Lightning

Lightning. The one act of nature that sends a chill into many people’s hearts, despite the fact that it’s actually pretty damned hard to get struck by it. A sign that you’re most likely being pounded by rain. Has thunder as its aftereffect as the air the lightning heats expands rapidly and produces a loud crack.

Brief and probably inaccurate scientific explanation: Lightning is basically static electricity on a larger scale. Thunderclouds carry a negative electric charge. The clouds induce an equal but opposite charge on the ground. When air carrying the charges of both meet, an electrical discharge occurs, causing the bolt of lightning you can see. Lightning can happen even within the cloud, called cloud-to-cloud lightning (the former circumstance called cloud-to-ground). Lightning that starts at the top of the cloud, which is positively charged. and reaches the ground is ten times stronger than a “normal” strike.

Now as flashes of lightning are very quick, it takes great reflexes to take a picture of one with a camera with normal shutter settings, i.e. settings that you’d use in the daytime to take a picture of a building or people. Therefore, I present to you these:

Cloud-to-cloud lightning.
Almost missed this one.
This beauty was the last of three consecutive strikes.
Most of the lightning I saw was too high in the cloud for the bolt to actually be seen; this is called sheet lightning.

Now, I’m not saying I have the best reflexes in the world. These pictures were taken this past Wednesday evening; just the week before I had tried and failed utterly. So enjoy these since they were the only decent ones to come out of that storm; the rest of them were sheet lightning.

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