The above photograph was taken after many attempts to capture heat lightning behind the clouds. I was sitting in the middle of my ex-boyfriend’s driveway. I had to zoom far in, and increase the shutter speed exponentially. Aside from the layers of the clouds, there’s nothing remarkable about it. The image quality is poor, crackled like noise on a television screen.
I’ve never been a good photographer. I love photography – I love capturing the moments that nobody else is looking at. I don’t look for perfect shots, I don’t measure the light. I like looking for the nuances … the micro expressions people don’t realize they’re making and the little gestures that come naturally, but say so much. It’s for this reason that I would sit for an hour in the dark and the hazy heat, in a town where forest animals roam free, just to get a single bad photograph of a flash of lightning behind the clouds. Why?
Because where others may see imperfect photography in flashes of black and grey, I see layers of clouds burning up behind the light. I see the casual cruelty of the natural world, the danger at the flick of its tongue. The Ancient Greeks were in awe and terrified of their god Zeus, with his lightning rod. In modernity, we disregard these fears. We know to go inside when there’s lightning, and to stay out of the water. In knowing, we are jaded. We forget that lurking behind the clouds is a force of incredible power.
And at the same time, isn’t it beautiful?
“Shine.” – Weekly Photo Challenge, Oct. 2016