1 December 2011

November Hail and Lightning!

| johnboy
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lightning
hail

FluttersBy has sent in this shot of hail found in todays downpour.

Have you got a picture of the storm? If so send it in to images@the-riotact.com .


Harold sent in this one:

hail

Kaypezz sent in this lightning shot with this note:

I’ve been trying to perfect my lightning photography for over a year, and tonight I thought (well, I FEEL like) I hit the jackpot! This one was taken at Ngunnawal, overlooking the Gungahlin Lakes Golf Course towards the north-west.

lightning

And while we’re on the subject of the delicate sound of thunder:


These from Devil’n’Disquiz:


Hugh sent in this photo from the Cotter Dam.

cotter dam in a storm

Tanya sent in this one from Belcompton:

hail

Two more from Kaypezz:

lightning lightning

Great Civic video by MultiCotts:


Community Australia have posted this vid of Thor’s work to YouTube:


MultiCotts had even more exciting video:


This tree down on Barry Drive this morning was not one of the usual suspects:

tree down

Cary sent in this vid of lightning from Banks looking toward Brindies at 2am.


Kazza the blank one sent in an extensive set as well as this:

lightning

Nicole got a great one.

nicole

Camel’s iphone got lucky in Kaleen:

kaleen lightning

Ben took this one at 11.30 in Ngunnawal.

ngunnawal

Robin had some great big stones:

hailstones

Br1anL sent this in with the following note:

This was taken around 930 in Murrumbateman looking south towards Canberra. It is a little grainy but not too bad for a little point and shoot camera J

lightning

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re Greg’s images, i was on the summit of Mt Ainslie watching the fronts come in at the same time that he was. There were several photographers armed with tripods, and they were only too happy to show the results of their patience. One guy was getting shots like Greg has captured over and over – he had a prime position, looking out over Gungahlin, and his labors were well worth it. I got one measly strike photo with the iPhone, but it was worth it to be there to watch the storm coming in.

The next time there is an event like this, come on up to mount Ainslie, but only if you feel comfortable in doing so. It is magical when the cells come over Canberra, the lightning shows are spectacular, but we kept an eye on the distance the storm was from us, and bailed when it was too close for comfort.

johnboy said :

EvanJames said :

Greg would be pretty quick if he did photoshop those. He was out all night taking shots, and loaded those up off his card just before 4am. He really is that good, I’m afraid.

Can you get him to send me some?

I’m not sure if i’m overstepping the forum rules… but here goes anyway…..
The storm images from this event are now for sale on my website.
http://www.gregsoandso.com/

Disinformation11:48 am 02 Dec 11

Gregsoandso said :

The shots in question were shot in RAW, all using Bulb with a tripod and cable shutter release with an ISO setting of 50 or 100 for a fine grain result.

Thanks for the reply Greg. Nice lens selection. Big dollars there, but worth every cent.

ISO settings are essentially sensitivity settings which affect noise. Many film photographers carry over the grain concept to their digital explanations, but as there are always the same number of pixel elements involved, granularity never changes. Noise sure as hell does however, but your 5Dmk11 is likely to produce extremely decent noise levels out to 800 and beyond, but I expect you’re well aware of that. Noise Ninja does wonders when things get rough though.

Keep up the great work and maintain your voltage level within survivable limits at all times!

Nicely said, Greg. I have no idea how you get those shots, but I’m glad that you do!

Gregsoandso said :

All the best to everyone for the rest of the storm season, lets hope for a repeat soon….. this event will be hard to top for some time!

Hi Greg.

Many thanks for your reply.

The reason I made the comment that festered doubts about your photo was that it made me think that it was too good to be true. It was fascinating and surreal.

Yet, I realise now that your dedication, and devotion, is what allowed us to see and enjoy(?) the fruit of your perspiration, and ongoing inspiration for chasing storms, to capture that split millisecond of a nature’s powerful moment that has struck us with awe.

I do sincerely apologies for my scepticism. Especially as you have sacrificed the hours of sleep, and braved the unforgiving weather, to take those precious pictures.

And I look forward to your future work, as I think it will be something that the masses will certainly talk about for time to come.

Best Regards,
Jiv

Jivrashia said :

EvanJames said :

Greg would be pretty quick if he did photoshop those.

