Sep 12, 2014

I wonder what it is like to be a Rainmaker

A week ago severe thunderstorms ripped through New England and Boston from late afternoon into the night. I always wanted to photograph the Boston Skyline at twilight with lightning flashes and saw great potential to finally capture my vision in a photo. Approximately an hour before nightfall I made my way over to the Museum of Science parking location. The upper parking deck is a fabulous skyline photo location at all times and I figured if I pick the one beneath I would be safe, dry and still get a decent view of the city. Turned out I was pretty much right. Upon arrival I set up tripod and camera a few feet away from the building edge so rain would hit my lens. A Canon 28-70 zoom lens allowed for some compositional flexibility and all what was left was patiently waiting for the lightning show to start. It didn’t take long when the sky turned completely dark and the lightning and thunder rolled in. I immediately started shooting but it was a bit dicey when the storm unfolded right above me. A couple of times I crawled back into the car because lightning was followed by immediate thunder and I was worried I may get hit while pushing my luck a bit too much. 

When the first storm front finally made it's way passed Boston, a second was unfolding at the horizon, probably across Wellesley, Newton, Natick, Framingham areas. Instead of leaving I therefore stayed around and boy was it worth it! The second front passed by further south exactly behind the skyline with its famous landmarks like the John Hancock building, Prudential Center and Boston brownstones that line the Charles River. With the heavy rain gone and the storm far away I was in the clear. I moved tripod and camera closer the building edge for a more unobstructed view, recomposed the picture and kept shooting. In the meantime twilight arrived which allowed me to capture the image that I originally envisioned. It was awesome too watch and a few minutes after twilight I was able to capture a couple more dramatic storm pictures over Boston. 

During post processing I followed my routine digital workflow of dust removal, minimal lighting, contrast and color saturation adjustments before sharpening the final images of Electric Boston, Boston Lightning Thunderstorm, and When Lightning Strikes.

Good light and happy photo making!

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  1. Amazing, amazing captures, Juergen ... glorious lighting and twilight images against that spectacular skyline!!! I'd say you can cross this off your to-do list because it just doesn't get any better than these!!! Congratulations!!! (And glad you're safe!)

  2. You are the best Lois - thanks so very much for commenting on my recent lightning and thunderstorm across the Boston skyline photography image. I am glad I finally was able to capture my vision of this image - carried with me for quite some time. Btw, I went back to the same location tonight and captured a breathtaking sunset - it's really one of the best photo locations in Boston. Happy Sunday and have a great week, Juergen

    1. Wonderful, Juergen ... I look forward to seeing your sunset shot, too!!