Tag: lightning

Lightning and Thunder make Denver’s 4th of July a wet success

Written by Jared Kennedy 
A personal experience trying to find a location to shoot photos on July 4th

It turns out to be quite the day when you set out in mind to do a 4th of July article and it turns out to be a photography write up instead.

The weather was awful and the sky was filled with rain, smoke and fog. It was very unlikely to get a decent long range wide angle photo of the entire Denver area and surroundings. The intent was to go to lookout mountain and shoot some firework photos of the entire Denver surroundings.

Visibility was poor. On the drive from Golden it seemed there were 2 police cars blocking the road. I guess they don’t want anyone falling off the cliff this year. Looking for another venue, there was a high mountain not far. It was Mathews Park (near Dinosaur Ridge) and was only about a 1/4 mile hike to the top. It was dark and there was large metal power tower nearby. With clouds inbound and lightning striking several miles away, probably not a good idea to be near the tower at the highest point in the area.

2 minute video collage of the luminated sky and lightning strikes over Denver and Rockies Field

Currently raining, I quickly set up the camera and tripod. I’m using a Canon 5Dmk4 with a 50mm f/1.4 and a Sigma 24mm f/1.4 (and a rain umbrella). Both are exceptional lenses for low light photography and greatly reduce your iso. However, after the fact, I would have rather have had one of the Blackmagic cameras and shoot prores at 160mb/s. They are great for pulling out frames and using as photos but the cameras weigh about 13lbs. I ended up trying some time lapse photos that were unsuccessful, then switching to video in hopes to get something in the 10 minutes available.

Lightning striking near Commerce City

Soon, lightning started getting closer and it was time to pack up and hike out down the side of the mountain. Next stop was Downtown Denver!

Lightning striking near Rockies Fiels

At 10pm, I made it back and parked near Mile High Stadium. It was still raining hard and many people were soaked from the rain. Someone mentioned the stadium fireworks were cancelled but someone else said they were running late. People were watching the Rockies fireworks.

Even though it was raining people were determined to see the fireworks. Though the fireworks were tough to see through the rain, smoke and fog, The lightning and thunder definitely enhanced the experience. People were discussing how excited they were to see firework, lightning and thunder. I guess you could say this years 4th of July was a success but definitely not as expected.