Lightning Galveston Ship Channel







 Lightning Portfolio by George Hosek

When I first started as an outdoor/nature photographer back in the early 1990's, I was obsessed with storm chasing. If there was a lightning storm around I would stop whatever I was doing and chase after it. In fact I was chasing storms long before most people heard of storm chasing.

I'll never forget my first chase, it was 1991 and I had a nine-to-five job. When I got home from work I was watching the weather on the local news, I noticed every morning for the past few days there were isolated storms popping up along the coast, so I decided to skip work the next day and go to the coast.

Lightning Galveston Coast

I got there before sunrise, just in time to capture my first lightning photos ( photos top and above ). I've been hooked every since. Here are a few of my favorites.

Lightning Manvel Texas


Several years ago I was on my way to Big Bend National Park on I-10  when I spotted this amazing looking storm a few miles past Kerrville.  The problem was I couldn't find a place to pull over so I could get some photos. I tend to get extremely anxious when I see lightning and I'm not able to find a location to photograph it from. It really does seem like time slows to a crawl whenever this happens.

Finally, after what seemed like hours but was more like ten or fifteen minutes, I came across a rest area on a large hill, overlooking the highway with a great view of the storm. I stayed there for thirty minutes watching and shooting before packing up and continuing on my way to Big Bend.

Lightning Texas
I was on my way home from a friends house on Highway 59 near Humble, when this powerful summer storm rolled in. I don't always carry my camera with me but this time I happened to have it. Since I always keep a tripod and camera mount in my car I felt I was prepared, and began looking for a location where I could stop and get some photos.

When I thought I was close enough to the storm I pulled off the freeway onto the feeder and pulled over. I grabbed my camera and tripod but I couldn't find the camera mount, without it I couldn't attach the camera to the tripod.  I looked everywhere but could not find it. In the meantime the storm was quickly moving away.  Right when I was about to give up I found it, buried in between the passenger seat cushions. Just in time to capture this image.

Lightning Humble Texas
One summer night I was sitting at home, doing some work on my  computer when I heard a noise, I wasn't sure what it was and went back to work. A few minutes later I heard it again, a low rumble. It still didn't register. Again, I went back to work. A few minutes later, I almost feel out of my chair when a bright flash followed by a loud crack happened just outside my window.

As fast as could I ran to the porch and set up my camera and tripod, then hit the shutter release. As soon as I did I saw a blinding flash, followed immediately by the loudest thunder I have ever heard, I quickly released the shutter. The photo I'm talking about is the one I used for the cover of this issue, the one to the right and the vertical at the top of this page were also taken that night.

Lightning Manvel Texas
I shot this scene from Tiki Island near Galveston on a hot August night. Not only was it extremely hot but no wind and high humidity made it seem even hotter. The mosquitoes were out in force as well, making for some very uncomfortable photography. Despite the unpleasant conditions I managed to capture some decent lightning photos.

I had been chasing this storm for about hour from Houston on Hwy I-45 south, but could never find a place to shoot it until I reached Tiki Island. I pulled off the freeway and took a right on Virgina Point Road, which lead me to a bait camp overlooking Jones Bay. It was the perfect spot to watch and photograph this amazing display.

Lightning Galveston Texas
I could see from the radar image large storms moving east along the coast, towards Galveston. I grabbed my camera and tripod, got in the car, and headed straight to the east end of Galveston. I had a feeling this would be a good place to intercept them, but only if they didn't change direction or die out.

Forty five minutes later when I arrived I headed to the South Jetty. I found a spot I thought would give me a good angle on the storms and set up my tripod and camera. I zoomed in as far as I could with my 17-40mm lens, manually focused, set the shutter speed to 30 seconds then started taking one photo after another for the next 30 minutes. This frame was the only one that had any visible lightning. Below is a time lapse video I made from the photos.

Lightning Galveston Texas






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Content copyright George Hosek. The photographs on this site are for viewing on your computer only, absolutely, no commercial or personal reproduction without written consent from George Hosek.