While out teaching a 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in downtown St. Petersburg on June 25, 2013 my photography student and I were treated (?) to a spectacular view of a powerful storm that produced a waterspout, funnel clouds and ground shaking lightning. While keeping a safe distance, I was able to quickly setup to try and capture some lightning shots. This means setting the shutter speed to bulb mode and covering the front of the lens until lightning is visible and keeping the lens exposed just long enough so the overall shot looks good. I only had three chances and was lucky enough to get the above lightning photograph on that third try.
This waterspout attracted a lot of onlookers. In grew in size greatly and I could not get my camera around the tree in the foreground to show its full length. It was eerily translucent and silent dipping up and down from the clouds above.
This is the approach to the storm before we saw any lightning, waterspouts or funnel clouds. I had never seen such a long, thin band of angry looking clouds stretch all the was from Tampa Bay to south St. Petersburg. The sun was going down adding a bit of pretty color to the underside of what really was a menacing stormy sky.
Turning and looking to my right from the same spot as the previous photo shows just how long that band of clouds stretched too. Right above the sailboats two funnel clouds would eventually form right in front of us! They never touched the ground and all we ended up was a little wet once the rain came, but the storm added a lot of excitement to our photography lesson!