Ryan’s Field Notes #32 – The Lightning Strikes

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Ryan’s Field Notes #32 – The Lightning Strikes
Hope everyone is doing good today.
We are in the last week of February, it’s hard to believe. 

I was thinking today back to a beautiful September evening a few years ago. 
The family and I had decided to go spend the evening at a local lake not far from the house.
The clouds that evening were magnificent, I watched them closely as we walked around the lake.
Once we had made it to the other side of the lake the sun began to set. 
I was loving the amazing contrast of colors and light that the evening was giving.
The clouds had continued to build, lighting had started flashing in the storm. 
The colors of the sunset were shifting quickly as the clouds traveled across the sky.
I had taken pictures of lightning at night a few times but at this point in my life I had never tried to capture it during daylight hours.
Hopeful that I could capture a lightning strike over the lake I started experimenting with exposures to see the longest I could keep my shutter open and get a workable exposure.
Finding an exposure I felt gave me the best chance of capturing the lightning I started what is usually a long and unrewarding process of holding the shutter open for my selected amount of time, with high hopes.
Click…8 seconds…click.  No lightning.
Click…6 seconds, wow, hold for the other two seconds…click.  Did I get it?
Quickly I looked at the image review….awesome…it was there. 
I was shocked, after only two attempts I had captured a beautiful lightning strike over the lake.
Trying a few more times I was unsuccessful. 
The light quickly faded as it does when the sun makes it’s quick journey below the horizon.
Only seven minutes had passed between the above image and the capture of the lighting.
How quickly the light and clouds change.
As the storm traveled closer to us we walked back around the lake to get out of the coming rain.
The darkness of night fell over the lake.
With the family back at the vehicle, I couldn’t bring myself to leave yet.
Standing under an awning at the edge of the lake I continued to take pictures of the lightning as the storm crossed above the lake.
Good memories. 
If only I could spend all of my time and days out making photographs of this amazing world.
Get out there and enjoy your day. 
Tackle whatever it is you love doing. 

See you next week.

Ryan McGehee

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