It started to rain here in the UAE. Many of you might be thinking...WTF? This guy seems like someone who hasn't seen rain before. Well, 'course I have seen rain before, but living in the Emirates, rain in any quantity is a reason to celebrate.
The morning was showing around 38 degrees. I think every one was basically in a foul mood...something to do with the onset of summer, coupled with the general dismal outlook on the global financial front. Come evening, there was the usual honking and screeching brakes on the nearby signal. I decided to take my evening (if 8pm is considered evening) walk.
I was pleasantly surprised by the overcast skies. I think that put a smile on my face. During my first lap around the park, I noticed flashes of light. Lightning?? Naah! A few minutes later.....another one...definitely lighting. At this point the streaks were not visible, but I could see the glows. The frequency and intensity were increasing. 'Let me finish my first lap', I thought to myself....it might go away....as unsettled weather does here in Dubai and Sharjah.
By end of the first round, it was still there. F**k the walk...I'm gonna go storm chasing. Well....not in the true Mid-Western US sense of the word, but more like a 'Hey...A perfect excuse not to finish my walk' sense of the word. So I decided to head back to the house. Pack my gear and head out. By gear, I mean, a tripod and camera. All excited at the thought of capturing my first lightning strike, I rushed out of my apartment only to discover a heavy downpour!
Not one to be deterred by foul weather I decided to go out for a drive in the rain....which as always is fun. Dubai & Sharjah have a well reputed clogged system (you might vaguely call it a drainage system) that allows paper boats and all manner of trash to float around for days. I love the puddles. The 4WD loves it. I mean, you have to only live here for a year to understand our love for water or basically, just wettness. I think it had started raining (heavily) for about 5 minutes now and already the 'little lakes' on or beside the roads were above ankle level.
Drove around a bit and decided to stop behind a local fish market. The rain decided to do the same. Great...now I could setup as originally planned. By now, of course, the streaks were taking on nature's true magnificence. I struggled to find a good composition for my FIRST LIGHTNING SHOT. This was something I had yearned to do for over a couple of years as a photographer, but either never got 'round to doing it and was lucky enough to capture on the sensor. Lightning or thunder storms come rarely in the UAE...much like it's sister - rain!
I setup the tripod and plopped my camera on it. I started clicking. I took several photographs of the scene. But each exposure revealed that I had just either missed the strikes or captured the glow of an internal streak. I was naturally quite disappointed. Decided to keep at it though. The rain was starting her second act.
Then I got one......My first picture of a lightning streak captured by my camera. I mean...not a great shot...but a small little trophy for me.
This next one is much better. It definitely shows a streak all the way down to the ground. This... I call my FIRST STRIKE! Not the best lightning picture I have seen....not even close to being good by my standards...but good enough for my first real attempt.
The weatherman says that it will continue to be unsettled over the next few days. I hope that it does and mother nature will give me a few more chances to dance in the rain and capture some beautifull lightning images.
Please let me know what you think and how I might be able to improve my shots.
Originally posted at blog.charlesverghese.com on 2008-03-26 @ 05:01:41 pm (GMT +4)