Storm On Film

Anyone living in the DC to NYC corridor knows the nutty amount of rain that we received over the past weekend and beginning of the week. The last of it passed the other evening and as it began to clear at about twilight You could see it moving north / north east in the distance. As I may have mentioned about a million times before, I am no outdoorsey nature photographer kinda guy but I happened to have some old crappy film loaded up and decided to snap a few total guesstimated exposures as the storm travelled on.

As usual I couldn't really be bothered to actually go across the street and find a nice looking foreground so you will have to put up with the tops of some silhouetted trees instead. If it were up to me I would just chuck a good looking semi-naked woman in the foreground and light her separately from from the background - as it turns out none were handy.

These were shot with a Nikon FE,  10+ year old Kodak Portra 160VC, and an antiquated Nikkor 85mm f1.8.Post processing consisted of a scan and then some touching up via ACR 6. Why ACR? - well the only scanner software I have seems to want to maximize dynamic range and refuses to believe that film base is actually black and wants to scan it as grey with detail - this introduces massive amounts of scanner noise unless you fiddle with it a bunch. I just use ACR's fantastic noise reduction instead - that's why. So - using ACR I set the black point to actual black, do a bit of NR to get rid of the scanner noise crop of the borders and there you have it…

This one was done using aperture priority AE so it wanted to make it look like it was day time… That strange looking stuff lighting up the center of the clouds is lighting blasting away behind them.

These I just guessed an appropriate aperture (probably too small), opened the shutter using 'B', waited for a lightning strike and closed the shutter again.

Same as above butt this one you can see where the lightning hits the ground - if you look close you can see where it splits in two and also all the little crackly things in the lower portion of the lightning. Click on the images for bigger versions.

In all cases the center and upper portions of the frame are the sky above the storm the lightning strikes are under those flashes.

RB

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