The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
-Psalm 19:1

Do you know that God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?
-Job 37:15

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I got one!!!

Yes, I got one. Sorry about the blur. I guess I jiggled my camera while I was taking it, but since it's the only one I got, I had to post it... If you look closely, you can see smaller strands of lightning weaving through the clouds. I could do so much better if I had better equipment. Two things that I need desperately to be happy in chasing... 1. I need a better camera. Hands down. I am a huge fan of lightning photography and each catch that I have is a fluke. If I had a faster camera, I would have lightning shots out the wazoo. So, I might go so far as to call that one a need. I NEED A NEW CAMERA! 2. GPS, I was in unfamiliar territory, and really, I had to focus so much on roads and directions (so I could find my way back) that I couldn't just enjoy the scenery and shoot it. A GPS would resolve all of that. I could just drive and then follow my course back, even better than bread crumbs...

It all started for me yesterday when Mini-Dew ended up having plans, so I decided to go out and do some exploration. I was driving around to get familiar with other areas, shooting whatever made my heart content. I came across this pasture with a gathering of horses that were quite friendly, no doubt used to being treated with carrots (which I think I should start carrying for these purposes). They came right up to that fence and posed for me. Here, let me post a few of those since I enjoyed that so very much...That last one is my favorite. Something about horses and their eyes. They seem to say so much with their eyes. I could sit for hours and just look into their eyes, reflecting on their world.

Well, still exploring, I discovered this industrial areas that I decided to view through different settings. I am always fascinated with factories. I don't know why. Reflections of days past, I suppose...I also just decided to capture some other things that offered inspiration along the way, just the Dew and her (way too slow) camera. It was a nice relaxing afternoon. I was disappointed that it was too hazy to shoot a good sunset, but I got over that quickly when I started to hear the rumbles of thunder. It was still a good ways off, so I was off to find the perfect spot for shooting. Still exploring some and taking pictures along the way. I was up a few counties from where I live at this point, just driving, looking, exploring places I have never been... That's when I found it, the perfect spot with a fantastic view of the approaching storm. I was up on a hill, of all places, behind a Harley Davidson store, and there, I had a most breathtaking view of the interstate, but more importantly of a spectacular light show that offered frequent lightning, in a hazy sky that was absorbing city lights, color from the setting sun and the glow of a fading day. I was awestruck. .I must have shot a hundred pictures and every time I would clean my lens (misting rain kept getting on the lens), a bolt would flash across the mystical looking sky with jagged cloud to cloud wonder. To watch it though from that spot made for one of the most incredible light shows I have ever seen. God's fireworks. Truly spectacular!

Well, today, the SPC has graced us once again with a "see text" note, claiming:

A repeat of yesterday would be nice. I would love to be able to chase tonight, get another shot at even more lightning. Tim mentioned intense lightning for the afternoon in the HWO. Sounds good to me. Not a lot of convection, but some more CAPE values that impress me. Our heat advisory has finally been lifted which means some "degree" of relief is being offered... as afternoon temps should subside some today.

The GFS Loop for Tropical Action that Alabama Mike posted on our team blog, which is just an update of the one Storm Chasing Mikey posted on my comments section a while back, shows a wamma jamma slamming the Floridian peninsula around August 21st. Then, get this, the thing comes over my neck of the woods. Now, that is some pretty incredible stuff. GFS has been consistent for days on this one, and now, regarding that wave (the one the GFS is turning into a cane), according to the NHC:
Let's see what really happens. Looks like the tropics have finally decided to wake up. About time... Feel free to check out the forecast at the NHC. I like the graphical forecast for a quick glance at what is going on... Hurricane Flossie is spinning out in the Pacific. I checked her out just to be reminded of what a hurricane looks like...

Whew... I'd better get ready for church.



  1. I really like the horses. the picture of the crows has a Alfred Hitchcock feel to it...Creepy but i like it! As for the gps? Dew you may have to do like i used to. Always had a roadmap beside me. That might get you by for a little bit. Camera? well, that can be a tough one. You are doing a great job with the one you have. Keep at it!

  2. congrats on the lightning pic!

  3. I know what you mean about 'needing a new camera' the same boat, too! :)

  4. Thanks, Rick. A GPS would make me feel much safer, and they are coming way down in price. I think I can manage one of those in the "near" future.

    Jeff, Thanks... still trying for a beauty.

    Michael, Southern Weather Brigade Storm Chasing Trust Fund??? What do you think?

  5. I sure hope the Dewvoid doesn't come back as some bad Kharma with that forecast track bringing you one huge storm to make up for all the others that have bypassed long as it stays away from me. I know you mean about lightning photography...i graduated up from a point and shoot to a Nikon D50 and haven't looked back. Now I want a fast wide angle never ends!


  6. Horses rule. :-) I agree with rick about the Hitchcock feel on the birds one. Nice stuff.

    As far as a camera, you don't need a faster one, but one you can control the shutter, aperature and f-stop. The main one is the manual shutter release. You just point the camera at the storm and keep the shutter open until you get a strike. Close it. Rinse and repeat. I actually sit in my folding chair all relaxed doing this stuff once I get the focus and other settings right. Having a favorite cold beverage also helps. :-)

    You also want manual focus control too because that can cause serious problems at night with nothing to focus on. In short, look at a DSLR camera like Canon's Digital Rebel which I have. Nikons are great too. You can pick one of those up with a stock lens for 500-600. I do beleive there are some even lesser priced cameras too that do a good job and allow you to control the shutter manually as well as focus.

    As far as GPS, I strongly urge Delorme Street Atlas for your laptop. $100 retail and I think on Ebay can get them for $80. This includes the mapping software and the GPS receiver. Many reasons to go this way instead of the smaller hand-held units. The big one is lots of screen space to see more.

    My $0.02 worth. :-) Now back to eyeing the Atlantic.

  7. Throw in a laptop with widespread internet access.

  8. and thanks for the backlink

  9. Mikey and Steve and Carolina Mike, Thanks for the valuable camera and GPS advice. I will definitely consider all that you offered when the funds start to flow. I had the unfortunate "luck" of being told I needed 4 new tires on Friday... $300, have a doggone camera... It all comes down to the shutter. I'm all over it.

    Mikey, Dewvoid There is only one angle that gives us a big hit, but we are still far enough inland to avoid too much. If it comes in at Apalachicola as a CAT 4 or higher, it'll hit us hard. Otherwise, we should be all right.

  10. Alabama Mike... definitely on the list, and... You're welcome! Glad to.

  11. Great lightning shot!!!!!!


Dew comment, please...