A photo taken by Nolan Nitschke that has begun going viral shows not only an extremely hard to capture lightening bolt but also a rainbow as it appears during a storm at Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite Lightening Strike (Photo: Nolan Nitschke/TheSierraLight)
TheBlaze caught up with Nitschke to get the inside scoop on what it takes to capture such an image.
First of all, the 27-year-old doesn't quite know why the photo is going viral now. He said the image was snapped in 2006.
It was only a year after Nitschke, whose full-time job is for the forest service building hiking trails, began self-teaching photography that he heard of the incoming storms at Yosemite predicted for the weekend. He decided this was his chance to try his luck.
"It's really rare to photograph lightening," Nitschke said, given that it comes in quick, unpredictable flashes. The rainbow that formed when the storm moved on was just a bonus.
As the storm got worse, park rangers began to evacuate visitors. Leaving Glacier Point in the park and going to the vacant parking lot at Washburn Point, Nitschke said he sort of hid from rangers. He spent two hours in the rain and lightening taking 500 to 600 shots.
"Out of all those, I was able to get one lightning bolt," he said. "It was perfect, right in the center of the frame."
"My heart just stopped," he said when he realized he captured it. "I was totally amazed."
Now, the colors in the photograph might seem a bit unreal, almost like a painting. Nitschke said he used a graduated neutral density filter on his lens, which is commonly used in landscape photography to balance the sky and ground. Given the constantly changing light conditions during the storm, he said the photo turned out a little overexposed, so he brought the exposure up in Photoshop.
And that's all it took. Hours in the rain, hundreds of shots and a little adjustment of that one perfect image.
The photographer (Photo: Nolan Nitschke Photography/Facebook)
Although photography is not his full-time job at the moment, Nitschke said it is "not really a hobby but more of an addiction." He has an exhibition for his work in Mammoth Lakes, California, and also has an upcoming show in Venice Beach, Florida.
(H/T: Yahoo! News)