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Permanent Tourist

A personal website by Mark Howells-Mead

Lightning on the calendar

After a voting round, I’m particularly happy that one of my favourite photos of 2012 – the one above – has been selected for inclusion in the 2014 Swiss Twitter calendar.

The photo was shot one evening during one of the typical summer storms which pass over the Bernese Oberland, using bravery to set up a tripod and take a series of long-exposure shots. It was a particularly strange half-hour, as no rain fell and no thunder rumbled whilst the lighting was putting on its show.

Despite how it may look, the shot isn’t compiled from numerous photos or built in Photoshop. It’s just one of a number of twenty second exposures, during which I was lucky enough to capture a single, strong lightning strike amongst the mountains somewhere in the region of Axalp or Grosse Scheidegg. The long exposure gave rise to the movement in the clouds and a graduated filter applied in Lightroom helped tone down the bright sky and even out the tones between highlight and shadow areas.

Particular thanks go to Monah and to Marcel for organizing the calendar. Keep an eye out for more news of the calendar here: the print run is supposedly only 100 copies, so be prompt if you want to order a copy!

(NB: also selected for the calendar is this shot by my aunt Anna, who I’m sure will be equally delighted!)