Robert Shreve submitted this photo to the 2012 American Landscape contest. Shreve’s photograph was one of the finalists in the contest. You can see all of the winners and finalists and you can cast your vote for the People’s Choice award in the Finalist Gallery. Catching lighting in the landscape is tricky. A lot of photographers use tools like the Lightning Trigger (made by Stepping Stone Products, LLC) or other lightning-activated shutter-release devices. Sometimes, however, it’s just a matter of luck.
Shreve describes how he got this image, “I took this Photo During a Two week trek through New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, covering over 3,500 miles and many locations. I spent many days at Arches National Park looking for drama. On my last day I had hiked to Tower Arch and Marching Men. As I was hiking back to car it began to rain heavily on me and the lightning was severe. I was worried that my tripod or gear may attract the lightning so I was moving fast. As I topped Klondike Bluff the storm had moved past me and I sopped to rest on top of the bluff before descending down the bluff to the parking area. I stood and watched the storm move over the valley. As I watched the lightning I set up my tripod and began to shoot. The scene was absolutely gorgeous. I was shooting as fast as I could to attempt to capture the lightning and also watch the light moving rapidly between the clouds and onto the foreground and the Valley floor. I was so excited when I noticed that I captured the lightning at the extreme of its burst. Call it luck but, it worked out. I wasn’t even there to shoot this, it just happened.”