One of the items that has long been on my photography bucket list has been to capture a cool lightning scape. To this end, I even cut a flap into my bedroom window screen so I could shoot out the window during storms. Last month I finally caught lightning out the back window, but a view of the apartments behind me isn’t exactly what I had in mind, if you know what I mean. Last night I headed down to Back Bay in Newport Beach to play with my DXO One camera and perhaps catch a good sunset. The clouds were amazing out on the bay! As I was shooting the clouds and the water, I see this small bolt of lightning come out of the big cloud!

The Clouds Over Back Bay

I didn’t manage to catch that single bolt of lightning with the camera, insert sad face here. As it got darker, I packed up my gear and headed to my car. The plan was to head home. Nature, however, had a different plan in mind. As I was leaving the bay, I could see flashes of lightning a bit further down the coast. I decided to go in search of the storm. I made a stop at Corona Del Mar, but the lightning seemed to be further south. That’s when I decided to head toward one of my favorite spots, the San Clemente Pier. As I drove, I wasn’t seeing too much in the way of lightning and almost went home when I hit the freeway in Dana Point. But, something told me to keep on going. I am SO GLAD I did! As I was shooting next to the pier, the clouds were amazing! Then… over my left shoulder I see this bright streak of light and then a small explosion in the clouds! Whoa!! What was that? I have never, never ever, seen a meteor like that! I was down right giddy that I managed to capture it in camera.

The San Clemente Pier Meteor

The lightning at San Clemente Pier was pretty impressive as well, but mostly the kind that just lights up the clouds. The lights from the parking lot and the pier were kinda messing up my photos. I could see more lightning further on down the coast a bit, so I headed down a couple miles to my very favorite spot in San Clemente. The beach at Avenue Califia is much darker than at the pier, perfect for shooting lightning. The lightning in this spot was putting on quite a show!

The Storm Off The San Clemente Coast

Another Massive Lightning Strike in San Clemente

I stood there on the beach for about an hour just watching the sky and trying to capture the awesomeness of the show. I was all alone on that beach, which was amazing! As the lightning tapered off and the rain started, I headed back to the car. I felt so lucky to have been witness to the awesome power of nature. Next time there’s a storm coming, I know where I’m, going!

~L

To see the full sized images from this post check out my Gallery.