Lightning show enthrals

20:53, Jan 22 2014
sunshine coast lightning
Timaru Herald photographer Mytchall Bransgrove with his brother Ben and sister-in-law Amelia at the Mooloolaba lighthouse where they raced to while chasing the perfect lightning picture.
sunshine coast lightning
 
sunshine coast lightning
 
sunshine coast lightning
 

Timaru Herald photographer Mytchall Bransgrove always has his camera at the ready, but during a trip to the Sunshine Coast these holidays, he was expecting sunny shots - not the long, intense lightning storm that supplied him with these great photos.

Wild weather was the last thing on my mind when I arrived on the Sunshine Coast for a 10-day holiday.

I had only thought about calm sunny days at the beach.

lightning
LIGHT SHOW: Lightning strikes at Mountain Creek on the Sunshine Coast.

During my stay, the weather was generally very hot and calm. Except for one night.

After an afternoon with a temperature in the mid-30s a large storm passed over our area. My brother Ben had previously said to me, "I hope you get to see it rain because the rain over here is really intense".

The storm did bring strong rain, but of more excitement to me there were also thousands of lightning bolts.

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I stood at the end of the driveway with Ben and his wife Amelia and watched the sky light up all around us. It lasted an impressive six hours, and averaged one bolt a second which I found fascinating and slightly unnerving.

We had a panoramic view of the display which I took advantage of by setting my camera up using a narrow fence, chopping board and jandals as a makeshift tripod. I managed to get several photos by leaving the camera shutter open for 30 seconds.

After a while, we decided to go to the Mooloolaba lighthouse reserve overlooking the city, in search of a better photo.

Unfortunately by the time we got there the lightning had moved away, replaced with a heavy downpour which soaked us in seconds.

After a brief run to the lighthouse, we returned home still in awe of the intensity of the storm that had passed.

The next morning the storm featured on the news. Two men had been taken to hospital after being struck by lightning, less than 5km from where we had been.

South Canterbury