Photo of the Week: Lightening with Lightning (Timing is Everything)

On our Brazil trip down the Amazon River this summer, Lisa was performing surgeries while I joined the boat crew for a visit to a village further up river.  On our evening return to pick up Lisa and the medical crew, our boat went directly into a massive storm.  I stood on the top of the boat and watch us plow in to the storm front.  The wind hit so hard that it blew parts of the boat off the roof and blew out the window wipers on the command deck.  We were immediately called below.

Night storm lightening flash

It was now pitch black, with rain we could not see through–even with a spot light.  Unsafe to continue traveling up the river, we had to pull directly in to shore and land the boat while waiting out the storm.  Lightning and thunder rock the night.  We could see nothing.  I got my camera and tried various combinations of exposure and shutter.  It all came down to luck.  I couldn’t get long enough flashes of light to know how the camera would react.  On top of that, the boat was rocking slightly, making it difficult to get a steady image.  One photo turned out.  It was actually quite interesting to see–the camera could see what the eye could not.  From the boat, we could not make out what the land looked like.  One surprise in the photo was how much the red boat light illuminated the shore and trees, giving the image a more eery feeling.

With lightning, timing is everything–essentially all luck.  I got lucky with this one and it made for an interesting photo.


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