Lightning Strike in the Great Plains (Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA) by Brian Barnes

Lightning Strike in the Great Plains (Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA) by 

Often the storm chasing day ends not with the last glow of the setting sun, but with a photogenic show of pyrotechnics dancing from cloud to cloud and into the ground and lasting well into the night. This strike was captured just a few miles from my home after a long day of driving and looking for marvelous supercells and their awe-inspiring structures.

Typically, any isolated cells that form during the day in western Oklahoma will race through the portions of Oklahoma that I call home, I just have to drive back ahead of the racing squall line and on such days will end the hunt with a tripod and a camera on this gravel road.

It isn’t a part of my public offered storm chasing tours, but instead just my time to relax, snap shutters and enjoy my favorite hobby – lightning photography. I’ve always hoped for a dead centered strike at the end of this long gravel driveway. So many times I have closed my eyes and envisioned this very shot.

Then, one night in 2006 after a long day’s work of hunting down tornadoes I ended my chase day in this fashion, opened the shutter and waited – “bang” – I had it!


Be sure to check out my company, It’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to chase storms to improve their lightning photography skills and see awe-inspiring photogenic storms. AND

Storm chaser, scuba instructor, captain, marine conservationist, photographer – but never a tourist!

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  • Jana
    Janaalmost 8 years ago

    all i can say is wow. what a breth taking image! love it

  • louise
    louisealmost 8 years ago

    WOW! a very dramatic image

    Well done!!

  • jess
    jessalmost 8 years ago

    this is amazing. how do you capture something that happens so fast! great job.

  • Roddy Atkinson
    Roddy Atkinsonalmost 8 years ago

    Great photo Brian, could be an album cover! Storm chasing company…. how cool is that, any jobs going? lol

  • Christiaan
    Christiaanalmost 8 years ago

    Congratulations :) And a very nice photo!

  • Brian Barnes
    Brian Barnes S...almost 8 years ago

    I have hundreds, if not thousands of lightning photos that I’ve taken over the past 15 years. Most of the time I take them after dark so that I can leave the shutter open for as long as 30 seconds without worrying about overexposing the film (or sensor). This image however was taken during the evening hours while it was still daylight. Lightning was hitting the ground in front me of, so I setup the camera and starting snapping away just hoping I would be lucky enough to get one strike captured… I never really expected it to be dead-center in the frame like this though. I think I snapped over 1000 images in just a few minutes hoping for this shot. Out of all my lightning photographs, this is by far my favorite and I doubt I will be able to really “out do” this shot. But, I’ll never get tired of lightning photography! Thanks for all your kind comments.

  • David Stuart
    David Stuartalmost 8 years ago

    Great strike and capture ..brilliant

    Straight into the favourites !!

  • wanda blake
    wanda blakealmost 8 years ago

    this is beautiful!

  • funkyfacestudio
    funkyfacestudioalmost 8 years ago

    OMG, perfect timing and a fabulous shot,love the colors.

  • jetsta42
    jetsta42almost 8 years ago

    brilliant, so vibrant and alive

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