One of nature’s most beautiful yet intimidating elements, lightning storms are an event that no one looks forward to experiencing. When we see them in the distance, we automatically become afraid and seek shelter as quickly as possible. But even if we’re inside, the flashes of light and the booming sound of thunder that follows afterward are unnerving enough to make us feel unsafe regardless of where we are. While these fears are understandably legitimate, due to the unpredictable nature of lightning in terms of where and when it will strike, and there being a slim chance it’ll hurt someone or damage something, but mostly people are fine as long as they take the proper safety measures.
These include not standing in an open area with no cover or taking shelter beneath a tree as there’s a higher chance of getting struck by lightning in these two scenarios compared to staying indoors. Yet despite these measures, some people either don’t pay attention to them or choose not to for the sake of taking a good picture of a lightning storm. So here are images of lightning storms taken by the few daredevils that choose to endanger their own lives for the sake of a great image!
25 “Violenti temporali devastano il Pakistan” - Sent from Above
Over a shadowy city in the country of Pakistan, a storm is swirling overhead with the grey clouds reflecting the city’s bright lights creating a yellowish tinge along the edges of the clouds themselves.
But the murky yellowness is broken up by two streaks of lightning coming down that are blue breaking the monotony of the clouds and the city.
Otherwise, the only other source of light comes from the scattering of lampposts and radio-towers that appear along the horizon. So on the whole, this picture looks intense not just due to the lightning but also the dark clouds.
24 “Severe storms” - A Fork of Lightning
Compared to the previous picture where the fork-shaped lightning was relatively thin in terms of width, this one is much wider and thicker. Plus, it’s bright yellow instead of the normal purple. The clouds are illuminated in a violet-purple light while everything else is in shadow.
This not only makes the picture more dramatic, but also scarier since we don’t know where we are in relation to anything in this wide world we live on.
In addition, there’s the little streaks of lightning in the clouds reminding us that any one of them could strike downward at any moment.
23 “Dramatic lightning strike” - A Living Nightmare
Though the previous picture was certainly intense, this one surpasses it by a long shot. Depicting multiple lightning strikes across a city with dark clouds overhead, the whole thing is nightmarish to look at.
This is further added by the strong contrast between the blue lightning and the orange clouds whose color originates from the city lights below.
Yet like all the other pictures we’ve seen, there is a certain amount of beauty to this picture despite the scary implications of such a storm especially with such a high concentration of lightning streaks near the center of the image itself.
22 “The Lightning Storm Strikes The Sea” - Stormy Tides
With a cloudy sky of dark-blue above and a dark windy ocean below, a streak of violet-colored lightning strikes in the distance serving as the main focal point of this picture apart from the string of city lights in the background.
Likely taken from either a boat or a pier, the image has good composition and framing with the dark lighting creating a somber mood while the presence of the lightning creates more tension upon being seen.
Though it’s too bad that a sliver of cloud is covering up the lightning, preventing us from seeing the whole streak.
21 “Snap Greek electrical storm” - A Sign of Zeus
Shot from a warped perspective, we find ourselves on the top of a stony wall overlooking a well-lit street during the lonesome hours of the night as an intense blue streak of lightning can be seen further away.
While the title of this picture implies that we’re in Greece, it’s unclear whether we’re in a town or a city in this country where the concept of Democracy was created as well as a unique mythology that includes several well-known deities with Zeus among them. Known for his wrath, he was believed to shoot thunderbolts down from the skies.
20 “North Texas” - Wide Open Spaces
Somewhere in the northern part of Texas State, a storm-chaser took this stunning photograph on May 22 in the year 2016. Shot from a horizontal perspective (also known as landscape among photographers), we are treated to an open grassy field dotted with power-lines on the left side of the picture and a wooden pole close to the center.
Then, apart from tiny lights coming from large houses standing along the horizon, the rest of the image is dominated by a dark grey sky.
Beyond the horizon, though, a small visible streak of lightning emerges from the menacing clouds.
19 “Thunderstorm” - That’s a Big Cloud!
Continuing the theme of yellow-colored lightning, this one not only has a multi-branched streak but it's also accompanied by a large thundercloud standing over a distant mesa in the background. In the foreground, we see a hill consisting mainly of trees. Then between it and the background, there are a few lit-up buildings and radio-towers.
This, in turn, indicates there’s a hidden city beyond the hill of green and before the purple-colored mesa, though it’s hard to tell whether the city itself is big or small. Regardless, it’s a nice combination of elements and colors.
18 “Caught last night’s sunset thunderstorm over Boston” - Nice View
As the title implies, this picture was taken near the district of Boston in New York City. In particular, the New York City harbor area, as we can see the photographer was on a boat judging by the railing and jet-streams of water trailing behind.
But the main focus of this picture lies along the horizon with an orange sunset peeking through the dark blue and grey clouds to the right, the illuminated skyscrapers of New York City towards the center, and a streak of bright purple lightning on the left creating a perfect balance of light and shadow.
17 “Experiences” - A Streak Across the Sky
Taken by someone standing on the side of a road, this picture shows a series of empty fields along the road’s sides with a couple of lights further ahead indicating cars that are either driving toward the photographer or away from them (though it’s hard to tell which one it is from this distance).
But regardless, the main thing that catches our eye is the curved lightning bolt that goes all the way from the bottom of the grey cloud cluster in the distance to some undistinguished location on the ground further away thus creating a full and intimidating streak in the process.
