Snappers ride storm fronts

Robert DoughertyBroome Advertiser
Saturday’s storm as it headed towards Cable Beach.
Camera IconSaturday’s storm as it headed towards Cable Beach. Credit: From Miles Away, Matt Deakin

Kimberley photographers are racing to catch the perfect lightning shot during the wet season and the Broome Advertiser caught up with two for their storm-chasing advice.

As a storm passed over Gantheaume Point on Saturday, February 25, Broome Adventure Company owner Richard Young and From Miles Away photographer Matt Deakin were waiting patiently for electricity to fill the air.

“Storm and lightning photography can be a fun, exciting and rewarding hobby that makes the wet season a time to look forward to and enjoy rather than dread for its heat and humidity,” Young said. “Mostly you are using long exposures, five-30 seconds so that anything that happens in that time frame you will capture rather than just fire and hope for the best.”

“Each storm is so different and is constantly changing in distance and brightness of lightning strikes.”

“The best distance to capture lightning storms is when they are between 30km-60km even 100km away.

“No shot is worth risking your life.”

Deakin said a photographer might take more than 40 photos to capture a single major lightning strike but finding an optimal place to shoot before the storm front arrived was the most important part.

“To try to get a good lightning shot — you look for a place where lightning strikes a few times and you know there is going to be a lot of activity in the clouds,” he said.

“You see the clouds moving across the front.

“That’s usually the best place to follow because that’s where a lot of the big strikes will come — you usually get about 15-20 minutes (before it passes).”

“Get there before the storm comes too close — if the storm’s getting too close don’t put yourself on a high post because you don’t want to be a lightning conductor.”

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