Lightning at Lepe

I saw that a line of thunderstorms was crossing the English Channel and heading our way. I thought I would try to capture some drama, and lightning, with my camera and hoped to catch a storm approaching over the Isle of Wight and crossing the Solent. I parked the car at the top of the beach in Lepe Country Park, set the camera up and loved the sense of impending doom as the sky darkened, the wind rose and the waves grew.

It turns out to be very difficult to capture lightning. I shut the camera's aperture and ISO down to give as long exposures as possible and kept clicking, hoping to capture a lightning stroke within the few seconds that the shutter was open. Inevitably, lightning happened where the camera was not pointing, or in the short time when the shutter was closed. It became impossible to face the camera into the approaching storm as sea spray and blowing sand were too strong, so I sheltered the tripod and camera behind the car door and looked off to one side.

From hundreds of shots, only three had visible lightning, and this one was the only one that captured any of the sense of the storm. Photographically, this expedition yielded little for a lot of effort, but being out in nature when it is being dramatic like this is never a waste of time.