Jul 23

Moscow Thunderstorms

by in Photography, Postcard Valet, Travel

Moscow Thunderstorms

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My luck in photographing lightning seems to be improving.

While in Moscow, Oksana and I hooked up with Vika, an old friend of hers who used to be a fellow Russian exchange/international student in Juneau. She and her boyfriend, Vanya, took us out to a restaurant on the 22nd floor of a university building. As the sun set, all of Moscow was laid out before us.

Just before dinner arrived, at Vanya’s insistence, I attempted to capture a lightning strike from a fast-approaching thunderstorm. Only three shots into my attempt, Oksana called me back to the table; dinner had been served. “Last one,” I called, just before a bolt shot down.

During dinner, the storm built in intensity. As soon as I finished my meal, I excused myself for another attempt. The very next photo, the one pictured above with two almost-simultaneous strikes, was the result. Seconds later, the wind and rain chased us inside.

By the time we settled the check and made it downstairs, a good-sized pond had formed in the building’s courtyard and doorway. Vanya and Andrey bravely sacrificed their aridity (but not their shoes) in a mad dash out to the car for the umbrellas stashed within.

Canon Digital Rebel XT
Date: 15 July 2006
Focal Length: 18mm
Shutter: 25 seconds
Aperture: F/20
Photoshop: Minor color correction, minor cropping

First Strike, Moscow, July 2006

Oksana, Andrey, Vanya, and Vika, July 2006

While showing some of my photos to Oksana’s family, I was surprised to come across another lightning picture in the series I’d taken on the first day. While we were on a boat tour of the Moscow River, a late-afternoon thunderstorm rolled in. Although my camera was sheltered under the boat’s awning, it was still too bright out to set the shutter speed long enough for lightning. I went back to photographing interesting architecture along the riverbank and never even realized that I caught a jagged little bolt in the corner of one frame.

The EXIF data reveals a shutter speed of only 1/200th of a second, so while the photo isn’t visually all that interesting, I still think it’s pretty neat.

Moscow, July 2006

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Welcome to Postcard Valet

Postcard Valet is a travel blog and video podcast by Arlo and Oksana Midgett. They just returned to Juneau, Alaska, after almost three full years of travel and living abroad. Many of their stories, photos, and videos have yet to be shared...

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