In the wee hours of the morning on June 2, 2010, a wave of thunderstorms swept through Columbia, Missouri. I took it as an opportunity to make a “thunderstorm time-lapse,” and set up my tripod. My apartment faces one of Columbia’s landmarks, the water tower, but to get a decent composition of it, I actually had to use a 300mm lens, several feet from the door to my balcony (no need to get wet, though!). I was hoping for some lightning strikes, but the reflections of the lightning on the water tower, and the illumination of the clouds, was all I could get in the hour that I made these images.
I set the camera up on a remote trigger with an intervalometer, and exposed them all at 30 seconds @ f/9 using 200 ISO on the 5D Mark II and 300mm f/4 L lens. The time lapse above is made of 57 such photographs.
I should note that part of the process of putting this time lapse together was discovering opsound.com, a resource of royalty-free music.
Overall, the thunderstorm presented a good opportunity and it was a lot of fun to put the time-lapse together; I hope you enjoy the final product.
Starting last night and not really ending until early this afternoon, a large storm system passed through Columbia. It was pretty severe at times: I lost power a multiple points last night, often regaining power just to lose it once more twenty seconds later. Unfortunately, the storms this morning produced pretty heavy rain, so I did not feel comfortable with following through with my original plan to drive out to St. Louis to visit Wild Bird Rehabilitation, the focus of a long-term project. I’ll be going tomorrow, instead.
However, the storm did provide the opportunity to photograph lightning from my balcony. Sadly, by the time I was really set for it, precipitation had finally reached my building so I had to move indoors quite quickly. The most interesting photo, really, was a 30 minute exposure of the patterns the lightning was producing on the walls of the bedroom of my apartment:
I would have used the 5D Mk. II for its superior noise performance, but its battery was dead.