Today’s “Image of the day” is from Pauri

Article 20 of “Image of the Day” Series.

Image of the day-Blog 20- Shooting Lightning strike in Pauri in Himalayas of Uttarakhand


Camera: Canon 550D

Lens: Canon 18-55 EFS Lens @18mm

Shutter speed: 1/6 Sec

f-stop: f/4

ISO: 400

Aperture Priority

Evaluative Metering.


This year the monsoons are early, or should I say the rain which was supposed to pour in winters is pouring now. It rains every evening as if it is the month of July. The mountains appear lush green as they normally would do in rains. While that may appear good for a while, but in the long run they can cause more damage than good. It’s snows everyday on the peaks (a rare phenomenon to happen in summers). Since the sun is warmer, the snow which falls in the evening starts melting extremely fast the next morning. Also the land experiences extreme temperature difference after sunrise, going from around 12 Degrees to 24 in less than 5 hours. Because of these extreme temperature differences, the soil becomes extremely loose and prone to landslides.

So if one day it rains extremely heavily for an extended period of time that loose soil could collapse, leading to major landslide anywhere in the Himalayas. Also the Glaciers becomes unstable due to this extreme temperature difference and could lead to breaking of some glacial lake (Remember Kedarnath).

Coming to this shot, which also happens to be taken during one of those untimely summer rains. This was the second last day of our trip to this pristine birding spot. We were so hooked to wide angle shots of Himalayan Birds, that for 5 days we did nothing but sit and wait. We identified a spot and waited each morning and evening for hours for those elusive shots. If we got lucky, we would make one in a day. This last evening we shot well past sunset, till it was almost dark.

While we were packing up for the day, a storm was building up in the mountains. There was still some light and I had been wanting to make a lightning shot at dusk. Taking my camera and tripod outside, I composed and started firing shots at the first hint of a lightning strike. Since I don’t have a lightning trigger, I was guessing and missing most of my shots. I then started firing continuously and fortunately this one clicked at the right time. My main intent was not the lightning strike, but to show how the whole landscape changes colour in that single flash of a second. The hut to the right was where we were staying and I think it provides a much needed foreground to the Image.

That’s it for the day, end of Blog 20

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