Lightning at Last


FINALLY!!! As with many of you, we woke this morning to the magical sound of thunder. Woohoo. 

I thought I had missed the boat, but just after 6am a cell decided to redevelop over my place in Butler.
Stoked to have got this shot, with no lightning trigger and handheld! Woohoo! First lightning shot with the zeiss!

Bring the storms!

Another underside shot from this morning.

Perth’s first Summer Storms

Well they are here, Perth’s summers storms have finally arrived. The very photogenic, high based, branchy lightning that I love capturing started striking north of Perth just before midnight, so I made my way to Jindalee with fellow photographer and weather nut Cameron.
We saw the storms staring to spark a long way to our NW, so we held steady until they got a touch closer, and then made the decision to get off our hill, and down to the sand-dunes. A good move as the storms came right over the top of us, and our spot on the hill probably wasn’t the safest place to be.
I love to capture lightning, but I really like to place subjects in my shot, just to add a different dimension  and perspective to it. So I got Cameron to hold steady and composed a shot I hoped would come out, I just needed the lightning to co-operate.
It did, and I managed these shots of Cameron in his element.

And this one,


A majority of the storms were relatively short lived, but they produced some incredible lightning.

Off the coast, my favourite shot of the night.


It just kept producing amazing bolts. The hardest part, anticipating where the big strike will strike.


More amazing branchy cloud to ground lightning,



The boats off the coast, were in the prime location to view the storms. Saying that, I don’t know if I wanted to be under this one.


As the storms moved over us, we made the decision to move east of the Pinjar pine plantation to try and capture a cell now moving quickly down the Darling Scarp, but the storms were just a bit too fast and were moving to the SE very quickly. Checking the radar, they were hooking through at around 70-80kmh, too quick for us to catch them.

I fired one last shot off before calling it a night.


Until the next time….

All official forecasts are from Bureau of Meteorology.
Check out PerthWeatherLive on Facebook for updates on the weather around Perth and Western Australia.

Early Morning Spring Storms over Perth

Storms impacted the northern suburbs of Perth Sunday week ago and into the early morning hours of Monday.
The charts showed a good chance of storms to fire up to the north around dusk on the Sunday, which in turn had me bolt up to one of the fire lookout towers north east of Two Rocks. On arrival I could see very nice structure a long way to the NE, but knowing that the storms should develop closer during the night I decided to stay put.
I did however capture this shot of the lightning that was striking down to the NE of the fire lookout tower.


As the sun set, I decided I would head home to get some gear ready for the long night ahead.

I checked the radar around 1030pm and saw a little bit of development a long way to the north, so I contacted another mate and it was decided that we were heading up to his lookout near the beach, just incase the storms really did decided to fire up. We wanted to capture the show.
Over the next hour nothing really eventuated, but we thought it would be a good idea to head just a bit further north to Yanchep in the hope that if the storms did fire up, we would be just that little bit closer. So we packed up, and drove the 20kms to the north and set back up again, waiting in anticipation for the following radar updates.
As midnight came closer, the mood was turning south. We could see now development, bar a couple of odd echoes on the radar, so I decided to call it a night. So as I was just about to start packing my gear up to throw in the car, a strike occurred, a little bit to the north along the coast, but a strike none the less.
I unpacked my tripod again, and set up. Now started one of my best nights yet of lightning photography.

The storms really started to fire up, the radar started now to show a little bit of colour, it was GAME ON!
The storms really started to throw out some great photogenic lightning. Very close branchy cloud to ground strikes to our north and slowly to our NE.

Here are a couple of captured as the storms got close.
Due north along the coast


Due east

After taking plenty of shots as the storms developed and fired off to the north and north east, I directed my attention to the storms now firing to the south.
Rockingham was now in the firing line, and they were certainly in for a great show if any of these bolts were to go by.


Facebook’s Perth Weather Live founder and mate Steve Brooks was there, he said “I was watching the cells build on the radar to the NW, but stuck it out at San Remo. Between 2am and 3am I was greeted by some of the best metro sparks I’ve had in quite a while”.

From what I could see they got an incredible show.

Back to the north now, and the storms still fired right up through the morning sunrise. Here are a couple of shots as the sun started creeping towards and over the horizon.




The night was incredible, spent with another weather nut Cameron Fisher. We were both in awe the whole night, and then to be greeted with the most stunningly vibrant sunrise with fluorescent lightning sparking all around. It was one of the scenes that I certainly will not forget in a hurry.
I cannot wait to get these images printed.

Until next time………………….

