March 14, 2013
Lightning storm over Cape Town – striking photos
Stuart Buchanan is a journalist, blogger, and online writer for Flow Communications.
He grew up in Durban and has lived in various parts of South Africa and the UK, before finally settling on Cape Town. He often wonders why anyone would want to live anywhere else.
A few months ago we shared some amazing photos of lightning strikes over Cape Town on our Facebook page. We got in touch with the photographer, Glenn Käsner, to find out more about the story behind the pictures. Here's what Glenn had to say:
“The pictures were taken a few years back in May 2009. I work for a marine salvage company, and we were due to fly salvage equipment out to a casualty south of Cape Point at first light. When I first heard the rumbling thunder, I grabbed my camera and tripod and headed for the docks on the off-chance that the storm would pass over Table Mountain.”
“I headed for a spot near the CHC helibase that would give me a clear view of the city and Table Mountain and set up my equipment. I waited for the storm and it approached exactly as I had hoped it would. As it made landfall I started photographing it using fairly long exposures. At one point I started to retreat to the safety of my car as I could feel the electric charge in the air, but the spectacle drew me back out like a moth to a candle.”
“One of the pictures was featured on the front page of the Cape Argus, another was used as cover for a publication distributed at the International High Voltage Symposium held at the CTICC.”
“No special equipment was used. My equipment at the time was an entry level Canon 350D SLR camera, tripod and cable trigger. The camera was set on manual with shutter speed on bulb. Exposure times varied between three and six seconds. That's about all I can say, except that I'm waiting for the next big one!”
Thanks for the fantastic pictures, Glenn! And for those who are little concerned by these scenes, don't worry – lightning storms like this are very rare events in Cape Town.
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