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Photo Information
Copyright: Hans Spruijt (GreenBaron) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3009 W: 919 N: 12213] (52777)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-06-08
Categories: Nature
Camera: Nikon D70s, SIGMA 28-70mm F2.8-4, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/22, 15 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): 60-69 points- Part 6, Vandana's Favorites I [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-06-09 3:59
Viewed: 1640
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 90
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

Yesterday afternoon and evening severe thunderstorms harass several areas in the Netherlands. Schiphol Airport was closed for some time, due the change of microburst (wind shear) one of the most dangerous phenomena in flying. I saw the dark clouds coming from the south-east took my camera (thanks Vandana) and tripod (thanks Janneke) put it together and selected my camera on 25 sec shutter speed and maximum aperture of f/22 and was watching the sky waiting for the lightning….

And it came! One after the other, but not always (or in fact mostly not) in focus of my camera. I must say it was one of the most breathtaking thunderstorms I’ve ever seen in respect of lighting. It was flashing everywhere. Struck twice a communication-tower, which situated just eight hundred meters from my apartment. Even had two times a shorts power loss, something what hardly happens in Haarlem. I tried several positions and followed the storm to the North West. But this image is the best of the series. After the strike I covered the lens with a black CD-cover to prevent un wished incoming light. Removed cover after shutter closed again.

Shot in RAW converted to JPEG. First cropped almost two third of the image, adjusted brightness and contrast removed some annoying spots with the clone tool. Add frame and text, resized for TL-dimensions.

Image details:

ISO 200
Metering: spot
Shutter: 25 sec
Aperture: f/22
Focal length: 28mm


Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity, which usually, but not always, occurs during rain storms, and frequently during volcanic eruptions or dust storms.
A bolt of lightning can travel at a speed of 45 km/s (kilometres per second) (100,000 mph, 160,000 km/h). It can reach temperatures approaching 28,000 °C (50,000 °F), hot enough to fuse soil or sand into glass channels.
An average bolt of negative lightning carries a current of 40 kA (kiloamperes), although some bolts can be up to 120 kA, and transfers a charge of 5 coulombs and 500 MJ (megajoules), or enough energy to power a 100 watt lightbulb for just under two months. The voltage depends on the length of the bolt: with the dielectric breakdown of air being 3 million volts per meter, this works out at about one billion volts for a 300m (1,000 feet) lightning bolt.
Different locations have different potentials (voltages) and currents for an average lightning strike. For example, Florida, with the United States' largest number of recorded strikes in a given period during the summer season, has very sandy ground in some areas and conductive saturated mucky soil in others and is surrounded by water. As much of Florida lies on a peninsula it is surrounded by ocean on three sides. The end result is the daily development of sea and lake breeze boundaries that collide and produce thunderstorms. California, on the other hand, has fewer lightning strikes (being dryer). Arizona, which has very dry, sandy soil and a very dry air, has cloud bases as high as 6,000-7,000 feet above ground level, and gets very long, thin, purplish discharges, which crackle; while Oklahoma, with cloud bases about 1,500-2,000 feet above ground level and fairly soft, clay-rich soil, has big, blue-white explosive lightning strikes, that are very hot (high current) and cause sudden, explosive noise when the discharge comes. The difference in each case may consist of differences in voltage levels between clouds and ground. Research on this is still ongoing.
NASA scientists have also found that the radio waves created by lightning clear a safe zone in the radiation belt surrounding the earth. This zone, known as the Van Allen Belt slot, can potentially be a safe haven for satellites, offering them protection from the Sun's radiation.
The first process in the generation of lightning is still a matter of debate:scientists have studied root causes ranging from atmospheric perturbations (wind, humidity, and air pressure, to the impact of solar wind and accumulation of charged solar particles. Large quantities of ice in the clouds are suspected to enhance lightning development. This charge will neutralize itself through any available path. This may assist in the forcible separation of positive and negative charge carriers within a cloud or air, and thus help in the formation of lightning.
Lightning can also occur within the ash clouds from volcanic eruptions, or can be caused by violent forest fires which generate sufficient dust to create a static charge. (Text: Wikipedia.com)

toucan1967, Kilted-Arab, gypsygirl58, pathy, Marylou, vandana2923, harpya, Helkoryo, Ejtaan, janneman, chiping59, Silke, juyona, Silvio2006, Emma, JohnTulip, shelbeesmom, c_rapp, Jacqueline, Mitra, PierreFrigon, Viking, SkyF, SaraT has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Ejtaan: DIDN'T?GreenBaron 2 06-09 09:38
To NINIX: FavoriteGreenBaron 1 06-09 05:32
To Kilted-Arab: HappyGreenBaron 1 06-09 05:30
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • jawa Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1273 W: 0 N: 1] (12005)
  • [2007-06-09 4:10]