Jordan Cantelo Photography (Facebook)
Woz Storms (Facebook)
Perth Weather Live (Facebook),
Perth Weather Live (Web)

– Stormy Falls –

Waterfalls within driving distance of the Perth CBD!!
Lesmurdie Falls is currently in full flow. After the recent rain I highly recommend to get there and see this magic waterfall flowing at full force over the escarpment.
I do advise extreme caution though, as the walk down is very hazardous, and with the recent very heavy rains, slip and trip hazards exist everywhere.
Several locations along the walk trail give great viewing of the falls.

Storm Event 6/7-9-13( Gascoyne, Wheatbelt, Lower West)

The most promising setup for thunderstorm development since last summer was forecast for most of the southern half of Western Australia on the 6th of September, and that prompted a certain trip for myself to again get out and try to capture this magical weather phenomenon on my camera.

Just over a week before the storms arrived I noticed on my daily check of forecasted weather that I should start preparing for a road trip up towards the lower Gascoyne region to capture my favourite part, the development.

My day started at around 1030 with a drive to Coorow via Bindoon and the Bindoon Bakery. No storm chase can start without a stop here. So after enjoying a curry lamb pie, I was off up the Great Northern Highway towards Midlands Rd and on to Coorow via Moora.

I arrived in Coorow just after 1330, and had another look at the radar, and satellite imagery to see if anything looked like it was going to develop in the area. I wasn’t in luck, with storms started to fire a long way east on a low pressure trough line cutting through the state. I didn’t worry to much about it, as the afternoon was young, and it gave me a bit of time to scout the area a bit. I am currently working on a time-lapse project and the fields around here work perfectly for one of the scenes I wanted to capture, so off I went to find one suitable for my project.
I found an incredible site and set my camera up and started my time-lapse of the clouds building and collapsing. I had some more time up my sleeve now as my time-lapse was set for 1hr, so I had a bit of a walk around playing on my iPhone.

Coming close to the end of my time-lapse I noticed some development a long way to my north and north-east, so I opened my laptop and again checked the lightning tracker, and it confirmed a major thunderstorm developing very quickly between 150-200km away. I was in two minds, either packed up my camera, stop the time-lapse and move now, or wait for the time-lapse to finish. I decided to wait, as I only had 10minutes or so remaining, but it was the longest 10minutes ever. I was pacing up and down the road, watching these thunderstorm cells popping up and going crazy. They were too far away to see any lightning, but they were large cauliflower clouds with an every increasing anvil spreading across the sky.

My time-lapse finished, I packed my gear up and raced east towards Latham.
I kept my eyes on the development, and I had to pull over near Latham to capture one of the storms.


As I got to Latham, I had to turn south and now head towards Wubin for fuel, and to meet with fellow storm chaser and friend Steve Brooks (owner of Perth Weather Live,

I arrived in Wubin, and met with Steve. He had been watching the cells to the north as well, so with a quick check of the radar to see the direction these cells were going, we saw that they were going to cross well south of Paynes Find to the north, and so the decision was made to get north, and find a spot to set up and capture these systems as they passed us by.

While we were driving the sun started to set and the thunderclouds become illuminated with incredible colours. It was incredible to witness. We were so focused to get to our spot that we missed the opportunity to capture the sunset at its best, but, we still still got a bit of colour and you can see that how it would’ve been incredible 5-10mins before hand.


When we arrived at our location, we set up and started to capture the storms in the distance. One was to our North-East, one was t our North-West. Both were firing on all cylinders. Flashing, and sparking everywhere. Every second multiple strikes illuminated the clouds. So what did I do. I set up my time-lapse to capture it. I havent finished processing that yet, but when I do, I will post a link to the page it will be hosted on.


Then the night really began.

A shot of a meteor flying over first cells of the night to the north.


As the first cells passed over and headed east, the skies to the west now started to light up. Cells were quickly developing to our west, and were going nuts!!

A shot of the Milky Way with the storms firing underneath.


Large amounts of rain mixed with hail were falling from incredible formations in the clouds.
Something about the structure I just love underneath thunderstorms.


Lightning was all around


One of the final cells that passed over before I had to make the long drive home.


I had to leave, as I had to get back to Perth. The drive home was very eventful. Large hail, strong winds, lightning all around.

An extremely eventful night, but I am so glad I was able to witness it, and not on my own either. Cheers Steve, it was so great to have someone else there, yelling out as much as I was!! 🙂

I just hope this is an indication of a very active spring/summer storm season in the Midwest and Wheatbelt.

More photos to come.

Till next time.

– In the Spray –

The falls were pretty much at full force after the latest rains, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get as many different angles as possible. Where my last shot was a bit safe and just a touch up the water fall itself, this shot was a lot further up. I was sliding around trying to get my tripod steady, the spray from the waterfall was a constant hassle as it covered my filters, so every shot was a dry wipe on those.

