COLLECTIONS - markmetternich


Image: Woton's Crescendo©

After finishing one of my Ultimate SW workshops in whom excellent professional photographer Kevin McNeal attended, Kevin and I decided to continue the chase for dramatic light. Sitting at McDonald's in Kanab Utah, a violent thunderstorm and torrential downpour struck hard.

We quickly checked all our weather apps, and Kevin turned to me and said, “It’s going to go over the North Rim dude!” Without hesitation, I said, “Let's go!” We made the North Rim quicker than may be legal, with lightning striking the whole way there. Thinking this was “it” we jumped out at the first turn out and started shooting like crazy. In just minutes we captured tens of lighting strikes (not even using the lightning trigger).

After some time I started realizing that this was in fact, not “it” and the storm was building and getting more incredible with every passing minute. We both took off to another pullover and continued with the same fantastic results. Finally, after literally hours of shooting at the various pull over locations, I decided to make a mad dash to Wotan's Throne, my favorite place on the Grand Canyon. As I got there, I could not believe what I was witnessing! Rainbows, Mammatus clouds, God rays, fog rolling into the canyon, lightning striking non stop about every 30 seconds, was all building into a monumental crescendo.

In an adrenalized panic I grabbed my Sony A7r, Canon 11-24 and tripod and ran to my favorite spot. Suddenly, before I knew what had happened, I was on the ground literally HIT BY AN INDIRECT BOLT OF LIGHTNING!

It happened so fast I did not know what had happened. Although not injured, I was disoriented and terrified for a minute or two. I even got shocked. I ran under a tree and then said to myself, “Mark this is NOT safe at all!” So, I climbed down about 10 feet off the cliff and hid in a small cave/alcove for several minutes to get my head together. Finally, I said to myself “can you really NOT shoot that?”

So, I ran out and began the process of photographing again. Every time I would start hearing a loud ringing/buzzing in my ears, or the small tree next to me starts buzzing loudly, I would run back into the alcove. I decided to ditch the tripod for safety and shoot handheld. I also popped the Lightning Trigger on, and it began shooting constantly. Kevin showed up directly above me and we laughed the yelled out in excitement as the sun began to set, and the scene went ballistic. 

I have been photographing Landscape full time for almost two decades now, and this was definitely one of the most amazing captures to date.  

Gear:  Sony A7r Canon 11-24 11mm/ƒ/8/ISO 200, Single Shot


Prices available upon request:

Limited Edition Master prints are world class, museum quality gallery prints produced strictly and exclusively in editions set by the artist.   

"Limited Edition" means that when the last print is sold from the edition, no other prints will EVER be sold (although on a rare occasion a very small run of artist proofs may become available). These hand-produced, individually scrutinized prints are top of the top in every way, highly limited, and very exclusive.

Every small step (from capture, through development, to print) has been masterfully and painstakingly worked using pioneering equipment, top materials, and revolutionary techniques. Each image is hand test printed many times and taken through an extremely rigorous color management and inspection process until perfected. Not only are all the processes performed with the highest level of quality and integrity, but these images are truly unique moments of nature, visually competitive at the highest level of the industry.

Limited Edition prints are a great investment, and grow substantially in value as the prices rise quickly when prints sell through the edition and fewer are available

I was recently interviewed and asked what might be the “greatest story behind an image” of mine. Well, getting knocked down and out by lightning just two minutes before taking this single handheld shot (not a composite) of lightning, mammatus clouds, a rainbow, nuclear color and dreamy atmospheric conditions is undoubtedly one of them! Thank God friend Kevin McNeal caught this on video and posted it to my YouTube page, or no one would believe it is a real photo! ~ Mark Metternich

Youtube Video Woton's Crescendo Mark Metternich Photography, LLC©




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