Lightning Strike at Fairgrounds

July 26, 2017

Lightning at fairgrounds_DSC02442-2 (1)

Photographer: Oliver Stiehler
Summary Authors: Oliver Stiehler; Jim Foster

July 2017 Viewer's ChoiceThe photo above shows a powerful lightning bolt hitting the tower of an amusement ride at the Ochsenfest fairgrounds of Wetzlar, Germany, on July 6, 2017. I was snapping a few pictures as a late day storm approached the fair when this frightening cloud-to-ground bolt struck the carousel tower, only about 50 ft (15 m) from where I was standing. As you can imagine, the resulting thunder was unbelievably loud. Electrical power to the fair was lost instantly, but fortunately, no one was injured. Discharge from a bolt such as this can be as high as 100 million volts and is hotter than the surface of the Sun.

Photo Details: Sony Alpha A7RII camera; Sigma adapter to Canon, objective was a Samiyang; 14/2.8 at f/4; ISO 50; 8-second exposure; at 09:47 p.m. Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6.10 (Windows).