But persistence payed off and after a solid 20-30min at trying to achieve it, I managed to fire off a few that were spray on the filter free.


Strong Cold Fronts, Perth, July 26th 2013

Yesterday (26/7) a series of strong cold fronts impacted the Western Australian south west coastline.
Not one to shy away from the opportunity to get a few photos, I thought it would be a good chance to capture a bit of colour at sunset.
Just my luck, as when I arrived another cell was about to cross the coast just to the south of my location at Jindalee.
I was in the best position to capture it, just before it impacted the coast. The system intensified as it neared the coast and bought with it very heavy rain, hail, and strong winds.


This second photo is the same system as above just before it crossed the coastline. You can see how the rain sheet has intensified from the previous photo.

Later in the night, another series of storms swept through the northern suburbs and right over my place.
I don’t usually travel during these events, as 1) they are too dangerous to travel in, strong wind, heavy rain, and hail making driving very hazardous, mixed with over traffic. No thanks!, So when they come to me, I can just set up in my garage, and point my camera to the sky.


This time, I had a strike very close to me, and the thunderstorm ripper right over my head. As soon as this cloud to ground strike occurred, the loudest, most explosive thunder clap I have heard for a while shook the house.


It has got me wanting the spring and summer storm season to hurry up and arrive so I can head out to the Wheatbelt and capture this magical phenomena once again.

Stats from this cold from event.
( From the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia)
A wind gust of 102 kilometres per hour was recorded at Ocean Reef at 7:30am.

A wind gust of 91 kilometres per hour was recorded at Rottnest Island at 12:21am.

Rainbows under the Stars


Well if I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have believed it. Rainbows at night time. The conditions were perfect for them though, and it proves you only need the reflected light of the sun off the almost full moon to give you the key ingredient for rainbows.
I was actually out to capture the cold front coming across the coast, and hoping for a bit of lightning, but I was given a rainbow show instead. A definite favourite, as it’s something you don’t see every day (or night for that matter).

This was taken at Jindalee Beach.

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The Cold Front Approaching Perth 19-5-13

Another cold front crossed over the Western Australian coast tonight. A few nice thunderstorms accompanied it. When I arrived to capture photographs, this is what greeted me.
The full moon was illuminating the clouds from above and the stars were out.
I couldn’t resist myself, but to get a panorama of it all.
Tonight was by far the coldest I have ever been taking photos of thunderstorms. Lucky I had a big woolly jumper on.

Autumn Storms over the South West 16-5-13

I was woken this morning by the deep rumble of thunder in the distance.
I am usually rather lethargic getting out of bed in the morning, but that beautiful sound that is thunder, I am up in a flash. I was dressed and ready to head out within a few minutes.

When I glanced outside, the early morning rays of the sun were just touching the base of the clouds. I raced down the stairs of my hotel room, jumped in my car and got to the beach.
This is what greeted me.


With reports from the Yallingup area that the storms were dropping water spouts behind me, I had to make the trip towards home.
The potential for storms to still fire into the night was still there, so with that in mind, I headed to Jindalee beach once I finished work and managed to capture this strike.


The lightning wasn’t very frequent, so I am somewhat happy with this, because it was the best shot of the night.
I do love every type of thunderstorm, but the summer ones where I can chase them around the Wheatbelt region are far more enjoyable, and you can get a hell of a lot closer.

Bring back summer already.

I hope you like the images.

– Jindalee Showers –

Autumn is in full swing throughout the south-west. We have a mixture of warm days and cooler nights now, and thankfully the showers are starting to return.
Last night while in my backyard I saw a large dark rain cloud over the ocean and heading towards the coast. So I grabbed my gear and headed towards Jindalee beach to hopefully capture the rain shower with the colours of sunset.

2 Minutes Late

The sunset tonight from my backyard was just awesome. Actually, it wasn’t just awesome from my backyard, countless people bared witness to one of the most terrific sunsets in recent times here in Perth. Technically not the most thought out photo ever, yet you just cannot go past the brilliant saturation of colours presented to us in Perth tonight. We truly are blessed to be living in one of the best places on earth to witness sunsets like this.
Just magnificent.

Cottesloe Delight

I haven’t shot metro seascapes for a while, and one of the reasons for this was this particular shot. See that big splash of water, yep, that ended up all over my gear.
I am one who takes the upmost care when taking my gear onto the rocks for seascapes, as you can never be too sure. This freak larger set surprised me, and I almost paid the price of my gear being destroyed.

When work calms down a touch, I hope to get back down to the beach, and in particular the SW capes to again capture the beauty Western Australia has to offer.