that was holding the umbrella and cross through my entire body. The electricity wasn’t that strong, but strong enough that my arm hurt all through the night until the next morning.
This summer past, I was on a roof, the most dangerous place to chase lightning. An intense rush of electricity crossed my body through both feet and arms. Since that time I don’t take such extreme risks.
It´s not easy to take a lightning picture. Each storm has different light and lightning conditions, but when everything comes together it’s easy to shoot. However, the difficult part then, is to have a good shot. All lightning doesn’t create interesting photos. If it´s just a lightning shot, it´s not a big deal. The difficult part is to have a special picture, a lightning which is not weak, but beautiful, a lighting which is not just lightning, but an explosion of lights with a perfect geometry
I would recommend that no one to do this, beginner or otherwise. It´s very dangerous. Some photographers have died capturing lightning photos. If you do insist, you don’t need special equipment. Stay well back and when you are surrounded by lightning strikes protect your equipment by putting it back into your case.
All Photographs Are © Julien Leveau
Julien Leveau Photographer Bio
Julien Leveau is an international photo-journalist / wedding photographer and photojournalist with a passion for native cultures,
His world travels led him to Puerto Vallarta – a place where he arrived and has never left. His work is exhibited in numerous fine art galleries in France and Mexico and several of Julien’s architectural photos are in the collections of luxury resorts all over the Mexican Republic. Julien captures the true essence of all subjects and situations he comes in contact with, and has a particular fascination with lightning storms.
After you see Julien’s gallery I think you will agree that “Julien’s pictures are worth more than a thousand words”.
Blog / Website: Arcenciel Studio Photography