Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Sunshine State

Here in Central Florida we, generally speaking, have 2 types of weather: sunny and aridly dry or sunny and soaking wet. This is not to say we don't have those occasional gray, drizzly days, but any good Floridian knows that the sun will always return in the end. They don't call this "the Sunshine State" for nothing, after all.

After months of drought-like conditions, the summer rains have finally returned, and earlier than normal. Summer afternoons in Florida always mean rain. You can just about put a timer on it. The heating of the sun, causes tremendously tall cumulus clouds to build, then come about 5 o'clock, the sky will fall. And rain here can be torrential. Often we get 2-3" inside of an hour. Rainstorms can be accompanied by gusting winds, startling flashes of lightning, and terrific crashes of thunder.

Distant Lightning Storm, 15 second exposure

Distant Lightning Storm, 15 second exposure

The other evening my husband and I sat on the front porch and watched a distant lightning storm. It was one of those rare occurrences where you get the show the lightning puts on without the thunder or the rain. It was mesmerizing to sit there and watch the shapes and colors that were created in the night sky. I must admit my efforts at lightning photography fall far short of what I have seen some, with the proper equipment, take. However, I discovered that using a slower exposure allowed me to capture the effect of the storm, and I am pleased with the results.

1 minute real-time movie

The good thing about rainy weather is how it's annual appearance really changes things. My grass is blindingly green now. The frogs have returned in abundance, and then there's the rainbows. One afternoon recently, after an afternoon of heavy rain, a full, double rainbow appeared in the sky. It is the first I have seen in a long, long while. It took 2 photos, stitched in Photoshop to create the photo below.

God's Promise

God's Promise

If you'd like to see the above photo at full resolution: Click Here.
To view the full set of my evening lightning images: Click Here.


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Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

1 comment:

Karen Wilber said...

Beautiful photographs (and plenty of opportunities the past couple of weeks). I love watching the thunderheads build up over the water during the day. Hurricane season starts today (!)