Sunday, 16 February 2014

How Russell Knoblock Photographed Lightning at Diggers Rest

It was Friday, 30th Nov 2012, when the bureau of meteorology issued severe storm warnings for Victoria.

Photography by Russell Knoblock

Russell with friends (Shane & Josh) decided to go out storm chasing after work to hopefully photograph some lightning. After meeting in Doreen they drove to a hill on the side of the Hume Freeway near Craigieburn, the storms that were around were losing their intensity so they decided to move on, traveling along Donnybrook Road to Konagaderra.

The party stopped to get a visual on the clouds and checked weather app radars. It was decided that Diggers Rest might be a great spot to intercept the storms that were coming down from the north west of the state.

It turned out to be a good decision!

It was after midnight by the time they arrived in Diggers Rest to pull up alongside the road near the old burnt out pub. The party pointed their cameras across the paddocks towards Melton. Mother Nature surely decided to put on a show. Russell ended up with quite a few photos - two of which really paid off

Russell was manually exposing scenes with his shutter release cable at various time lengths, when some lightning went off he'd stop and start a new exposure.

The first one was shot at 1:09 AM, with a 3 second exposure. The second was shot at 1:18 AM a 36 second exposure - camera settings f/4.5; ISO 200. There was a moment when Josh and Russell jumped in the car as the lightning was getting dangerously close, Shane stayed out as he had wondered off down the street with his camera. Soon after it started raining very heavily - too heavy to be using cameras so the party decided to head home.

Russell was using a Canon 500D with a canon EF-S10-22mm lens on a sturdy tripod. He is a self taught photographer, likes a variety of photography genres: taking macro shots of tiny insects, landscapes (panoramas), night-scapes, astro-photography, star trails & obviously severe weather. Russell also likes taking photos of old abandoned buildings and cars etc, especially at night.

He is willing to answer any questions to the best of his knowledge, or offer any advice or tips. A personal message via his Facebook page will be the best way to contact him. More of Russell’s work can be viewed on his Facebook page where you can find links to his personal and Redbubble websites for purchases.

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