December 17/18, 2014
"You're freaking weird!"
These are the only words that my wife spoke to me when I went in to our bedroom at 11.30pm the other night when I went in and woke her to tell her that I was heading out with my camera to see if I could get some bolts. And by bolts, I don't mean the ones that you get from the hardware store! Gee, what hardware store would be crazy enough to be open at this time time....especially on a school night! No. I was off to try and get some bolts of lightning.
I had been watching the radar for the past couple of hours. Actually, it was my wife who alerted me to the approaching storm when she went to bed not long after 9pm. As she came out to give me a kiss goodnight, she said that she thought that she had heard thunder. A quick check of the radar confirmed her suspicions. So, while watching the low quality fare on the TV with my left eye, I monitored my laptop displaying the local radar with my right. A severe storm was warned for further west of Brisbane, and the sky was starting to light up with more and more frequent flashes, so I bit the bullet and grabbed my camera and my tripod. I didn't want to go far, so I headed off to Archerfield Airport as I thought that this would give me a good view of the lightning. However, this was not to be the case so I then went to Plan B. Plan B was at a little spot of I have shot from before, and gives a great elevated view to the south and west....just where the storms were. Unfortunately, there was also quite a bit of rain around, which always makes it a little more difficult, with trying to keep the rain off your lens so as not to ruin a potentially great shot.
The lightning from the storm over Warwick was fairly constant, but due to me being about 120km's away, the shots didn't have a great deal of impact, and the rain started to fall a bit heavier. I decided to stick it out a bit longer, as I could see from the radar that the rain in front of the storm looked like it was going to ease in the next 5 or so minutes. It did, and I was able to get out of my ute and give the lens a wipe down. Thankfully I did, as not long after this a couple of bigger bolts started to fall a bit closer to me, along with some pretty cool crawlers. Not long after I got these couple of crackers, the rain really started to come pelting down, so it was time for me to grab my camera and tripod and head home, happy that I managed a couple of keepers.