If you see a penny PICK IT UP! – lightning storm, Dunsborough

I am not a superstitious person. At least I try not to be. I even try to fight superstition with superstition by thinking that if I knowingly walk under a ladder that it will actually bring me good luck rather than bad luck. Take that superstition!

On the morning of the second day of my trip down south I was wandering some sand dunes looking for possible photo opportunities when I stumbled upon a 2 dollar coin. It sat there staring at me and I couldn’t help but pick it up and think to myself ‘see a penny pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck!’. It is hard to ignore superstition in instances like these where the supposed outcome is actually beneficial.

After pocketing the coin I continued on about my day, scouting locations and keeping a keen eye on the weather. Up until this point the skies were blue and the light was harsh, (very uninspiring from a photography point of view) but over the coarse of the next hour or two clouds began to form on the horizon. As the clouds rolled in over the ocean things were starting to look good. There was a nice combination of low and high cloud with plenty of breathing room in between. The combination that often results in a spectacular sunset. As the sun finally began to approach the horizon and draw an end to the day things were looking really good. I scouted a location and composition I thought could make the most of the sunset  and waited for the light show to unfold (see image in my previous post). After the light show died down I headed into Dunsborough got myself a feed and a couple of drinks and called it a day.

After a restless couple of hours sleep in the van I heard the unmistakable sound of rumbling thunder. I took a quick peek outside and could see lightning flashes over the ocean to the north-east and noticed the storm was headed in a easterly direction. With a quick time check (2:00am) I decided to head straight to Quindalup Boat Ramp in hope of capturing some lightning images before the storm passed. On arrival at the location I was stunned to see that the storm was currently straight out in front of the Jetty, exactly what I was hoping for. With the storm moving fast I quickly set up, set my exposure for 120 seconds, f8 iso100 and started shooting. I managed to only fire off 2 exposures before the storm had moved to the right of frame. By the end of the third exposure the storm had moved out of frame and the number of strikes dramatically decreased. The image you see here is from the second exposure.

Now it was only at this point that I remembered about the whole 2 dollar coin incident. I hadn’t thought of it from the time of picking it up until just after capturing this image. Did the great clouds and spectacular sunset occur because I picked up a 2 dollar coin? Not a chance! I had observed the weather radar before heading to the Yallingup / Dunsborough area and was expecting conditions to be favourable. I couldn’t help but think however after being woken by thunder, immediately heading straight to this location and immediately setting up and firing off a couple of shots that I could have luck on my side. Is it likely, probably not, but who knows!

Quindalup Jetty / Boat Ramp – Dunsborough, Western Australia

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11 responses

  1. Awesome image mate………love a good lightning shot!!!

    February 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm

  2. It was your wil power to get out of bed to capture the shot, you were in the right place and the right time….great pic.

    February 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm

  3. I’m glad it turned out so well and that my headlights didn’t ruin the shot! Great shot and a good story to go with it. I’m still jealous I didn’t get down there 20 minutes earlier.

    February 18, 2012 at 6:57 pm

  4. Bit different to usual lightning shots, Looks good.

    February 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm

  5. Thanks for the comments Jamie, Peta, Ian and Pete.
    Ian, no signs of the headlights. You must have turned them off just in time!

    February 21, 2012 at 7:18 pm

  6. Sue-Ann Tilby

    Wow, shots like that don’t come around often! Awesome work!

    February 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm

  7. Amazing shot mate!

    February 28, 2012 at 1:09 pm

  8. Insane shot brother, this is crazy good!

    February 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm

  9. Ric

    Such a great insightful read and an amazing image to complete the story. I’ll be hoping that I come across a $2 coin next time I’m on the hunt 😉 Keep-up the awesome quality of work dude.

    March 6, 2012 at 9:22 am

  10. Luke Austin

    Thank you Sue-Anne, Cam, Drew and Ric

    March 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm

  11. A master piece !

    November 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm

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