Get ready to shoot it out with you fellow photographers – here is a photography challenge that will test you and push your photography prowess to the limit. From capturing rare bolts from the blue, to the elusive tendrils of upward streamers to ghostly upper atmosphere lightning. Capture the following lightning phenomena and enter them into the SWE Photography contest:

1. “Bolt from the blue”: capture a bolt from the blue – lightning bolt striking from the updraft or anvil region of the thunderstorm clear of the rain-free base or precipitation of the storm (e.g. away from the thunderstorm).

Bolt from the blue over the Adriatic sea: lightning bolt emerges from high in the updraft and strikes outside the main rain-free base. Photo: Marko Korošec.

2. Upward streamers: before a lightning strike, a stepped leader(s) approaches the ground. When it is close to the ground, object respond by emitting upward streamers. One of the upward streamers connects with one of the stepped leaders into a lightning bolt. Other upward streamers do not connect. Capture upward streamers on a photo.

Upward streamer next to a CG lightning bolt. Photo: Jure Atanackov.

3. Upper atmosphere lightning: capture any type of upper atmosphere lightning with your camera. Low light video cameras not allowed.

Sprites above very distant thunderstorms (>300 km away). Photo: Marko Korošec.

Challenge guidelines and rules:

Photos from storm season 2019 only. Include “Summer Challenge 2019 No.1 – N” in your post, where N is the number of the challenge (1, 2 or 3). E.g. if you are posting your Bolt from the blue, write “Summer Challenge 2019 No.1 – 1”. Write the description and whatever you would like to share about the photo with readers in SWE Photography Contest below the title. Also write the time and location for when the photo was made.

Challenge entries will also be included in the regular weekly contest. Post your entries here.
Entries end on November 30.

Scoring: submit any or all three photos. At the end of the challenge, the highest scoring photo will be taken as having 100% of the votes and all other photos with the same challenge (1, 2 or 3) will be scored against it. For each contestant these scores will be summed for all three photos into the final score.

Example:
Best photo for Bolt from the blue = 200 votes.
Your photo for Bolt from the blue = 80 votes.
Your score for Bolt from the blue = (80/200)x100 = 40.

Best photo for Upward streamers = 122 votes.
Your photo for Upward streamers = 95 votes.
Your score for Upward streamers = 77.9

Best photo for Upper atmosphere lightning = 144.
Your photo for Upper atmosphere lightning = 100.
Your score for Upper atmosphere lightning = 69.4

Your total score = 40 + 77.9 + 69.4 = 187.3

Let the fun begin :D

Note: photographing lightning is potentially very dangerous. A close lightning strike or a direct hit can result in extensive, permanent injuries or even death. Exercise proper precaution and safety measures!

Read more about lightning and lightning photography:

How to photograph lightning – Lightning photography 101

Sprites, blue jets, gigantic jets, elves – Upper Atmosphere Lightning