It was peak lightning season in Poland. There was a huge lightning storm going on outside of my train. As I watched lightning bolt after lightning bolt strike the ground, I was wishing I was outside photographing.

It was not until after an hour of watching the power of the storm that the idea to photograph the it from the moving train came to mind. I shot up, got my camera out, opened the window, stuck my hand out and held down the shutter of my Mamiya 7.

Since it was so dark outside and because I was stopped down to f11, I was counting on nothing registering on the film until the lightning struck. In other words, because I was not on solid ground photographing with a tripod and cable release, I planned on using the lightning burst as my flash. I had no idea if this would work, but I thought it would be fun to try.

I held my hand on the shutter button exposing the negative until lightning struck. I did this five times. My exposures varied from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. I then decided to brace my hand and the camera against the edge of the window, using it as a brace. Just as I braced myself and held down the shutter a train driving in the opposite direction drives by and two bolts of lightning go off. I close the shutter and think to myself, well that one is not going to be anything. I thought that the train driving by for sure ruined the shot. The exposure of that shot was 3 seconds max. I made 4 more shots and before I knew it I was getting off the train in a torrential downpour to visit one of my dear friends.

Four months later I processed the film from this train-ride. Here is the shot that I thought was going to be nothing.

Train Ride to Krakow