I have no problems with a bit of touch up here and there, and adjustment of the light to allow the subject matter to be viewed more easily.

But if we were to walk around LBG or on top of that hill, will we see fulgurites??

The answer would nigh impossible to detect, but i would love to find one…. very valuable!
You can find the granite monument near Regatte Point that shows signs of the direct hit. I would assume due to the monument being wet at the time, the discharge travelled externally, merely marking the surface with a white line, not a big burnt patch that i was expecting to see the morning after.

here’s the pic of the mark:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hirdygirdyhouse/6428555963/in/photostream/

Jivrashia said :

EvanJames said :

For the best shots of the storm in Canberra, treat yourself to this local photographer’s page:
http://www.gregsoandso.com/

Call me a snivelling sneering sceptic, but can someone tell if any of those lightning photos are shopped?

Hi everyone, and especially to Jivrashia and Waiting For Godot…… a friend drew my attention to this forum so i thought it prudent to respond to those who are concerned that my images were fakes.

First, i’m not a professional, however i do hope to study photography at CIT in the next couple of years. I’m completely self taught. In doing so i have invested in some high level camera gear at some cost to my meagre bank balance. You don’t need a great camera to take lightning shots, however the end product is likely better if you invest in a DSLR/SLR and decent lenses. For the shots in question, i shot with a Canon 5dmk2 body with my favourite 2 lenses: 70-200mm f2.8 and the 17mm tilt shift prime, both L series lenses and quite expensive, but worth it!

I’ve been a storm chaser for 15 years, and currently am the president of the Australian Severe Weather Association, so i know a lot about storms; how they form and why they form. I’ve chased in 4 states, covered thousands of kms, and with a recent move to here in Canberra last year, have been learning about the local meteorological features that produce storms similar to the 29th/30th. Most of my friends are either enthusiasts like me, or are professional forecasters or meteorological scientists. All of this knowledge base has taken some time, but i learn more every time i hop in the car and intercept storms on the road.

The shots in question were shot in RAW, all using Bulb with a tripod and cable shutter release with an ISO setting of 50 or 100 for a fine grain result. Again, the use of good lenses, and some experience in picking the right distance to focus (easier when you have city lights to use as a guide) is paramount to the results seen.

In regards to photoshop editing – i strongly believe that a photographer, either digital or in film, should do their upmost to take the best possible image straight out of the camera, period. It makes sense to avoid post-process editing because it takes too much of ones valuable time, and it takes the value away from photography in my opinion. I stress, that i use photoshop only for removing dust bunnies (which i have none atm due to a recent clean of the sensor), cropping, straightening, and exposure adjustments which is the strength of using RAW because you have more flexibility with the end result. I wont get into the technical differences of JPG vs RAW, however RAW is much better because it’s RAW data. I never, ever, add anything to my images. That’s what photo montages and paintings are for. I only shoot if the light is right, if the composition is right, if the scene visually constitutes interest for the viewer – basic principles of good photography. I try to keep it simple.

The close lightning strike was a plan laid months ago that finally paid off. Since my move here i have scouted locations that during a local storm would give me protection for rain, hail, high winds and close lightning strikes. Chasing has it’s risks, and from my weather group’s (ASWA inc) main mission, is to observe and document storms safely; to report any dangerous storm features to the Bom that may pose a threat to life or property. The storm that produced that close strike, came from storm moving in from the NW, and it was my best estimate that it would pass over the Commonwealth Bridge which would be seen safely from the Regatta Point verandah. I got a few other strikes previous to this one, but they were further away. I just got lucky with my camera pointing in the right direction in this particular case. The RAW shot was fairly dark, but all the information is in the data, which allowed me to adjust the exposure afterwards – this is not a new technique, the same can be applied to film development the old fashioned way in a lab. I only present images that represent what i saw with my eyes at the time.

If anyone has further doubts, first go to my website, have a look at some of my other images in the gallery section. I take the same level of pride in landscapes that i do in weather shoots. I love it, so that’s why i do it. If that still doesn’t satisfy the doubters, i can arrange for you to see the RAW files themselves in person. No skin off my nose, they’re just sitting on my computer.

