looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

Maximum Zeusage

Sometimes Nature has a way of, well, jolting you when you get too cocky. Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in our living room testing out the wireless network coverage in the house, watching a music DVD, and generally trying to do some work whilst reading my camera's user manual. I found a web site called www.digi-darkroom.com with a forum for owners of my model camera, a Fuji Finepix S602z. One of the posts there was a question on how to photograph lightning.

Since no-one had pointed out that - at least at night - you can get good results with a tripod and a 15-second exposure, I did so, and posted a photo I took a couple of years back when we had that cool storm. It didn't matter that the camera I used at the time was the Kodak DC265.

Since then, by the way, I have taken better shots of lighting.

Anyway, I got some good comments about the picture and the (obvious) technique.

Here's the thing: Last night we had a terrific lightning storm. Lisa and I had actually gone to bed, but the flicker and boom piqued my interest and I had to go outside and enjoy the show, standing in our driveway in my t-shirt and boxers in the warm and unusually humid air. I love thunderstorms. Every now and then water drops would spatter down, and hit the hot concrete, steaming.

The lightning would flicker from cloud to cloud, darting around the valley, and then suddenly this huge potential build-up would finally discharge from the sky to the ground in an electric-blue thread of energy, repeating this pattern over and over again.

It reminded me a lot of the old tilting bucket fountain in Cuba Street, Wellington.  Only with more ozone.

So, the point of my story is that I went in to get my camera to see if I could get some of this on film (well, on memory chip) but I didn't know how to set up a 15 second timed exposure on this newfangled contraption. See, when I try to do three things at once (see first paragraph) I end up not really doing any of them. I still need to read the manual...

The storm was over at about midnight, but at 3:45 am we were woken up with an almighty clap of thunder over our heads. "Close enough for you?" said Lisa. I pretended to be asleep.