16 “September lightning storm” - Chilling
As the sun sets over a cloudy autumn evening, a streak of lightning appears over the houses the photographer stands near, illuminating the dark purple clouds which complements the orange light of the offscreen sunset and the two lampposts.
But unlike the other streaks of lightning we’ve seen up until this point, this one curves and then splits in two creating a fork-like structure.
Though the lightning in this picture doesn’t touch the ground, the angle of the picture creates enough menace to make us worry that the next time it strikes it will touch the Earth for sure.
15 “Lightning Storm at Black Rock Desert” - Dangerous Spot
Switching from an urban area, we find ourselves in the wilderness. Specifically, Black Rock Desert which is in Nevada. As a result, the area consists of distant mountains with flat plains though a single rocky structure stands nearby which is presumably the titular “Black Rock”.
But the emptiness of the valley is broken up by the arrival of a tumultuous storm that resembles a stormy sea as seen from underwater which brings with it sheets of rain and a fork-shaped lightning bolt whose purple color contrasts the dark-blue clouds and the orange sky in a visually stunning way.
14 “Storm cluster” - A Little to the Right
Along a stretch of road next to some trees presumably along the outskirts of a city, we see a full streak of lightning striking downward behind the distant mountains (or cliffs since it’s hard to tell in this picture).
While the lightning bolt itself is predominantly white, there is a blurry pink outline which makes it stand out from the rest of the scenery which is a drab grey and green mixture.
Even the cars below seem to fade into the background due to their dull colors, as well as the fence that lies between the road and the trees.
13 “7 Things you should know about lightning safety” - Static Shock!
With no discernible location visible, this entire picture is taken up by a lightning bolt that is white in color, while the background is a lavender-purple color implying there’s a cloud behind the bolt that’s illuminated or even the sky itself.
While this bolt of lightning has some interesting curves, one has to appreciate the sight of the little branches of energy that are emanating from the main bolt.
This in turn creates a more unnerving picture which is fitting since this comes from an article on being safe around lightning as well as some myths and facts.
12 “Southwest Oklahoma Supercells” - Clear and Crisp
Compared to the other streaks of lightning we’ve seen thus far, this picture presents a clear image of a full streak that starts from the top of the swirling cloud structure and goes all the way down to the top of the hills which stand beyond the open plains in the foreground.
On top of that, the purple color of the lightning bolt complements with the grey clouds and the light-blue sky that’s partially visible in the bottom-left corner.
Then from the ground level, the green and yellow colored fields complement the purple lightning bolt just as well.
11 “strongstorm” - Lots of Yellow
Much like the image from the article about lightning safety, this one shows a lightning bolt standing against the sky with no distinguished location visible. However, there are several main differences between the two pictures.
First, the bolt is outlined in yellow.
Second, while the previous picture depicted one main streak this one shows several streaks branching outward. Third, the background is a dark murky blue instead of purple which goes strangely well with the yellow lightning even though blue and yellow aren’t complementary colors. Also, this picture is more dramatic whereas the previous one was more generic by comparison.
10 “Fourth of July” - Fire Hazards in the Distance
Judging from the title alone, this picture was obviously taken during the summer with an intense storm passing over the city which is clearly highlighted by the various lampposts that are visible with the furthest ones being orange while the closest ones are white. Then further away, the lights are yellow which are minuscule compared to the two bolts of blue-colored lightning coming down from the partially visible clouds towards the mountain-like structure in the distance. On the whole, though, the image has a very menacing look in combination with the title implying a certain amount of danger.
9 “When Lightning Strikes Your Yard” - Nice Arches
While the lightning in the previous picture was at least far away in terms of distance, the lightning in this one appears to be closer by comparison. Though it could be because the lighting in this image is clearer due to the quality of the camera that was used, and the flatness of the landscape apart from the rows of houses and trees that are visible makes the lightning’s appearance somehow more menacing.
However, the menace is somewhat undone by the brightness of the picture itself whereas the shadows in the one before made the lightning more dramatic comparatively speaking.
8 “Pieter van der Vegte” - Looks Like a Portal Opened Up
Named after the person who presumably took this picture, the intimidation of the image itself strangely fits the intimidating tone of the person’s name. At its core, though, the picture basically shows an unusually thick streak of lightning coming down over a town that’s potentially in a tropical location based on the palm tree that’s blowing in the wind to the right.
However, this picture does bring to mind countless images of an inter-dimensional portal opening up in the sky which often leads to something bad happening in movies and TV shows making the whole thing seem quite frightening.
7 “A Lightning Bolt Hits Water” - Safe Under the Bridge
Shot from underneath a bridge, based on the girders that are partially visible, this picture is jaw-dropping insane due to the close proximity of the lightning bolt that strikes the water a few feet away.
But it’s also visually stunning as the brightness of the bolt illuminates the water and beach in sharp contrast to the dark background where a few blurry lights are visible.
Plus, the clearness of the picture is noteworthy as it’s obvious the photographer took this with a good-quality camera (or an iPhone) and was very brave in terms of getting this spectacular image.
6 “STORMS IN THE LLOYDMINSTER REGION” - Neon Blue
Set against a dark background and foreground, the picture is dominated by the multi-branched streak of lightning that is tinted blue. This in turn illuminates the sky in varying shades of blue, creating the same kind of effect that a blacklight has in a dark room which can be both eerie and fascinating to look at.
But whereas a blacklight is harmless in its illumination, this lightning bolt isn’t depending on where it’s striking at which is covered by the houses below.
Though regardless of where it’s striking at the moment, its close proximity to the houses isn’t good.