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far away rumbling and a briefly lit sky
boom. flash. far away.
BOOM! Flash. Getting Closer.

A huge split bolt of lightning behind the Big Alice Con Edison power plant in Long Island City, Queens, NYC
A huge split bolt of lightning behind the Big Alice Con Edison power plant in Long Island City, Queens, NYC

Thunder now shakes my walls
Lightning bolts clearly visable
No rain in sight

A huge bolt of lightning, as photographed from the Eastern side of Roosevelt island, NYC
A huge bolt of lightning, as photographed from the Eastern side of Roosevelt island, NYC

Wow! Look at That!

Dry lightning storms are a pretty common occurrence in New York City, though the bolts are usually pretty far off in the distance. However, on the night of June 8, 2008, I watched in awe as Mother Nature painted the sky just outside my window with a light show of bright white lines and dark blue clouds.

A split lightning bolt crashes behind the Citi building in Queens, NY
A split lightning bolt crashes behind the Citi building in Queens, NY

Maybe I Should Go Outside

After spending a while shooting from my living room window on Roosevelt Island, I grabbed my tripod and remote shutter and headed down to the riverside for a different and closer angle.

(below is a full shot of the view from my window)

The view from my Roosevelt Island, NYC, apartment during a June 8, 2008, lightning storm
The view from my Roosevelt Island, NYC, apartment during a June 8, 2008, lightning storm

Thunder boomed in the distance and lightning bolts lit up the skies above the Big Alice Con Edison power plant and Queensboro Bridge – a mere few hundred feet from where my wife, Carrie, and I stood.


Lightning lights up the sky behind the Big Alice Con Edison plant in Queens, NY
Lightning lights up the sky behind the Big Alice Con Edison plant in Queens, NY

Photographing Lightning

I used a remote release with my Nikon D80 to snap more than 1,000 photos over the course of the storm in hopes of capturing a few good images. In total, I got five ones that I was really happy with…although I did have to do quite a bit of cropping on some.

Queensboro Bridge Lightning Storm
Queensboro Bridge Lightning Storm

Have you ever captured a bolt of lightning? What techniques did you use? I would love to see YOUR lightning shots!

Share the Journey

  • http://www.hallo-welt.cc Christina

    Hey Greg,

    the pictures are awesome and I’m a little bit sad, that we don’t have that much lightnings here in Austria. Maybe I should visit you in NY?! ;-D
    I wish you wonderful time in America and hope that we see us in Thailand!

    Nice greetings
    Christina