In addition, do a search for Troy Barrett on flickr, he’s my chase partner and was there for the second half of the night. You will find that he took shots of the same bolts from Mt.Ainslie as me. Proof that the bolts hit the ground exactly how i caught them.

Hopefully that is all that needs to be said to put this to rest.

To finish off, well done to those who took the time to have a go at taking some shots of this fantastic event. There are already great shots popping up on here and also the Canberra times, as well as the Weatherzone forum. I think everyone has a story about a storm they’ve experienced, either good or bad, which is why it can be such a great talking point. Just introduce yourself to a weather enthusiast like myself, and that person will talk your ear off! We love nothing more.

All the best to everyone for the rest of the storm season, lets hope for a repeat soon….. this event will be hard to top for some time!

Regards,

Greg Sorenson

Disinformation2:46 pm 01 Dec 11

fgzk said :

”Purist” photographers who dismiss all things digital should recognise that the digital medium is just another set of tools available to artists. If unable to accept this, perhaps they should go back to banging rocks together. “

Bang away……..

Just confirming here that I personally don’t have a problem with photoshopped images. I have an issue about assuming that something like a lightning strike is photoshopped just because the average idiot can’t comprehend that getting a real photo is a reasonably simple process for a dedicated photographer.

Rawhide Kid Part311:25 am 01 Dec 11

Mick said :

Best. Thunderstorms. EVER.

(….and people complain about a few little fireworks)

+1

TheDancingDjinn10:22 am 01 Dec 11

Gungahlin Al said :

johnboy said :

Disinformation said :

Not all professional photographers feel that they need to use photoshop.
Considering photography started in 1826 and photoshop turned up in 1987, are you saying that excellent images didn’t appear for 161 years?

Pretty sure darkroom jiggery pokery started in 1827.

(Not saying it’s the case here by any means)

I vividly remember watching my Dad back in the late ’60s in a Canberra photographic studio laboriously hand-painting black and white photos with lipstick and dress colours. I don’t remember where it was (only 5 or 6) but I have a vague idea of it being in a basement, so I’ve wondered whether it was where Fletchers are now? Unfortunately he has Alzheimers so he can’t remember any of it either.

Love the photos by the way. Gives me the shirts that online anonymity brings out the trolls.

I have some of those types of photos of my older brother in 78 – the painted pictures are beautiful. such a talent.

johnboy said :

Disinformation said :

Not all professional photographers feel that they need to use photoshop.
Considering photography started in 1826 and photoshop turned up in 1987, are you saying that excellent images didn’t appear for 161 years?

Pretty sure darkroom jiggery pokery started in 1827.

(Not saying it’s the case here by any means)

1918ish controversy. Frank Hurley may have popularised ” jiggery pokery” in Australia with his WW1 photos..

“Photographer Frank Hurley achieved some of his greatest wartime photographs by combining several photos into one. …… Australia’s official wartime historian, Charles Bean, was outraged. He branded the photographs fakes and demanded Hurley stop making them.”

From “Slice of Life”…..”It makes you wonder what Frank Hurley would have made of Photoshop and other digital tools. With even a basic knowledge of such things anyone can create montages like Hurley’s with a fraction of the time and effort and skill involved. “Traditional” and digital photography are now all but indistinguishable in quality. ”Purist” photographers who dismiss all things digital should recognise that the digital medium is just another set of tools available to artists. If unable to accept this, perhaps they should go back to banging rocks together. “

Bang away……..

Gungahlin Al9:39 am 01 Dec 11

johnboy said :

Disinformation said :

Not all professional photographers feel that they need to use photoshop.
Considering photography started in 1826 and photoshop turned up in 1987, are you saying that excellent images didn’t appear for 161 years?

Pretty sure darkroom jiggery pokery started in 1827.

(Not saying it’s the case here by any means)

I vividly remember watching my Dad back in the late ’60s in a Canberra photographic studio laboriously hand-painting black and white photos with lipstick and dress colours. I don’t remember where it was (only 5 or 6) but I have a vague idea of it being in a basement, so I’ve wondered whether it was where Fletchers are now? Unfortunately he has Alzheimers so he can’t remember any of it either.

Love the photos by the way. Gives me the shirts that online anonymity brings out the trolls.