Hallo Hans
Op het juiste moment de camera bij je hebben.
Mooie opname.
Gr Jos

Hi Hans,
Wow, that is great, I have never tried to capture lightning and it can't be easy.
Great picture and great note, next time theres a storm I might just try your method.
Tfs Andy

Very good morning Hans.
Excellent thunder shot.! Well captured and a good note about it.
Here in Bergen op Zoom, we had NOTHING.! (as so many times before with bad weather). It seems in the "Bilt" they have never heard about BopZ.
Just now, it starts very smoothly raining. Good for the garden. lol
Have a nice and dry day.

One to be proud of, Hans!

Lightning shots are always tricky - I guess they need a combo of skill, timing and luck - you've nailed it here. Great detail in the lightning bolts and superbly composed...the vertical works well. Top stuff, congratulations!

  • NINIX Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 249 W: 128 N: 530] (6690)
  • [2007-06-09 5:25]
  • [+]


A classic one Hans. I make it a favourite.

You saw the light man, what a moment.


well captured! perfect work! it`s so hard to make photos like this! great!

Hi Hans,
Mother Nature strikes again!! Wonderful image, even though I am terrified of thunderstorms I don't mind looking at photos of them. Well timed and brave of you! Great notes too! TFS
Cheers Tina :-)

  • Great 
  • pathy Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 303 W: 35 N: 64] (1740)
  • [2007-06-09 5:49]

impressionnant !!! superbe !

  • Great 
  • cyiu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 215 W: 0 N: 48] (1139)
  • [2007-06-09 6:56]

Hi Hans

Well captured and timed, something I would like to try and capture myself


Hi Hans :o)
Splendid ! Excellent capture, not easy in my opinion. Sharpness and colours are great. Thanks for the good note and congrat for the nice frame :o)

great picture

GREAT Hans!!! Very well captured. Getting photos of lightning is very difficult. You did very well here. TFS.


Hello Hans

Great impact, beautiful the fury of the nature. I like pictures like this,
well captured! perfect work man!


Good morning Hans


Not a lot more I can say, its awesome.

TFS regards Helen


WOW... something I've always wanted to capture...
You know, somehow we just live in the wrong part of the country, cos we never ever have that much lightning here....

Anyways I really like your shot Green One! Wonderful capture!


  • janneman Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 314 W: 7 N: 164] (1054)
  • [2007-06-09 10:25]

Prachtig ! " hoed af " !
Die zou ik zeker niet zomaar op de harde schijf laten staan : daar moet je thuis een plek voor vinden.



  • Great 
  • ttreen Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1317 W: 129 N: 3792] (15759)
  • [2007-06-09 10:34]

WOW Hans
your shot is amazing... As well as your notes...

Congrats.. its not an easy subject to photo..


You captured a stunning moment in time!Fantastic lightning against the blue sky!Well done!

  • Great 
  • Bianca Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 101 W: 59 N: 285] (1250)
  • [2007-06-09 13:08]

Hi Hans,

AWESOME! :-) Great timing! TFS, greetings from Zandvoort! Bianca.

  • Great 
  • juyona Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2585 W: 1 N: 425] (10173)
  • [2007-06-09 13:48]

Hola Hans,
estupendo momento captado,
la fuerza de la naturaleza,
y la belleza, las dos cosas al mismo tiempo, excelente,

Hi Hans,
Not an easy photo to get. Good composition and colours.

Thanks for your patience and for sharing the image with us.


  • Great 
  • Emma Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1397 W: 6 N: 1920] (10153)
  • [2007-06-09 17:48]

Wonderful moment Hans get before your lens.Excellent and wonderful effect.
Well done.

Superb Hans! Excellent patience here, (even IF you are a man! HAR!!)......wonderful color and detail! You got the shot! One day, I may too!

  • Great 
  • linus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1797 W: 13 N: 1442] (15482)
  • [2007-06-09 19:03]

Hi Hans,
Nice capture of the lightening strike.
Well done.

