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HUGE Positive Lightning Hit!

Hello all,

I stumbled across this picture where a "positive giant", those incredibly intense ground to anvil (positive) lightning strikes, the same ones you hear AND feel in your chest 30 seconds after the flash - Just feet away from the camera man!

Lightling_Kane_Quinnell-1.JPG


I even heard close hits of such a strike can create such a powerful shock-wave that windows can be broken / wall plaster cracked!

The site this picture was from is http://teslamania.delete.org/frames/longarc.htm

Chris C - KG4PJN
 
Holy moley! Bert Hickman's site is something else! Check out his storing 1000J at 2 megaVolts inside a block of Lexan and squeezing quarters into dimes! :shock:

Definitely one cure for SDS....
 
Wow!!! How did the camera stay on the tripod?

Nevermind...just saw that it was 4 second exposure on the bumper of his car.
 
http://www.extremeinstability.com/stormpic.../lightning.mpeg

I posted this on here before, but some might have missed it. If you like close lightning strikes you'll enjoy this. I can't imagine there being a closer strike caught on video. A friend captured it in 2004.

If that isn't a great reason to stay in the car I'm not sure what is. If you slow it down you can see how the lightning channel looks wider than it actually is. I imagine the above amazing still is the same deal....just looks super fat.
 
Is negative any different....? This may be a stupid question, but honestly I have no idea the answer to it.

This may also interest people who's interests become aroused by very close lightning strikes...this i mage was so close to the photographer that he even felt the shock in his body just like the guy in the other image.


unbufuckingleavable4sp.jpg


Oh, and what is "Channel Breakup"?
 
Oh, and what is "Channel Breakup"?
_________________
Andrew Khan

Watch the video I posted but stop it on the flash and move the bar around to see it closer to frame by frame and you can see the lightning channel breaking up.
 
I'm wondering the same as Andrew: How can you tell the difference?

If you're close enough, shooting at a low f ratio, and using fast film or a high ISO setting, any lighting will look thermonuclear.

-Greg
 
Oh man, thats incredible shot!!

I experienced some close strikes last year, I felt it in chests...believe me its not a nice feeling afterall :D
 
Originally posted by Marko Korosec
Oh man, thats incredible shot!!

I experienced some close strikes last year, I felt it in chests...believe me its not a nice feeling afterall :D

I've experienced that as well. I was chasing on April 30th, 2004, down near Ryan, OK... A lightning stike hit in a field immediately to our left as we were driving east ahead of the storm. Right as it hit, I felt a large, and quite discomforting, jolt in my chest. My fiance felt it as well, and I think Gabe and maybe Phil did too (I think they were with me that day). Regardless, it was an unnerving feeling.

Great shot.
 
Originally posted by Greg Campbell
If you're close enough, shooting at a low f ratio, and using fast film or a high ISO setting, any lighting will look thermonuclear.

That's right. No matter how close, a lightning bolt's width is about the size of a pencil. Those big strikes look so huge because the close proximity fried the film. Either the photographer's film was too fast (sensitive) to handle it, or the aperture was open too wide, or both. He/she might have been up at 400-800 iso. Around those speeds or faster, lightning appears almost cartoonish (I shot lightning on 800 night film once by accident, the lightning looked wide and hilarious.) Or maybe he was at 200 but just too darn close.

The other funky thing lightning does on film is display the main channel as looking larger/stronger than the branches. The main channel is almost always exaggerated in a photograph. Since the main channel drains electricity from points of opposing charge, it often takes multiple connections to get the job done. To our eyes, the main channel blinks multiple times. On a timed exposure, more light will hit that part of the film repeatedly. The exterior branches are exposed more delicately, because they only appear once. Example. http://www.lightninglady.com/photos/LLCaprice.jpg

How cool it would be if that rooftop and tree shot were exposed on slow film. We could really see what's going on...all the loops, beads, knots, interactions with the objects (and contact point!!)
 
Is the top photo (on the parent post of this thread) from a known chaser or photographer? I puzzled over why the photographer was taking a night picture of a building; most lightning shots are pointed up into the air in an area devoid of foliage, and buildings tend to be on the margins of such photos. Also the fronds on the rightmost palm tree suggest the light being up and slightly to the right. Some of the fronds facing the flash do not seem to be illuminated. It could be real but it sets off some bells for me.

Tim
 
Maybe he was just an inexperienced lightning photographer, and didn't know what he was doing, or he was just shooting a night scene and the lightning just so happened to occur when he was exposing.

Here is what it says about the guy who took this....read it carefully.

