Daily Examiner photographer Adam Hourigan snapped this picture of the colourful thunderstorm hitting Maclean. The white streak is lightning striking and overloading the sensor of the phone as the photo was being taken.
Daily Examiner photographer Adam Hourigan snapped this picture of the colourful thunderstorm hitting Maclean. The white streak is lightning striking and overloading the sensor of the phone as the photo was being taken. Adam Hourigan

COMMENT: The beauty and terror of summer storms

WE tend to be fascinated by storms. The sound, the smell, sometimes it can be quite relaxing.

Just not if you're in the middle of it.

I often say to people, when it comes to photographing storms, if it's raining where you're shooting from, you're not capturing the storm, you're in the storm.

And although I'm terrible at iPhone photography, I will admit to pulling out the phone to take a snap of the magical colour combined with the driving rain that filled the Maclean sky on Saturday night.

And then the lightning struck just as I pushed the button.

Great photo you might think? All I could think was near miss.

It was close, and it came from nowhere. You could hear people stop talking and almost gasp under their breath.

From all reports, it happened much the same for residents in South Grafton on Saturday. One minute, a hot day turns into some ominous clouds, and before you know it - it's on you.

>> CLOSE CALL: Lucky escape for family during freak storm

I tell my kids who get scared of the big noise that as long you're under our roof they'll be okay. That's not always the case though, and I dread the day I ever have to experience having my house ripped away from me in an instant by a storm.

It's a constant reminder of how much we really are at the mercy of Mother Nature. And whether you believe in climate change, and the impact humans have on extreme weather events - I think I'll stick to the side of the argument that believes that reducing our involvement will help.

If we're wrong, what harm done?

  • Adam Hourigan is The Daily Examiner's Walkley Award winning Chief of Photography


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