Local photographer snaps pictures of lightning

Local photographer snaps pictures of lightning
MGN Online

POSTED: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 10:50pm

UPDATED: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 10:54pm

The Borderland's recent wild weather has sent most people searching for cover, but not everybody is running away from the storms.

Some in El Paso are actually chasing the thunderstorms.

Local photographers are taking advantage of monsoon season and using the sky as a landscape for their art.

Chasing storms and capturing the forks of lightning in the sky is Mickey Gonzalez's passion.

"I'm a serious hobbyist. So, I've been doing photography since college," said Gonzalez.

That was back when cameras used film.

Gonzalez said now that photography has gone digital, it has made his hobby much more exciting.

During monsoon season in El Paso, he tracks thunder and lightning, follows it to where it roars, then sets his camera up to automatically snap shots of the flashes while he sits in his car or in the office.

"Lightning happens really, really quick, so you have to get your camera settings just right in order to capture the lightning," said Gonzalez, "You're taking several pictures of the lightning and hoping at least one of those is the sweet camera pic."

And Gonzalez isn't the only local enthusiast -- he is part of a photography club and his friends there chase the storms too.

Even local weather experts are in awe of the picture nature can produce.

"Lightening is an amazing phenomena. It can be as wide as your hand or 6 to 10 miles wide," said KTSM Chief Meteorologist, Chuck DeBroder, "a lightning bolt can strike in one one-thousandth of a second."

It might be dangerous, but for Gonzalez and his friends, the challenge of catching nature in action is invigorating.

"Can you actually get a lightning strike on your camera? That's the challenge of it. Can you capture a hummingbird in flight?" he said.

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