Disinformation said :

Not all professional photographers feel that they need to use photoshop.
Considering photography started in 1826 and photoshop turned up in 1987, are you saying that excellent images didn’t appear for 161 years?

Pretty sure darkroom jiggery pokery started in 1827.

(Not saying it’s the case here by any means)

Disinformation9:27 am 01 Dec 11

Waiting For Godot said :

I knew those photos were fake as soon as I saw them. The guy’s a professional photographer who would know Photoshop backwards. He is probably the same guy who brought us the “genuine gigantic jugs” in The Picture magazine a few years back.

Yet another person who can’t tell photoshopped images from the real thing. Other than some contrast tweaks, none of the images depicted so far are photoshopped. The requirements to take photos of lightning are reasonably simple and require good planning and luck. Luck being the quality generated by the dedicated photographer who keeps trying to take photos of lightning. They’ll eventually be rewarded by good images because they have the experience to know what will produce the best results.

Not all professional photographers feel that they need to use photoshop.
Considering photography started in 1826 and photoshop turned up in 1987, are you saying that excellent images didn’t appear for 161 years?

Brianna said :

I slept though most of it. I went to bed at 10.30 and only woke a couple of times to roll over. No problems for me!

That’s because you’re a special little snowflake.

EvanJames said :

MWF said :

EvanJames said :

… it’s still going where I am. And to the person who dumped the Maltese dog on the King’s Highway, 4 of us stopped and rescued it. Words fail me.

The dog probably escaped in fright.

It was running towards every car that came, and then running away. Same with us trying to catch it, it’d run towards us, realise we were the wrong people, and ran up the road again, looking for its owner. we got it in the end (it bit the lady who scrambled down the bank and got it), but at least is isn’t smeared all over the highway.

For the best shots of the storm in Canberra, treat yourself to this local photographer’s page:
http://www.gregsoandso.com/

That’s great work work with the dog, EJ. Rescuing a stranded dog in that weather is above and beyond the call of duty. We have a little maltese cross terrier, and she was terrified for most of the night, trembing, whimpering, and hiding under everything that could be hid under.

gentoopenguin said :

*roll eyes* Oh dear, here we go with the photoshop again. It’s like wheeling out that weird uncle at Christmas every year who kills any great conversation with his many conspiracy theories…

+1

And seriously…any decent photographer (particularly one who’s specialty is weather) who actually needed to resort to Photoshop to get good lightning shots out of last night’s storms, is doing it wrong! In the time it’d take to do a proper Photoshop of a lightning strike, they could probably head outside and actually take half a dozen real photos.

EvanJames said :

MWF said :

EvanJames said :

… it’s still going where I am. And to the person who dumped the Maltese dog on the King’s Highway, 4 of us stopped and rescued it. Words fail me.

The dog probably escaped in fright.

It was running towards every car that came, and then running away. Same with us trying to catch it, it’d run towards us, realise we were the wrong people, and ran up the road again, looking for its owner. we got it in the end (it bit the lady who scrambled down the bank and got it), but at least is isn’t smeared all over the highway.

My dog escapes during storms and tried to last night – unsuccessful attempt. When she has managed to escape her behaviour is much like you described above: running towards us, running away, looking for GOD or who knows what. Some dogs are totally freaked out, escape and act deranged during storms. Anyone got the link for the thunder jacket? I need some sleep.

gentoopenguin8:36 pm 30 Nov 11

*roll eyes* Oh dear, here we go with the photoshop again. It’s like wheeling out that weird uncle at Christmas every year who kills any great conversation with his many conspiracy theories…

TheDancingDjinn7:28 pm 30 Nov 11

Waiting For Godot said :

johnboy said :

EvanJames said :

Greg would be pretty quick if he did photoshop those. He was out all night taking shots, and loaded those up off his card just before 4am. He really is that good, I’m afraid.

Can you get him to send me some?

I knew those photos were fake as soon as I saw them. The guy’s a professional photographer who would know Photoshop backwards. He is probably the same guy who brought us the “genuine gigantic jugs” in The Picture magazine a few years back.

Why do you think they are shopped? – have you not seen lightning strike near you ? – i was walking home once as a teen through a storm like last nights, and lightning hit a weelie bin and popped it then it melted… quickly.. Was rather a cool experiance, even though i almost shat myself.

