Turkish astrophotographer Uğur İkizler often turns his lens towards the stars, galaxies, and celestial events far away from us. But although known for astrophotography, Uğur occasionally dives into capturing natural phenomena closer to us, such as lightning storms and rainbows. Recently, he offered the world a stunning image of an hour-long lightning storm, meticulously compiled into a single photograph. It shows all the majesty and beauty of lighting storms, and Uğur shared some details about his photo with DIYP.
On the night of June 16, as Uğur watched a raging lightning storm approach, he prepared to capture the event. He tells us that he always follows weather forecasts and uses the information to his advantage in his photography. Without wasting time, he attached his Canon EOS 5D Mark IV to a tripod, found the perfect angle, and started taking shots. The storm was neither too distant or too close, as the photographer tells us. Like the porridge in the Goldilocks story —it was just right. And in this story, it meant that the light wouldn’t overpower his photos. He used an EF24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens and shot at ISO 800.
Luck was on Uğur’s side that night as there was no a single drop of rain “If it had rained, there would have been water drops on the lens,” he tells us, “which causes the image to become distorted.” But not this time! As the storm raged on, lightning constantly illuminated the distant horizon. Uğur snapped plenty of photos but chose not to use all of them in the final composition. He kept shooting for 50 minutes and, in the end, carefully selected around 30 frames for the final composition.
From this careful selection and combination, a breathtaking image was born. Uğur particularly emphasizes that this is a composite, telling us that many people still think that these lightning bolts happened all at once. But still, it’s a marvelous composite, capturing the raw power of the storm.
Uğur’s final image is a testament to patience, timing, and a deep appreciation for nature’s unpredictable beauty. But so are his other photos, celebrating both the distant cosmos and the beauty of the world much closer to us. So, make sure to check out the rest of his work on his website and follow him on Instagram.