Great capture!!! Beautiful! love the choice of framing too. TFS

Hai Hans,
Hij is schitterend, op het juiste moment genomen.
Zelf ben ik er een beetje huiverig van, vind het maar eng die bliksem,
Groetjes Jacqueline

Hallo Hans, deze vind ik fantastisch. Bedankt om de truk met het afdekken van de lens in je note te beschrijven. Zelf heb ik al dikwijls geprobeerd, maar ben er nooit in geslaagd om bliksems vast te leggen


Hi Hans, spectacular capture with splendid light, lovely presentation, very well done, have a great week end, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • korbee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1483 W: 0 N: 1852] (14495)
  • [2007-06-10 6:57]

100 points!!!!!

Very nice shot, Hans. I always like these kind of nature beauties (my lightening picture I called this way). I was at the swimmingpool with my twin (Charlotte and Justin), otherwise I also was went out with my camera.



  • Great 
  • Mitra Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1153 W: 70 N: 1116] (16)
  • [2007-06-10 10:55]

Excellent thunder storm shot. It`s so hard to make photos like this. Well done.

perfct timing, beautiful capture.well presented Hans.tfs.

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2572 W: 237 N: 6132] (24044)
  • [2007-06-10 12:05]

Superb capture! And I love the notes that tell us how you accomplished it
Silke :)

  • Great 
  • Mas Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 50 W: 62 N: 257] (2779)
  • [2007-06-10 13:49]

Mooi Hans !
Zo'n foto 'die je altijd al wilde maken'


Hi Hans.
Valt weinig aan toe te voegen.
Klasse werk.
groet Frans

EXCELlENT!!!!! I'm always amazed by the patience and tenacity of people that want to take a photo of a lightning bolt.
You got an excellent shot here.

  • Great 
  • sleger Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 476 W: 55 N: 177] (3549)
  • [2007-06-10 21:18]

Hello Hans

Nice capture of electricity in the sky. It is interesting to see all the branches dispersing from the main flow of light.


Regards, Sylvain

Gewoon geweldig genomen Hans!
Fantastisch moment goed weergegeven! Doei

Wel Hans, we weten er alles van, reden laatste Vrijdag om
5.30 Den Haag uit naar vriendenin Bodegraven en zo het 'oog'
van de ellende in! Het was natuurgeweld optima forma.
Mooie geslaagde opname! Groet

  • Great 
  • Viking Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 63 N: 782] (4383)
  • [2007-06-11 14:26]

Kijk, das nou je nek uitsteken voor een goede shot! Mooi

  • Great 
  • Juliet Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1250 W: 106 N: 2911] (22323)
  • [2007-06-11 19:11]

Hi Hans,
One of the best LIGHTNING shots I have seen. Your explanation is terrific showing your persistence in getting this just right ! TO BE COMMENDED- TFS with us. Julie

Hoi Hans,
Nu begrijp ik je comment op mij foto ook. Dit is zeker een super foto, met echt een mooie bliksem. Het heeft toch wel een extreem voordeel dat je geen hoge gebouwen rond je huis hebt staan. Zo open veld geeft je toch wel erg veel mogelijkheden. Prachtig werk qua kleur en scherpte. Het lijkt alsof de bliksem door het kader is geslagen en de titel heeft geschreven.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1666 W: 136 N: 1263] (6138)
  • [2007-06-12 7:30]

Hello Hans,
amazing timing on this shot, not easy to catch the lightening and you got such a wonderful pattern.
Wonderful composition, excellent division of space and the colors and details are fabulous.

  • Great 
  • jityna Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 119 W: 7 N: 162] (1083)
  • [2007-06-12 14:56]

Hello Hans,
awesome shot!!!
I am fascinated with storms and lightnings! And your capture is perfect!
Beautiful "root" of natural energy.

indeed a great visual "impact" Hans !
Very dramatic. Minimal and simple, yet with a powerful impact !!

Well done.
best regards, Daniel

  • Great 
  • SaraT Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 165 W: 0 N: 217] (1155)
  • [2007-06-17 11:10]

that must of been pretty hard to capture on a camera.
very nice detail
just an amazing photo
TFS sara

  • Great 
  • Dawn Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 98 N: 3374] (17650)
  • [2007-06-19 20:23]

Great capture Hans... you were in the right place at the right time, I bet you were happy to get this. Excellent composure, and framing.
Well done Mr Baron.

Greetings from a wet, windy and grey old winters day in the pacific...


Very simple, but yet very powerful photo. Good work.

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