lightning

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Photography

Towering Plumes of Volcanic Smoke Mix With Streaks of Lightning in Photographs by Francisco Negroni

July 16, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Francisco Negroni, shared with the artist’s permission

Chilean freelance photographer Francisco Negroni captures nature at its most rambunctious, with a particular focus on volcanic eruptions and lightning storms. In his work, bright orange and red streaks of lava burst from mountains, enormous plumes of smoke overtake the horizon, and dramatic lightning strikes connect the earth and sky. The photographer originally studied advertising photography and tourism, but once he witnessed his first volcano, he knew that it would be his focus going forward.

Colossal spoke with Negroni about his strategies for braving the elements and capturing just the right moments:

When I go outside to take photographs, I try to leave with the images in my mind: I imagine what I am going or want to achieve that day in that place… Although many times I don’t get what I imagined or thought would be a good photograph, and I get others that I couldn’t have imagined and they are much better, it’s strange. But almost always I work in a direct documentation, with an idea in base, but trying to always obtain an understanding of something more difficult for the spectator.

Due to the expenses and difficulties of traveling in the Chilean backcountry, Negroni carefully tracks  upcoming eruptions and risk factors to maximize the potential of each trip. He travels light, only with a backpack containing a laptop, camera, tripod, and three lenses, and he camps in his car for longer excursions.  Presently, Negroni shoots for reporters and journalists, and has published his work with National Geographic, the Associated Press, and Terra. You can see more of his weather and landscape photographs, which are also available as prints, on his website. For the adventurous, Negroni also leads personalized tours and workshops.

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

Transient: An Extraordinary Short Film That Captures Lightning at 1,000 Frames per Second

December 5, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Filmmaker and photographer Dustin Farrell spent over a month this summer traveling some 20,000 miles for the sole purpose of filming thunderstorms around the United States. Using a pricey Phantom Flex4K high-speed camera he filmed lightning strike after lightning strike at 1,000 frames per second, resulting in the impressive footage that shows the remarkable complexity of electricity in the atmosphere. Most of the footage in the final cut was shot around Farrell’s home state of Arizona.

“Lightning is like a snowflake. Every bolt is different,” shares Farrell. “I learned that lightning varies greatly in speed. There are some incredible looking bolts that I captured that didn’t make the cut because even at 1000fps they only lasted for one frame during playback. I also captured some lightning that appear computer generated it lasted so long on the screen.”

You can catch a few more of his short films here. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Design

A Levitating Wireless Speaker in the Shape of a Storm Cloud

October 10, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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Richard Clarkson Studio (previously) has teamed up with Crealev (previously) to produce a miniature floating cloud, one that hovers indoors while both playing your favorite music and lighting up in tune to the beat to replicate a storm. The design, called Making Weather, is formed from polyester fibers which hide a Bluetooth speaker, LED lights, and a magnet. This magnet allows the form to float above the piece’s mirrored base in opposite polarity with another magnet, seeming to organically hover and sway to the music that is pumped through it.

Currently in prototype form, the indoor cloud will be hopefully become available for living room use in the near future. (via My Modern Met)

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Photography

Ominous Storms Photographed in Black and White by Mitch Dobrowner

September 19, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Regan, North Dakota, 2011

Photographer Mitch Dobrowner travels the U.S. and sets up his camera in front of apocalyptic storms that rise above rural fields in Oklahoma, Kansas, and North Dakota. Inspired by photographers like Minor White and Ansel Adams, he captures breathtaking landscapes that remind us of nature’s raw power by juxtaposing the endless flat plains of the southern and midwest states with dramatic weather formations. Lightning strikes and tornadoes feature heavily in Dobrowner’s black and white images that at times look like moments right out of the first few minutes of the Wizard of Oz.

Dobrowner has exhibited in galleries across the U.S. and internationally since 2005 and is represented by Photo-Eye Gallery in Santa Fe and Kopeikin Gallery in LA. You can see much more of his work on Facebook. (thnx, Laura!)

Peckham, Oklahoma

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Bolton, Kansas

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Syracuse, Kansas

Syracuse, Kansas

Newkirk, Oklahoma

Newkirk, Oklahoma

Syracuse, Kansas

Syracuse, Kansas

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Arcus Cloud

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Vortex Over Field, 2015

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Strata Storm and Bales, 2015

 

 



Amazing Photography

Pilot Captures Amazing Thunderstorm Photo at 37,000 Feet Over the Pacific Ocean

July 6, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Photo © Santiago Borja, used with permission.

Over the last few years we’ve seen our fair share of storm and lightning photographs, but this shot from Ecuador Airlines pilot Santiago Borja might top them all. Taken from a Boeing 767-300 cockpit at the precise moment of a lightning flash, the image captures a powerful thunderstorm forming above the Pacific Ocean just south of Panama. A difficult shot considering the turbulent weather and near pitch-dark setting.

“I like this photo so much because you can feel the amazing size of the storm and its power,” he tells the Washington Post. “But at the same time it’s wonderful how peacefully you can fly around it in still air without touching it.”

Borja also shared a second thunderstorm photo with Colossal taken in October of last year along the coast of Venezuela. You can see more of his travel and storm photos on Instagram.

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Photo © Santiago Borja, used with permission.

Update: Photographer Kevin O’ Mara shares his own aerial thunderstorm photo taken over Alabama in 2013.

 

 



Design Science

The Tempescope is an Ambient Weather Device that Simulates the Forecast on Your Desktop

May 28, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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The Tempescope is a novel device designed by Ken Kawamoto that displays the upcoming forecast by simulating weather conditions inside a small translucent box. The device is capable of downloading information about upcoming weather off the internet, which it then translates into a variety of modes to replicate sunshine, clouds, rain, and even lighting. Kawamoto made an early version of the device available as a free open-source project called OpenTempescope so you can try building your own, but a consumer version is planned for Kickstarter later this year. If you liked this, don’t miss The Cloud. (via Sixpenceee)

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Science

A Triple Lightning Strike on Three of Chicago’s Tallest Buildings

July 3, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Even by Chicago standards the weather here in the midwestern U.S. has been bizarre and extreme lately. We’ve seen giant walls of fog caused in part by a bitterly cold winter that chilled Lake Michigan, and numerous lightning storms that last for hours. Local videographer Craig Shimala was filming a timelapse of a derecho from his home this week when he managed to capture a triple lightning strike on three of Chicago’s tallest buildings: Willis Tower, Trump Tower and the John Hancock Building. Even more incredibly, he filmed the same occurrence almost four years ago to the day back in 2010.

To see more examples of our wild weather, check out recent photos by Nick Uliveri and Pete Tsai.