Lightning Over Mount St. Helens
“Apocalypse Now” – Mount Saint Helens,Washington – Miles Morgan – Featured Photographer
Miles is a photographer I would like to shoot with one day. He works hard and plays hard at photography. A few beers and a bad night sleep in the car is no problem when you get shots like this. Hell, I would have been happy with just the flowers and the mountain. Lightning to boot? Please read the full story below then check out his portfolios at www.milesmorganphotography.com and http://500px.com/MilesMorganPhotography. His personal favorites section is awesome!
It started out as a night of pizza and beer (root) with several friends. A lackluster sunset at Mt. St. Helens didn’t dampen the mood, but also didn’t offer any encouraging hopes for a good sunrise. Several hours after bedding down in our respective cars, my friend Mike (aka: Charmin, as he is squeezably soft) was starting to annoy me with his flashlight, as every minute or so he was lighting up my ceiling. I wondered “how hard can it be to organize one’s bed” after 30 minutes or so, and I finally sat up to give him the death glare he had earned. All was quiet until a HUGE flash of lightning pierced the morning sky, and with several blinks I silently apologized to Charmin in my head, while realizing he had been sound asleep the entire time. Scrambling out of my car, I screamed to my friends to wake up, as dawn thunderstorms in the Pacific Northwest are rare events indeed. In a panic I gathered my gear and sprinted towards the flowers we had scouted the evening before, drawing on knowledge gained from my previous attempts at shooting lightning, which numbered zero, I figured my best hope was to get the shutter open as long as possible and fire like crazy in the direction of the mountain. Luckily, it didn’t dawn on me until later that being the tallest guy holding a metal camera rig on a ridge in a thunderstorm is a bad idea, and I happened to have the shutter open when a nice bolt of lightning ripped through the sky next to the volcanic crater. Knowing I had the lightning frame “in the tin”, I shortened my shutter speed to freeze the waving flowers. Blending the exposures in Photoshop produced the final image.
Lightning: 16mm, ISO 50, f/19, 2 seconds
Flowers: 16mm, ISO 100, f/16, .5 seconds.
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