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The new best lightning photo

I thought it was special to get lightning shots before, but it’s actually not that hard.  Basically, you keep the shutter open and hope a bolt appears in at least a few photos.

hugebolt2

This one hit really close.  This photo is not Photoshopped (well, basic levels and cloning out some dust.)

huge bolt zoom

Close up, lightning looks just awesome!  You can see little white particles of energy all around in the air.

More lightning strikes

Last week it poured rain every afternoon.  Along with the rain came a few huge lightning storms!  I took a couple hundred photos, and captured about eight different strikes.

pearl bolt

Who said lightning never strikes in the same place twice?  I have two photos of it hitting the Pearl TV Tower now, and saw it happen close-up another time.

lightning_smaller_bolts copy2

This is a composite of five different photos.

lightning_smaller_bolts_zoom

You can see that each one is hitting a building!

More lightning photos to be posted tomorrow.

Solar Eclipse

Daft Punk came to play Shanghai!

Actually, #14 welding glass is an approved method of looking at the sun. Steve got the whole mask to be extra safe. :-)

Steve, Jon, Dan and Wendy watching as the eclipse starts.

Mid-eclipse

Solar Eclipse

It was raining for the eclipse, so we couldn’t see the sun at all. We also couldn’t see the shadow falling across the city. However, it was pretty cool to see the city plunge into darkness at 9:36 for over 5 minutes.

Here is a time lapse I took of the eclipse.

Solar Eclipse in Shanghai, July 22, 2009 from Emily Minor on Vimeo.

Sweden in Summer = no complete darkness!

10:42 PM

11:58 PM

3:44 AM

All of these photos are right out of the camera – no adjusting levels or contrast.

One of my coolest photos ever!

Last night, lighting was flashing outside. I have been trying to get a good lightning photo for a very long time! I set my camera to take a 13 second exposure with an aperture of 22, and just kept releasing the shutter. (The shutter just needs to stay open and you hope to catch something!)



What is really crazy is that you can see it HITTING the Pearl TV tower!

Storming in Shanghai

Right after the boat turned around, the storm started rolling in. It came in quick and made everything very dark and spooky.


It looks like a set from a movie set in the future!


About 10 seconds after I took this photo, the Pearl Tower was hit by lightning. The streak was white hot and probably the thickest lightning bolt I’ve ever seen. For a minute I wondered if it really hit it, but another American guy saw it strike it too. I did not want to be on the water then.

I took a ton more photos, trying to capture some lighting but failed. Silly me, I should have just turned on the HD video part of my camera and could have gotten something cool that way! I forget I have that feature now.

Huangpu River Cruise

Last Saturday, our Couchsurfer Sonja went on a river cruise with one of her friends, and I also joined them. I’ve never done this in the two years we’ve lived in Shanghai, so it was about time I did. It cost 50 RMB for about an hour on the boat.

The Bund is all torn up. You can no longer walk along the river (which I didn’t know. Oops.) Normally, you’d see crowds of people here, all taking a photo of their self with the Pearl Tower in the background.




This is a view of the IFC and Jin Mao that you don’t see often.

Rain and Hail

In the two years we’ve lived in China, we’ve never seen hail. On Friday, the storm clouds rolled in and it poured down. Then, it started hailing! Marble-sized hail pelted down for quite a while. I happened to be walking in it and Jon was stuck in the metro station, umbrella-less, for about 20 minutes.

Blizzards and Birthdays

Jon’s brother sent us these photos taken from his front porch. They just got a LOT of snow!

Notice the car buried in the street at the top left?

That drift across the sidewalk is probably about as tall as me.

Jared and I both had birthdays in March. When we were growing up in South Dakota, we never knew if we’d be able to have our birthday parties or not. There was a good chance we’d be hit with a storm. I remember a couple times not getting to go roller-skating in Madison (20 miles away) because the roads were too icy or you couldn’t see through the snow. I also remember Kirstin and her mom rolling their car into the ditch; I think Dad pulled them out with the tractor.

March was usually too early for Dad to start calving; though sometimes we’d be lucky and have a birthday calf. It probably wasn’t so lucky for the calf to be born early, but we really got a kick out of having one born the same day we had been.

One treat we’d get when it was cold was home-made ice cream! Dad would grab a bucket of ice slabs he’d made when he’d chopped a hole in the dugout for the cattle to drink. Mom would mix milk, sugar and a few other things together, which went in a metal container. That container was put inside the wooden bucket, the top placed on, ice and rock salt packed around it, and then we’d crank. For hours it seemed! We’d try to take turns but I’m sure Dad did the majority of the work.

Happy Birthday, Jared.

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