Lightning Photography 2006
BY MARTIN KUCERA & FLORIDALIGHTNING.COM                                                             THE 2005  LIGHTNING  CHASES  WERE  QUITE  SLOW.  A LOT OF HURRICANES  AND GENERALLY COLD WEATHER
                                                                                                                                DID  NOT  HELP  ANYTHING.   THIS   SEASON  I   AM  GOING  TO  CONCENTRATE  ON  PERFECTING  THE  ART  OF                        
                                                                                                                                  CAPTURING   POSITIVELY  CHARGED  LIGHTNING  STRIKES,  EXACTLY AS I DID IN 2005. PLEASE  MARK THIS PAGE
                                                                                                                                IN  YOUR  FAVORITES  AND STOP BY  TO  SEE  THE LATEST  UPDATES  AND  IMAGES  OF THE SEASON.  THE  FIRST
                                                                                                                                PHOTOS OF 2006 ARE AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE,  PROGRESSING TOWARD THE BOTTOM AS THE  YEAR GOES  ON.    
                    
             
florida lightning
florida lightning
florida lightning
florida lightning
Same night but photo taken overlooking the ocean.
Positively charged lightning strike here often
signifies a dissipating stage of the storm.
The same  thunderstorm a couple minutes later.
Another positive strike. This is the back side of the
departing squall line associated with the cold front.
A huge positively charged lightning strike over a
near shore waters of Florida Bay.
April 22nd - One of the last cold fronts moved
through last night bringing small hail and frequent
lightning not only over Florida Bay.
lightning photo
lightning photo
lightning photo
lightning photo
lightning photography
lightning photo
lightning photo
lightning photo
lightning photography
lightning photography
These ten photographs were taken during the annual Midwest trip. The storm activity was
quite slow during this year so I will have to make it up back here in Florida during the rest
of the summer. The very first photo shows a supercell thunderstorm producing a single
cloud to ground lightning bolt. You can easily see the rounded shape of the storm which
clearly shows the cell is rotating. The second photo is from the same storm. The next
seven photos are from another storm. A line of severe thunderstorms rolled through
south east Texas panhandle and produced an incredible lightning show during the dusk
hours. The last photo is of a single storm cell somewhere in South Dakota that was very
interesting to watch. It was severe warned at the time this photograph was taken.
lightning photography
lightning photography
lightning photography
lightning photography
June 26 - a minute later after adjusting the exposure.
This was the last double strike that happened with
this storm moving through the area.
June 27 - A historic Indian Key in the center of the
photo again. The cluster of storms is about 60 miles
distant. Alligator reef light can be seen of the
bottom left.
June 26 - An upper low brought squalls over the
Keys. Shot using 24mm lens the picture quite does
not show how close these blinding strikes actually
were. Sadly enough  it came out overexposed a bit.
A quite picturesque positive strike (CG+) exits the
upper regions of a mature thunderstorm over the
Atlantic ocean south of the Florida Keys.
lightning photography
lightning photography
lightning photography
lightning photography
Still June 27th - the thunderstorm departing the area
to my north east. Unfortunately the cell was too
weak now to light up the area for a more detailed
photo. The storm is rapidly falling apart now.
A lightning channel is exiting the mid region of the
storm toward the upper portion of the cell while
producing a cloud to ground lightning at the same
time.
July 7th - First really nice longer lasting thunderstorm with vivid positive lightning strikes occurring on
several occasions. Both of these photos show positive bolts coming from the top parts of thunderstorm.
Shot on a wide angle lens these photos really do not show how close the strikes actually were.
lightning photography
lightning photography
lightning photography
lightning photography
July 10th - Lower Keys early morning lightning strike - crawler on a dissipating thunderstorm. The second
image taken shortly after on a new developing thunderstorm quite far away in the waters of Gulf of Mexico
July 10th - A positive lightning strike over the waters
of the Florida Bay taken in Islamorada, FL
July 6th - Another crawler lightning - these are
actually not seen very often in the Florida Keys lately.
lightning photography
lightning photography
lightning photography
July 6th - Crawler lightning shoot from the balcony
of my apartment. I usually hate the electricity poles
and wires but somehow I like them in this
photograph as they add another dimension
July 10th - Vivid cloud to water lightning strike from
the Lower Florida Keys. This storm was very
charged an  lasted quite a while. Wish I had a time
to get closer to this one.
July 21st - An amazing experience while capturing this weak looking lightning strike. Went to the beach
during a pretty intense thunderstorm. This bolt originated on the Atlantic ocean horizon as seen in this
photo. Then the bolt went on over me and the islands and finished somewhere over on the other side
over the Florida Everglades. The discharge was so strong it blinded me for several seconds. The thunder
followed the lightning channel - the intense rumble went over my position and multiplied toward the
Everglades, lasting forever. Best lightning related experience of the year 2006 so far.
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
July 26 - just after midnight - A great display of
lightning storms over the waters of the Atlantic
ocean and Florida Bay. I first noticed a great
looking cluster of thunderstorms over the ocean
just before sunset. As soon as it got dark enough
the real lightning show started and went on
non-stop till 5am as I am writing this and there are
still new cells going up right now. For about a
week now we really get the good lightning that I
have been waiting for the whole year. Persistent
flashes lasting sometimes up to one hour with a
storm and in case of cluster even longer.
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
August 4th - Minutes before dawn. The most magic time of the day for lightning photography. It is not light
outside yet but you can already make out the cloud formations on the horizon. The blues come up just
incredible in the pictures. Add some lightning and it simply does not get any better. These towers were
"blinking" which is something I prize way more than seeing regular cloud to surface lightning strikes.
