Louisiana Lightning

LA lightning 5
Just got back from a 4 day road trip to Louisiana doing my part to assist my buddy Eric Adkins in pulling off a major photo shoot for a major client…
That story, which may or may not be mine to tell, will have to wait.
Suffice it to say that Eric and crew were Happy….
the client was Happy, Happy…
And the photographed ‘entity’ was
Happy, Happy, Happy!

So, having said that I’m not going there,
this post is about the evening after the shoot was concluded, the set struck, the gear loaded, the crawfish etouffee dispatched, and the hotel was awaiting to embrace the weary before  they embarked on the 8 hour drive home.
The hotel staff kept mentioning that a storm was coming, but as Daniel Williams (photo assistant) and I were sitting on the hotel patio, all we could feel or see was the smothering heat and mugginess…. We have more than our share of heat and humidity in Nashville, but Monroe, Louisiana has HEAT and HUMIDITY!
The first indication that the staff may have been rightly prescient was when this peeked over the facade.  These first 8 shots were phone photos..


Within 5 minutes, this was the scene in and around our immediate area.HGI 2





BTW….the yellow between the porte-cochere and the bottom of the image was NOT created by the tungsten lights there…that is the actual color of the sky in the Western distance…



I was snapping away with my Android phone, relishing the 20 or so degree drop in temperature, when a voice inside reminded me that 3 floors up I had in my possession a “Real” camera. I rushed to my room…though the elevator played a yawning part in my rush, gathered said camera, and made it back down just as the sky unleashed a torrent of warm 300% humidity.
But then….!!!
After the rain passed…more quickly than the elevator rose and fell the 3 floors,
I witnessed the most spectacular display of nature’s fireworks that I have ever  witnessed.

LA lightning 3
THAT is what this post is about.

LA lightning 2
Now lightning is a bit daunting and elusive in evading  capture. If I had had a tripod, I would have set the camera with a wide angle lens and just ‘time-exposed’ a wide expanse of sky and allowed the lightning to fill in or fry the pixels.  As it was, for a while I was trying to jerk from compass quadrant to quadrant until I realized that by trying to follow lightning I was always too late.
I finally picked a couple of spots and held the camera as still as possible, finger on the trigger, in ‘burst’ mode…the camera AND myself…and waited.

The next three are what were ‘caught’ in a 3 exposure burst covering 1 second of time…

La series 1

La series 2

La series 3

I’ll admit that I  missed some of the more spectacular displays of electrical arteries pumping energy through the atmosphere but I will not soon forget those because they are etched in the analog memory card that goes with me everywhere.

LA lightning 6

I’m considering making this next one into a desktop wallpaper….anybody interested?

LA lightning 1

LA lightning 7


~ by rkpowers on June 30, 2013.

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