Finally Caught Lightning in a Bottle

For as long as I’ve had a camera and as much as thunderstorms scare me, I’ve always wanted to be able to catch a picture of a lightning bolt. The opportunity finally arose on Saturday evening July, 7, 2012 when I worked a beach graduation/birthday party in Allenhurst, NJ with The Windmill. The storm blew in early and after it was over the party went off without a hitch.

The pictures below were captured with my iPhone 4GS and are completely unedited. I’m going to have fun playing with them in Instagram (follow me at byouchah or see them in my Twitter feed @byouchah) but wanted to post them here in their virgin state.

I looked out from the tent we were working under to see the sky looking like this after hearing from @nynjpaweather on Twitter that a dangerous line of thunderstorms was heading our way. (They tease me that I’m “Doppler Radar” when storms are coming and @nynjpaweather now 4 for 4 when we’re going to get hit. If you’re on Twitter, Steven DiMartino’s weather advice is a must follow.) I have seen a lot of thunderstorms in my day, but never a leading edge like this. I have no idea if they always look like this but as cool as it appears, it scared the crap out of me.

I had to catch a picture of just the sky. The striations of blue and gray were so stark, especially that light blue line. A mattress made out of the lower part does look better than memory foam however.

This is one of my favorites. Seeing the sky look like that gave me an alien invasion/Ghostbusters feeling. The Super Creeps.

Dark clouds heading overhead and towards the ocean.

The “Thunderstorm Men” were the last ones to head for cover. Us girls, we scattered like chickens to get under the cabanas for cover.

There it is. In all its glory. My first ever lightning picture. Lightning in a bottle… or an iPhone so to speak. I was so scared by the lightning I shook the phone. The lightning was so bright it overexposed the picture. I do believe I actually yelled out “I got it!” in excitement. This one, for all intents and purposes might be the coolest one because it looks like the lightning is going right into the umbrella. I’m not sure if 1. the lightning is actually split at the top or 2. I shook the phone scared again and the double bolt is a result of that. For a second lightning picture capture, I’m not complaining. I was amazed I was able to get a third picture and again how much the light overexposed the shot. I’m no photographer so I’m not even sure that’s the right terminology. The bright spot starts all the way at the top of the clouds. I landed this final one. Again the light overexposed it and I caught a lady walking by but just by simply cropping it, see below. At this point it was assumed that I was watching the Doppler to determine when we could get back to work and not taking pictures with glee. This is what the storm looked like out at sea. We must have been right on the edge. Asbury Park must have had quite the light show last night as it seemed they were completely surrounded. We didn’t see much rain from it, just a great show displaying Mother Nature’s power.Finally home here is the aftermath of working all night on the beach. Sand in the sneakers and a good time had by all.  You have to love the Jersey Shore.You can follow my newly created Weather Board on Pinterest where I’ll keep adding new weather pictures as I am able to capture them.