The window of opportunity is quite small though - you've got about 10-15 minutes to catch the best light
before it gets too light outside.  Notice where the lightning starts on the top in the photo on the right.
August 7th - A small after-sunset thunderstorm surprised with close CG lightning strikes. The beginning of
August has been quite slow for thunderstorms or tropical system activity so far. Couple more months to go.
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
August 15th - Not a whole lot has been happening lately. Tonight was the first opportunity in more than a
week to catch some lightning bolts. Everything happened around Marathon, Fl tonight. I went south at
3am and stayed until after sunrise. The first photo is a dream scene where you've got the flashing tower
and nothing else but clear deep blue sky with bright stars. This tower is distant about 30 miles to my
south-west. The second photo shows an intense thunderstorm just south of the Seven Mile Bridge
producing numerous frequent CG lightning strikes during dawn hours. The bolts are no farther than five
miles as the photo was taken on ultra wide lens. The thunder was unbelievable with these close bolts.
August 15th - Single cell lone thunderstorm is trying
to survive the loss of heat during the sunset hours.
Looking north-west over  calm waters of Florida
Bay this thunderstorm is located over the
Everglades National Park. With the heating of the
day lost and nearly calm winds the storm's life
cycle is just about to end.
August 22nd - Single cell thunderstorm formed over
the waters near Middle Keys at about 4am. The
lightning was quite infrequent yet some of the bolts
were great. The above photo shows a single
lightning discharge. Closer examination reveals
multiple simultaneous (most probably) positive
lightning bolts.
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
August 20th - Incredible lightning show happened tonight and I'd
certainly say it was the one of the best as far back as I can remember.
For more detailed account - click on the image above.
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
August 22nd - Same thunderstorm as the one above
right just several minutes later. A single positively
charged lightning bolt exists upper regions of the
updraft tower delivering an enormous discharge to
the surface, very likely the ocean.
August 24th -  These towers developed on northern coast Cuba tonight. The visibility was so great I was able to zoom in on these with a telephoto lens. The
thunderstorms were over a hundred miles away yet the camera was able to capture these positive lightning bolts quite nicely. It is almost the end of August yet I
am still waiting for a lot more lightning activity during next couple of months. For the end of the year and the upcoming season I might be able to actually start
travelling much greater distances to chase storms and especially to photograph lightning in many interesting and lightning favorable locations around the world.
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
August 25th - Strong storms developed on a outflow boundary that moved to the Keys from Florida
mainland. Unfortunately I had to be at work...
August 31st - This thunderstorm formed over the ocean well before sunset on a left over boundary after
one of tropical storm Ernesto's outer bands moved through the region. Mosquitoes were just incredible.
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
September 1st - A great variety of stormy situations tonight. Intense and widespread thunderstorms started well before sunset so I shot HD video. Once it got darker the lightning never stopped till about midnight.
It was one of those nights where you want to grab several cameras and point them in several different directions. Lots and lots of flashes but majority were intra-cloud strikes. Overall the event was not so easy
for lightning  photography. The very left photo in the first row above is quite interesting - the thunderstorm is lit up thanks to the street lights of distant island of Key Largo. The city lights created the orange glow
that made for an interesting lightning shot. The very last photo quite puzzles me - the bolts were attracted to something on the horizon out of camera view - something that caused this strange lightning behavior.
All Images and Text
(c) 2006
Martin Kucera & FloridaLightning.com
florida lightning photography
September 16th - Unreal lightning experience again
tonight over the Atlantic ocean just south of the
upper Florida Keys. Click for more photos.
florida lightning photography
September 29th - A great lightning show lasted for
hours, mainly south of the Florida Keys island
chain. Added the houses just for comparison.
florida lightning photography
November 8th - Departing front lit up horizon for an
hour or so. The storms became active in the Straits
of Florida late at night, too far and too late for any
reasonable action on my part here in the islands.
florida lightning photography
October 5th - A magic night again. The moon was so bright you could see everything just like during
daylight. The moon light also added a moving like motion to the clouds. A lot of unwanted small
clouds were present tonight though, obstructing the view of more distant thunderstorms.
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
October 4th - Plenty of debris clouds in the area
greatly limited my opportunity to get nice lightning
photos. This one was a pure magic, though. Wow.
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
florida lightning photography
September 29th - These strong thunderstorms literally grew before your eyes. Upper right image - yet
another great example of a positively charged lightning bolt originating in upper portions of the
thunderstorm. Unfortunately, by this time of the year, lightning frequency seems to be coming to an end.
September 29th - Spent hours shooting lightning photographs tonight. Not a single cell on the Bay side of
the Florida Keys but the ocean was on fire. A non stop lightning show lasted till early morning hours. I
was able to observe numerous positive lightning strikes, again. A lot of electricity was out there tonight.
November 15th - A cold front was on the move
through the south Florida and the Keys. Numerous
thunderstorms occurred in unstable environment
tonight. This is a first good looking positive strike.
November 15th - The four lightning shots above show a series of several positively charged lightning bolts that happened within several short minutes and signified a painful end of this thunderstorm. Blinding intensity
of these lightning strikes was unprecedented. The thunder carried for especially long periods of time. This thunderstorm was very much electrified - you can notice in the two middle photos - there is actually several
bolts occurring with each strike. It seems to me that a storm always somehow fully discharges itself while this type of strikes is occurring - I hardly ever witness any more lightning following these powerful bolts....