Chicago Adventure

Lightning strikes the Chicago Skyline, Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

I’ve always been a huge fan of thunderstorms and the downpour last night in my part of town was rather exciting. Booming thunder, lightning that made our whole street glow, and rain enough to flood the backyard characterized the storm. I love shooting lightning and Navy Pier offered a great vantage point. I was hoping to make a cool image of the twice-weekly summer fireworks as well as the people gathered to take them in.  I was also hoping to catch lightning against the Chicago Skyline.  I was not disappointed.

Lightning hits behind a condo building on the Chicago Skyline. July 18th, 2012

I got to the end of the pier about ten minutes before the start of the show. I managed to set up my tripod and dig my cable release out of my bag in high winds. HIGH WINDS. It was almost enough to blow me over and definitely enough to knock my tripod over. Needless to say, the fireworks were a challenge in the wind and rain. The show ended, so I turned my focus to the lightning that was building over the skyline.  Shooting lightning is a game of waiting. Waiting for a good storm.  Getting to a location and waiting for bolts to strike and hoping they’re where you want them.  I’ve been pretty fortunate in my attempts at shooting storms. I’m pretty sure that I’ve come away with an image every time I’ve tried to shoot.

Visitors to the Navy Pier watch fireworks in Chicago, Illinois, July 18th, 2012. Firework shows occur biweekly for the duration of the summer.

Creating images with lightning is exhilarating and exciting. It’s worth standing out in the rain, nearly getting pushed over by wind, or almost getting hit with flying Navy Pier garbage. I get as excited shooting from within the storm in Chicago as I do creating a makeshift tripod out of books and shooting out of my window. It’s always different. Always interesting. It’s something I know I’ll want to do long after I’ve mastered it.

I played with pulling focus to create this image.

I shot this photo a few months ago from Whihala Beach. It was the first time I shot a storm with a tripod and cable release.

This was the photo I shot from my bedroom window with the help of a makeshift tripod of books.

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