The one thing you can always be guaranteed when you’re living in the mountains is amazing thunderstorms. We’ve lost power for nearly half a day, my wireless router was fried by lightning, and at one point in time during a huge and very close lightning storm I was instructed we were going to downstairs to sleep. I guess there was a pretty rational fear of a tree dropping on the cabin (seeing as how one crunched my car last year). Yep, we’ve had some excitement in these here hills!
I did manage to take advantage of all this weather and get a fun shot of a lightning storm taking place on the Madison Mountain Range. The storm rolled in around 10 p.m. and created a light show that would have put Pink Floyd to shame. I don’t own a lightning trigger, but I decided to have some fun with some long exposures anyway. Using my tripod, cable release, and 24-70mm lens, I took several exposures but finally settled in f/6.3 at 93 secs.
This is the raw file from the camera:
I decided to export the image into Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 (SEP2) to convert to B&W and do a little clean up on this image. I didn’t really need to tweak too much, but used several Control Points to increase Contrast, Amplify Whites, and a little Structure.
Finally, just to have a little fun, I took the SEP2 converted image and applied the Color Creative – Yesteryear 2 preset. Sure it looks a little cheesy, but it was fun to do and it does make that storm look angry!
So tell me which one you like… Black and White or Color?