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One angry sky

Lightning hits Boston

Jonathan Berk captured a major lightning bolt around 4 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning until 5 p.m.for parts of the Boston area, including the Back Bay.

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Comments

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Voting closed 15

I would have avoided driving through this.

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Voting closed 16

That's quite the photo! I'm always amazed when someone manages to capture a lightning bolt on "film." I'm pretty sure I heard this particular one in the Fort Point area. BOOM!

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Voting closed 21

I've gotten two on film but never this good. One of the real issues is getting a good vantage point that you are safe in/not wet.

You can tell he was focusing on the John Hancock (it's right in the middle) which would have been an awesome shot as well.

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Voting closed 20

Set your camera so that the proper exposure is several seconds. Most basic settings will let you do up to 30 seconds if you can make other adjustments to avoid overexposing. Then find a good lightning storm and snap away every time the shutter closes. These are rarely if ever lucky shots. By the time your eyes and mind see a lightning bolt, the light is already gone due to the time for the light to travel and mostly for your brain to register the bolt and send a signal to your fingers to press the shutter.

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Voting closed 27

If you have a RAW setting, use it. It gives you a lot more tonal range to play with, as the lightning flash will burn a lot of pixels.

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Voting closed 16

Nutink moves faster dan da speed of light

The actual phenomena of a lightning flash involves a number of time scales

Multiple leader strokes "inch" there way down from the cloud ionizing the air molecules to enable a small current to flow -- tens of micro seconds of duration

Primary Return Stroke from the Ground to the Cloud establishes the path to enable major amounts of current to flow for tens of miliseconds heating the air to 5 or so times the temperature of the Solar Photosphere [about 50,000 degrees F] and producing a fully ionized plasma column -- this is the source of most of what is visible and the major destructive effects of the bolt

The air just outside the Plasma Column is also intensely heated by convection and radiation and expands [initially supersonicly] producing a shock wave [pressure pulse] which then propagates outward radially at the speed of sound to the observer [Thunder] -- speed here is about 1000 ft/sec -- or about a mile every 5 seconds

Light moving about 1 ft per nanosecond [a mile in 5 microseconds] begins to arrive at you and your camera -- virtually instantaneously for any nearby storm cloud

By the time you hear the thunder, the light has long since reached you and is gone, the current is gone, the ionization is dissipating and the air is cooling back to normal atmospheric conditions

If the cloud is still nearby it is rapidly charging again -- for another bolt

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Voting closed 16

At some point I satisfied an itch in my chronic Gear Acquisition Syndrome by getting a 15-stop ND filter for a project*. It is absolutely the perfect thing for shooting lightning storms because you can leave the shutter open for ages and ages.

I actually ran to grab it yesterday when the storm started, only to find both of my batteries were flat, otherwise I had hoped to do a multi-minute exposure (f/45 lens at ISO100 with a 15-stop ND filter). Maybe next time.

* The project was spending all my disposable income on expensive toys

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Voting closed 18

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Voting closed 14

Flights into and out of Logan are on hold.

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Voting closed 16

This motley assortment of characters parading down Causeway know how to bedazzle!

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Voting closed 17

Someone is trying to summon Gozer!

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Voting closed 23

Not good.

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Voting closed 20

Amazing picture.

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Voting closed 17

It's an alien invasion.

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Voting closed 21

This is Earth, isn't it?

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Voting closed 14

The bolt is not coming so much FROM the sky, but from the ground UP ! That is what Tesla was talking about when he tried to provide free and endless electricity. Now who would not want that ?

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Voting closed 13

Smart home, and any other thing with intergrated electronics. Having what amounts to a constant solar flare inducing current would have made our modern world a very different place.

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Voting closed 18

Reason number eleventybillion that lightning rods are our friends!

Spectacular shot!

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Voting closed 19

Great photo!

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Voting closed 12