Nature Forces: Photographer Captures Two Lighting Bolts Over The Grand Canyon

Photographers Rolf MaederScott Stulberg and Holly Kehrt planned to take a sunset photographs trip to the Grand Canyon.

After taking the two hours’ drive from Sedona the conditions were not optimal and the air was a bit hazy. Luckily for Rolf, the party decided to take is slow and look for some other viewpoints.

Nature Forces: Photographer Captures Two Lightings Over The Grand Canyon

As they were waiting, a lightning storm emerged at the east end of the canyon, providing a perfect lighting show at a safe distance. The fact that the storm was far away, and the cars were nearby for fast escape, allowed them to setup tripods and do some long exposures.

Rolf shares that the photo at the top of this post “was taken at 9pm with a Nikon D800 and a Nikon 24-85mm lens at 24mm, f/8, ISO 400 using a 25 sec. exposure. The long exposure made it possible to catch two lightning bolts with one shot!

Here is how the evening unfolded, with the storm getting closer and more wild as time progressed.

Nature Forces: Photographer Captures Two Lightings Over The Grand Canyon

Nature Forces: Photographer Captures Two Lightings Over The Grand Canyon

Nature Forces: Photographer Captures Two Lightings Over The Grand Canyon

There is another post detailing the post processing of the photograph. It is pretty interesting to see how the photo (which was very good to begin with) was enhanced over the course of the edit. Particularly, it was enlightening (no pun intended) to see how visible the Chromatic aberration was in the lighting. Here is the before after Chromatic aberration correction:

Nature Forces: Photographer Captures Two Lightings Over The Grand Canyon

Nature Forces: Photographer Captures Two Lightings Over The Grand Canyon

The full edit is detailed here.

This is a great example on a shoot that did not as planned at all and still produced a great photograph.

[The Grand Canyon Lighting Show via io9]

  • Alex Minkin

    gorgeous landscapes, talk about off camera lighting…

  • Charles O. Slavens

    It’s just my opinion, but I kinda like the CA ya get with lightening.

  • David Thomas

    “…perfect lighting show at a safe distance.” with a 24-85? I hope he was using a wooden tripod! That storm was plenty close. (I would have been out there too, but my wife would have preferred I wasn’t!)

  • Chet Nichols

    Present, Past and Future….Nice.