The above photo is courtesy of Kane Quinnell from Australia. It was almost his last. The above lightning stroke was almost certainly a "bolt from the blue" - a relatively rare positive lightning bolt that originates from the top of a distant storm cloud rather than from the negatively charged cloud base. These massive discharges can travel horizontally for 10 miles or more from the top of the main storm. Positive lightning bolts can pack peak currents of up to 340,000 amperes, and they last for tens, or even hundreds, of milliseconds. This is about ten times more current and ten times longer than regular (negative) lightning. As a result, positive lightning is extremely hot, and it does considerable damage to whatever it hits. If you happen to be unlucky enough to be the target of one of these monster bolts, you DO NOT survive. Here's Kane's description of what happened in his own words:

"I happened to be out in the back yard, watching a storm on Friday night (14/01/05) that appeared to be a few km away, (I live in Old Toongabbie, and the storm appeared to be in Pendle Hill, or Greystanes, Australia). I set the camera's settings so that the shutter remained open for four seconds, placed it on the back bumper of my car, hoping to get a few shots of lightning in the clouds a few km's away. There was no rain at all, and stars could be seen over the north 1/3 of the sky, so I did not feel in danger in any way. Boy was I mistaken... DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE ELECTRICAL STORMS - YOU COULD GET YOURSELF KILLED!

I clicked away a few times, and got nothing, and then clicked the button again, and within 0.5 seconds of me pressing the button, I had jumped at least 2 metres in the air, as I heard a tremendously loud crack of thunder, and see this amazingly bright beam of electricity right in front of me. I had then landed, grabbed the camera, and was inside the house within 2 seconds.

I did not realize just how lucky I was until I uploaded the picture to my computer, and saw a leader stroke that must have originated no more than 2 metres from where I was standing next to my car, under my carport. Had the main charge taken the leader near me, rather than the one it did, I would be dead.

When lightning strikes, it actually comes up from the ground first (called a leader stroke), this stroke makes the air within it conductive, and once it reaches the cloud, you have a complete circuit, and the bolt of lightning comes down from the cloud along the leader stroke. First leader to the cloud wins, luckily mine did not.

I estimate that the main bolt was approximately 1.5- 2 metres in diameter, and struck something in the yard behind the shed that is located at the back of the yard. That would have had an extremely large charge, and would have been extremely hot, hotter than the surface of the sun, at 5,500 degrees Celsius, it could have been around 30,000 degrees Celsius. Needless to say, I was buzzing for the rest of Friday night, due to the amount of adrenaline going through me 'cause of how close it had come."

Kane Quinnell was one very lucky bloke!
 
I set the camera's settings so that the shutter remained open for four seconds, placed it on the back bumper of my car, hoping to get a few shots of lightning in the clouds a few km's away

OK, this is where it gets even more puzzling. What's with the windowpane reflection in the image?

Tim
 
On second glance, it does seem a little odd that he doesn't know specifically what the lightning hit.

"...and struck something in the yard behind the shed that is located at the back of the yard.."

If it hit that close to his position, I'd think he would walk back there and check out what it hit. But perhaps lightning doesn't always leave a mark.
 
I would assume that a charge of that intensity would cause either stripped bark on the tree it appears to have hit...because to me, it appears to have hit a tree dead on. I believe this undeniably causes stripped bark or channel burn around the edge of the trunk where the charge hit.

Either way, I find it puzzling there is little evidence of the strike that was found by the photographer.

Tim raises some very valid red flags, and I am glad he is investigating this with careful scrutiny.
 
It hit that tree pretty dead center... There should have at least been burn marks or damage to the bark.

A bolt hit a tree less than 20 feet from our house and completely blew the bark off one side and split a good portion of the tree. The diameter of the tree is roughly 18 inches...

That photo does look odd because, as Tim V. noted, it looks like it was shot through a window - not on the trunk/hood of a vehicle.
 
If the tree was wet, the lightning may have flashed over the outside surface without damaging it. Most of the time lightning will travel under the bark and blow out a furrow down the length of the trunk, but it doesn't always happen.

Here is one on the ridge behind my house:
sp2000c.jpg


More tree damage shots at:
http://wvlightning.com/treedamage.shtml

Back to the shot - the reflection can be caused by a UV filter on the camera. The photo looks authentic IMO.
 
I happened to be out in the back yard, watching a storm on Friday night (14/01/05) that appeared to be a few km away, (I live in Old Toongabbie, and the storm appeared to be in Pendle Hill, or Greystanes, Australia). I set the camera's settings so that the shutter remained open for four seconds, placed it on the back bumper of my car, hoping to get a few shots of lightning in the clouds a few km's away. There was no rain at all, and stars could be seen over the north 1/3 of the sky, so I did not feel in danger in any way. Boy was I mistaken... DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE ELECTRICAL STORMS - YOU COULD GET YOURSELF KILLED!

The facts and the story are quite inconsistent... That does make me suspicious.
 
My thoughts with a bolt this close would be either the shockwave of the thunder would blur a 4 second exposure by shaking the camera or the lightning itself screwing up the camera. Too clean for such a shot, I think, but that's just me.
 
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