Divine Power by Fernando Braga
When you see photographs like this, it’s easy to understand why our ancestors reckoned thunder and lightning were signs of angry deities. This photo captures bolts of lightning surrounding the world-famous statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photographer Fernando Braga used every opportunity he could get to achieve this result – taking advantage of storm forecasts and capturing a series of long exposures to maximise the chances of capturing lightning framing the statue.
“This night was simply unforgettable for me. Like a dream come true.”
Lightning strikes when electric charge builds up in a storm, creating sudden discharges either between parts of the atmosphere or between the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface. Fernando framed the shot to include ground-based antennas – since lightning often strikes tall electrical conductors like these.
Lightning can cause major destruction – damaging property and triggering fires. And climate change is expected to make lightning more common across the world, by creating a hotter atmosphere that holds more water vapour, and so can produce more frequent and intense thunderstorms.
Photo location: Flamengo neighbourhood, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Photographer based: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Camera: NIKON D750 with AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR at 300mm f/16 30' ISO 100