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Submitted on
August 15, 2014
Image Size
437 KB
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800×534
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12,065 (1 today)
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Comments
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345

Camera Data

Make
NIKON CORPORATION
Model
NIKON D800E
Shutter Speed
45/1 second
Aperture
F/11.0
Focal Length
14 mm
ISO Speed
500
Date Taken
Aug 3, 2014, 10:26:10 PM
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Macintosh
Sensor Size
3mm
×
Once Upon A Storm by ColinHSillerud Once Upon A Storm by ColinHSillerud
I have been hunting lightning for four years now, in the small amount of time I have that is not taken up by lab work and school.  The trick, I have learned, is being patient and lucky.  That's about all there is too it.  After tracking and learning the patterns of the monsoon systems of the Southwest, I had about zero successful trips all organized with excessive planning.  Then, on this trip, when I felt I had already missed the best opportunities due to scheduling conflicts, I got lucky. 

While watching the clouds dissipate as the day went on, down to nothing at sunset, I also felt another monsoon season and weeks of planning go down the drain.  Then, just after night fall, in the perfect loaction, a series of electrical storms built and hit out of nowhere.  The shear density of lightning is something I didn't even know could happen.  For a period of about an hour, three  surrounding storms displayed about a bolt every second like a strobe light.  There were times that I had a hard time breathing I was so excited and so focused on completing this photograph.

This is one of the most difficult photos I have achieved.  The bolts were so bright that, in order to expose them properly, I had zero information in the surrounding landscape and night sky.  So, I had to, with intense sadness and trepidation, give up a few of the bolts to get an exposed landscape.  What this means is that I had to significantly over expose the lightning to register the land.  The hard part about that is, as anyone who has shot lightning will tell you, you never know when the perfect bolt is going to strike, and, indeed, the best of the entire night occured while I was exposed for the land.  However, you can't have everything you want and to come away with something rather than nothing, I had to make a sacrifice.  I would do it all again if given the choice.

I hope everyone enjoys it.

To order a print, visit: fineartamerica.com/featured/on…
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-08-17
Suggester said; "The lightning against the dark blue night sky is an amazing contrast!"

Along Came A Storm by ColinHSillerud ( Suggested by B-Skipper and Featured by Anoya )
:iconthepixelworks:
thepixelworks Featured By Owner Edited Jan 16, 2015   Photographer
First of all congrats to the absolutely well deserved DD! There aren't really any words to describe this photo. It looks like you photographed another planet, that is how awesomely surreal it looks.

The sheer depth of the image, the power and detail of the storm, combined with the serene calm of the starscape definitely make this one of a kind, and a photo you can be very proud of. I also definitely believe the difficulty. Trying to compose night photos, exposing them correctly and timing them right to get the result you want is among the hardest tasks in photography I can think of.

Even if you say that you have missed some of the better lighting bolts due to the exposure of the surroundings, the result is something I can only call one thing (and given the over use of the word in recent years I choose it very rarely): Epic.

This is an epic photo, perhaps even a once in a life time photo, and if you haven't tried yet, maybe try and get it published in the National Geographic magazine! I'm sure it would be picked.
Reply
:iconframedbynature:
FramedByNature Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Student Photographer
Fantastic work! :highfive:

Just wanted to let you know that your shot was featured in my latest Journal! :)
Reply
:iconartstamper:
artstamper Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014
Thank for for the interesting background information to this fabulous photo. I have put it on my Pinterest board "Storms, Lighting;"  hopefully some of the nearly 700 followers on that board will visit your gallery.  Thank you for sharing your considerable talent.
Reply
:iconkkart:
kkart Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Professional Photographer
that exposure is insane....dang!
Reply
:iconelfgurl06:
elfgurl06 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2014
Awesome, did not even notice the lighting at first, I love when there are subtle little details you don't expect in a photograph. The colors are amazing.
Reply
:iconomnicron8000:
OMNICRON8000 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2014   General Artist
Whooaa! Nice!
Reply
:iconshadoisk:
Shadoisk Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Amazing!
Reply
:iconserenissimaluna:
SerenissimaLuna Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Amazing!
Reply
:iconafeinphoto-com:
aFeinPhoto-com Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014  Professional Photographer
Yea..pretty damn crazy man.  Killer work on this one....next level.

