Thunderstorms over Columbia, Mo.

Thunderstorms over the Water Tower from David Kennedy on Vimeo.

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, 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.

A Dark and Stormy Night

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:

Canon 1D Mark II N & 16-35mm f/2.8 L II; exposed 30 minutes @ f/8, ISO 200
Canon 1D Mark II N & 16-35mm f/2.8 L II; exposed 30 minutes @ f/8, ISO 200

I would have used the 5D Mk. II for its superior noise performance, but its battery was dead.

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