I slept though most of it. I went to bed at 10.30 and only woke a couple of times to roll over. No problems for me!

EvanJames said :

Greg would be pretty quick if he did photoshop those.

I have no problems with a bit of touch up here and there, and adjustment of the light to allow the subject matter to be viewed more easily.

But if we were to walk around LBG or on top of that hill, will we see fulgurites??

Jivrashia said :

EvanJames said :

For the best shots of the storm in Canberra, treat yourself to this local photographer’s page:
http://www.gregsoandso.com/

Call me a snivelling sneering sceptic, but can someone tell if any of those lightning photos are shopped?

Looking at the first photograph, there is a physical way to check…

Waiting For Godot2:53 pm 30 Nov 11

johnboy said :

EvanJames said :

Greg would be pretty quick if he did photoshop those. He was out all night taking shots, and loaded those up off his card just before 4am. He really is that good, I’m afraid.

Can you get him to send me some?

I knew those photos were fake as soon as I saw them. The guy’s a professional photographer who would know Photoshop backwards. He is probably the same guy who brought us the “genuine gigantic jugs” in The Picture magazine a few years back.

Holden Caulfield2:48 pm 30 Nov 11

EvanJames said :

For the best shots of the storm in Canberra, treat yourself to this local photographer’s page:
http://www.gregsoandso.com/

Very, very frightening…

Great shots!

EvanJames said :

Greg would be pretty quick if he did photoshop those. He was out all night taking shots, and loaded those up off his card just before 4am. He really is that good, I’m afraid.

Can you get him to send me some?

Jivrashia said :

EvanJames said :

For the best shots of the storm in Canberra, treat yourself to this local photographer’s page:
http://www.gregsoandso.com/

Call me a snivelling sneering sceptic, but can someone tell if any of those lightning photos are shopped?

Greg would be pretty quick if he did photoshop those. He was out all night taking shots, and loaded those up off his card just before 4am. He really is that good, I’m afraid.

So can any of our local Queanbo residents advise as to how high the river is right now? Googong has a BIG catchment, and the dam is pretty much full.

EvanJames said :

For the best shots of the storm in Canberra, treat yourself to this local photographer’s page:
http://www.gregsoandso.com/

Call me a snivelling sneering sceptic, but can someone tell if any of those lightning photos are shopped?

MWF said :

EvanJames said :

… it’s still going where I am. And to the person who dumped the Maltese dog on the King’s Highway, 4 of us stopped and rescued it. Words fail me.

The dog probably escaped in fright.

It was running towards every car that came, and then running away. Same with us trying to catch it, it’d run towards us, realise we were the wrong people, and ran up the road again, looking for its owner. we got it in the end (it bit the lady who scrambled down the bank and got it), but at least is isn’t smeared all over the highway.

For the best shots of the storm in Canberra, treat yourself to this local photographer’s page:
http://www.gregsoandso.com/

poetix said :

Gungahlin Al said :

Outstanding storm. Bet there’s a lot of very tired people in the ACT today – self included.

So in the middle of it all, on Twitter was “Lightening is now trending in Canberra.”

Depressing that so many people in this supposedly educated city can’t spell the basics…
(Looking at you too Deref!)

I think that lightning actually started as a contraction of lightening, so it’s more a reversion to an older form. Lightening can still be a verb in the sense of adding light, not only reducing a burden, and one dictionary I found online gave it the meaning of:
v.intr.
1. To become lighter; brighten.
2. To be luminous; shine.
3. To give off flashes of lightning.
So lightening the sky with lightning might be right!
(I can’t check the OED where I am now.)

If there’s a Pedant of the Month prize could I have it please?

Agreed. From the OED:

USAGE
The form lightning is historically a contracted form of lightening (it was at one time spelled light’ning) but the two forms are now two distinct words. In the sense thunder and lightning and lightning speed, the spelling is always lightning, while in the sense ‘make or become lighter’ the spelling is always lightening.

Gungahlin Al said :

Outstanding storm. Bet there’s a lot of very tired people in the ACT today – self included.

So in the middle of it all, on Twitter was “Lightening is now trending in Canberra.”

Depressing that so many people in this supposedly educated city can’t spell the basics…
(Looking at you too Deref!)