aF
Reply
:iconanoya:
Anoya Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014   Photographer
I've featured your deviation here in this article: APN Daily Deviations - August 2014! :heart:
Reply
:iconnukleosdesign:
nukleosDesign Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
thats definitley one of the most awesome pic i have ever seen in my life, awesome work
Reply
:icont33nyturtl3:
T33NYTURTL3 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
would love to see this in my life :)
Reply
:iconaprizona:
Aprizona Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Gosh Oops! this is incredible, the light, the landscape.. it must have been an incredible feeling out there La la la la Love it!
Reply
:iconmakeamukero:
Makeamukero Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014
Awesome!
Reply
:iconargolith:
Argolith Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Amazing scenery. Absolutely great work.
Reply
:iconvrinda-the-wistful:
Vrinda-the-Wistful Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
WOW !!!
Reply
:iconsabanwarschow:
sabanwarschow Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I love it
Reply
:iconbigblueskyfotos:
BigBlueSkyFotos Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
congratulations on an awesome image and the effort you made to get it! :heart:
Reply
:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Professional Photographer
:)!
Reply
:iconhasdrubalzz:
hasdrubalZz Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2014
This is one of the best shots I've seen in my live! You should offer it as a print ;)
Reply
:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Professional Photographer
I offer it, I just forgot to post the link.  I don't do it through DA because they charge the artist obscene amounts.
Reply
:iconaramsun:
aramsun Featured By Owner Edited Aug 20, 2014
wow . no words
Reply
:iconquietone1973:
QuietOne1973 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014
Always find the darkness of the storms the most beautiful.  The Calm before the storm.
Reply
:iconcool-rules:
Cool-Rules Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
OMG,AMAZING!!
Reply
:iconrezzanatakol:
RezzanATAKOL Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014
Congratulations:clap:
Reply
:icondebbykang:
debbykang Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
beautiful!! love the colors!!
Reply
:iconkenny-db:
Kenny-db Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014
Beautiful !!
Reply
:iconsabrart:
SabrArt Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014
nice!
Reply
:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Professional Photographer
:)  Thank you Sir!
Reply
:iconmawcs:
mawcs Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Stunning. I love the color and the highlights in the river below.
Reply
:iconcharmed-ravenclaw:
Charmed-Ravenclaw Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is just a brilliant shot! Fantastic effort and persistence mate!
Reply
:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Professional Photographer
Thanks, Ms. Claw!
Reply
:iconcharmed-ravenclaw:
Charmed-Ravenclaw Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
No worries!
Reply
:iconmarszenka:
Marszenka Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014
I like it. I'm no expert on photography at all ( I wish I WAS) but I think not exposing the landscape would lose some of the vastness that really makes this stand out. It's a gorgeous shot. I'm sorry you didn't get your perfect bolt in it, but I think it absolutely deserves a DD and I'm glad you shared it here. :)
Reply
:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Professional Photographer
:)  Thanks very much.  Yep, had to make some trade offs.
Reply
:iconemjidi:
emjidi Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Brilliant capture! :+fav:
Reply
:iconadam-walker:
Adam-Walker Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014   Writer
Beautiful.
Reply
:iconaxurias:
Axurias Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i don't know what too say...
utterly speechless :o (Eek) 
Reply
:iconivy-orihara:
Ivy-Orihara Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Is it just me or is that picture moveing? 
Reply
:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Professional Photographer
:)  It's coming right at you!
Reply
:iconjainswapnil52:
jainswapnil52 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
WTF were u doing there at night?>?
well, atleast u shot this awesome pic //
Reply
:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Professional Photographer
It is isn't scary, it isn't worth it ;)
Reply
:iconthebate:
thebate Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014
Pure beauty in this photo. The cloud's fading into the starry sky looks so surreal. Wow!
Reply
:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Professional Photographer
Thanks!
Reply
:iconthebate:
thebate Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014
You are welcome! Thanks for sharing such an awesome one-of-a-kind picture!!!
Reply
:iconmissmcsteamy:
MissMcSteamy Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Wow! Oh my gosh. That is so awesome. *_*
Reply
:iconcolinhsillerud:
ColinHSillerud Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014  Professional Photographer
Thank you, Miss McSteamy.  And Welcome to DA.  I look forward to more rants on your page about how much you love Grey's ;).
Reply
:iconmarymarx:
Marymarx Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Extremely beautiful picture. Well done!
Reply
:iconsloopjohnp:
SloopJohnP Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
wow .......
Reply
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