On July 23, 2012, after leaving Badlands, my brother and I were headed west to see Mount Rushmore and Wind Cave. Little did we know we were heading into a forest fire that was raging out of control. Wind Cave was shut down, so we diverted to our backup camping plan...KOA. Fortunately, for us, Hot Springs KOA was only a short ride away. After arriving, we cleaned up and had dinner before we heard the early signs that a storm was brewing just to our south. We checked our weather apps and saw that this was a particularly strong storm that was producing large hail. Despite the approaching danger, we foolhardily decided to get a better vantage point of the new peril.
What we witnessed was absolutely amazing! The setting sun's rays were shooting over the mountain ridge to our west and striking just beneath the clouds, illuminating the sheets of rain as they fell. The orange glow of the rain was complemented with intense white lightning strikes that pulsated repeatedly. The storm's electric intensity increased my chances of landing a shot of lightning, without a tripod, I might add! By slowing down my shutter speed to 1⁄40 sec. and holding my breath, I was
able to acquire nine out of 13 shots with lightning. Immediately after we ran to the safety of our vehicle, we watched as the storm nearly ripped our tents out of the ground. Nikon D7000, AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR