Ever wonder how photographers get those awesome images of lightning down strikes? Here is a short description from Tampa photographer Ray Reyes about how he captured several lighting photos from Davis Islands in Tampa.
I had packed my gear after shooting the sunset at Davis Islands in June and was heading home when I noticed a typical summer storm rolling in from the southwest. Lightning bolts were flashing every five to 10 seconds, so I knew I could get some decent shots while there was still a bit of color lingering from the sunset. I pulled over the side of the road, grabbed my camera and tripod and ran to a seawall. I don't think I've ever set up so fast, and just pointed my camera at the heart of the storm. I managed to fire off at least 10 shots before the rain and the bolts were directly overhead.
The first three frames were from that evening.
The last two frames were taken in mid-July when I returned to Davis Islands again to shoot the sunset. This time, thunderclouds were brewing over South Tampa and I noticed a few bolts flashing in the distance. I set my camera to take exposures at 20-second intervals and managed to capture these shots of lightning and a sunset sky.
Ray Reyes is a freelance photographer based in Tampa who specializes in portraits, weddings and events. He was a journalist for more than 10 years, and covered news in Jacksonville and the Tampa Bay area.