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News Lightning Time-Lapse

12 July 2023 Holly Eckersley

Lightning is an electrical discharge caused by the ground and storm clouds. Colliding particles within storm clouds, such as rain and snow, heightens the imbalance with the ground creating a current which is passed between the two, which manifests as lightning.

Lightning is extremely hot. The air which it travels through can be heated, albeit very temporarily, to an incredible 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Speeds are quite extreme too and whilst the light from lightening, travels at the ‘speed of light, at 670,000,000 mph, an actual strike can travel at the speed of 270,000 mph.

Globally there are an estimated 1.4 billion lightning strikes per year. Lightning maps allows people to view lightning strikes in real time all over the world, a handy tool for those who are fascinated in this natural phenomenon. Each bolt is estimated to have a voltage of between 100 million and 1 billion volts. The crooked shapes are caused by a highly conductive form of oxygen. There are many different types of lightning, such as sheet, bead, ribbon and rocket, which are all equally enthralling to watch from a distance.

Time-lapse is often used to capture processes that happen slowly which can then be speed up. Many people have captured incredible footage of the whole process of a lightning storm and created awe-inspiring time-lapse videos which show clouds building, the changing colours of the sky and lightning bolts striking the ground. Creative editing can draw attention to the most dramatic moments of these storms. In this article we look at our favourite YouTube videos, which capture such storms in incredible detail.

A thunderbolt in a jet black sky.

Storm Chaser in Nebraska

In this YouTube video by storm chaser, Pecos Hank, ethereal and awe-inspiring footage shows supercell storms. Set to calm melodic music the video draws to attention the power of nature and its majestic beauty. Shot in McCook, Nebraska the video films from a range of locations in fields and along highways even managing to show red sprites and lightning striking the ground.

Lightning Strikes in Slovakia

StoryTrender‘s YouTube video documents a storm in Bratislava, Slovakia. Shot from a 12th floor apartment an 81 minute storm is condensed into a short 40 second video showing a range of lightning strikes over a number of high-rise apartment buildings. The deep purple sky and large foreboding clouds are illuminated by white lightning bolts which momentarily flash in the night sky.

Storm Time-Lapse

In this video shot in North Texas the editing process makes this time-lapse footage incredibly special. Set to the song ‘Sinful Refrain’ as the music builds so too does the frequency of lightning strikes and the speed of the clouds moving overhead. We love the creative capabilities of time-lapse to tell a story and to create an atmosphere. We think this video by Pecos Hank does this beautifully.

Lightning From Space Time-Lapse

Guardian News shared this time-lapse video captured from the International Space Station. Showing lightning striking the earth’s surface this remarkable video shows the earth’s weather as we have never seen it before. Originally shared by British astronaut, Tim Peake it shows the power of time-lapse to provide a unique lens through which to view the world in all of its variety and specificity.

At Time-Lapse Systems are cameras are built to endure extreme and changing weather conditions. As well as more temperate environments in the UK and Europe, we do have our systems in very challenging coastal locations. Plus, they are also installed from hot and humid environments (which themselves are prone to tropical storms), to the extremes of the polar regions.

We have worked all over the world providing time-lapse solutions in even the most challenging environments. We have meticulously developed our systems in-house which can be fully customised for each project and its individual requirements. Our experienced and accredited team have the knowledge and expertise to negotiate any difficulty on-site to ensure that we capture each project in all of its glory. We are extremely proud of our team, their professionalism and ability to guarantee the best quality results to each and every one of our clients.

If you would like to know more about the services we offer please get in touch.

0333 016 5253 [email protected]

Time-Lapse Systems are a part of Hideaway Media Ltd (est. 2007). World leader in the provision of bespoke time-lapse capture and site monitoring solutions. UK and Worldwide.