I think that lightning actually started as a contraction of lightening, so it’s more a reversion to an older form. Lightening can still be a verb in the sense of adding light, not only reducing a burden, and one dictionary I found online gave it the meaning of:
v.intr.
1. To become lighter; brighten.
2. To be luminous; shine.
3. To give off flashes of lightning.
So lightening the sky with lightning might be right!
(I can’t check the OED where I am now.)

If there’s a Pedant of the Month prize could I have it please?

Gungahlin Al said :

Oh – and there was this on Twitter: @JulianBAbbott: SYD-CBR flight just took 3.5 hours. 1.15 waiting to take off. The rest circling while storms moved away.

Yup… “luckily”, my flight left a couple of hours late rather than getting here and circling, but it still wasn’t great fun coming in.

I love watching Canberrans get so excited about a bit of lighting and hail.

Try riding out a few summer cyclones and get back to me on whether this was the BIGGEST and BEST storm EVER!!!!!

Diggety said :

Wish I was there!

Anyone got any radar images from it?

There was a whole lot more red last night that I’m used to.

Wish I was there!

Anyone got any radar images from it?

In line with the ban on fireworks the ACT Government in a joint motion with the Greens moves to ban lightning storms as they are loud, bright and scare pets.

daddy said :

Scared my pets. Should be banned. What will happen if the kids get hold of it …

Best comment on the storms yet.

Gungahlin Al11:00 am 30 Nov 11

Oh – and there was this on Twitter: @JulianBAbbott: SYD-CBR flight just took 3.5 hours. 1.15 waiting to take off. The rest circling while storms moved away.

Gungahlin Al10:57 am 30 Nov 11

Outstanding storm. Bet there’s a lot of very tired people in the ACT today – self included.

So in the middle of it all, on Twitter was “Lightening is now trending in Canberra.”

Depressing that so many people in this supposedly educated city can’t spell the basics…
(Looking at you too Deref!)

daddy said :

Scared my pets. Should be banned. What will happen if kids get hold of it …

Lightning in a bottle?

Martlark said :

Damn shed flooded by the storm. My collection of Fabergé eggs ruined! And the first print run of Origin of the Species, all muddy. 🙁

That’s between you and your insurance company, but you’ll find they only cover real things not made up stuff

(We all watch the Simpsons)

Scared my pets. Should be banned. What will happen if kids get hold of it …

Scared my pets. Should be banned. What will happen if the kids get hold of it …

Most intense thunderstorm I’ve been in* for sure.

By ‘in’ I mean ‘inside my house watching the light show’

Best. Thunderstorms. EVER.

(….and people complain about a few little fireworks)

The puddles were so deep I thought my little car was going to drown!

It was like someone had a strobelight going in the backyard for a good while there.

EvanJames said :

… it’s still going where I am. And to the person who dumped the Maltese dog on the King’s Highway, 4 of us stopped and rescued it. Words fail me.

The dog probably escaped in fright.

Great video of the 2am show by the person that runs the ”Canberra” facebook page here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWYo_hCjL0Y&feature=youtu.be

Martlark said :

Damn shed flooded by the storm. My collection of Fabergé eggs ruined! And the first print run of Origin of the Species, all muddy. 🙁

Put eggs on the book and let the lightning strike it.

(…it’s…it’s ALIVE!)

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Spectacular! I’ve never seen a lightening storm like last night’s – it just didn’t quit.

What’s the go with that insanity tattoo?

Do they stamp you when you get committed?

… it’s still going where I am. And to the person who dumped the Maltese dog on the King’s Highway, 4 of us stopped and rescued it. Words fail me.

Pandy said :

Nice pair of balls in that hand.

+1 And one lower than the other, as always….LOL 😉

Damn shed flooded by the storm. My collection of Fabergé eggs ruined! And the first print run of Origin of the Species, all muddy. 🙁

Nice pair of balls in that hand.

The soundtrack is rather good just now.

Yeah…going to have to check my roof after this one.

Ilovetheberra11:21 pm 29 Nov 11

Best thunderstorm I’ve heard since moving here in ’09!

Previous attempt to post this 5 mins ago was cut short when the power went off here in Lyneham. Was only momentarily though.

Some amazing lightning action at the moment (23:00). I hope someone is taking pics.

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