I was excited for the photo opportunity at Meruling temple near Kanher dam in Satara district and I immediately registered for the workshop. It is a fun motorcycle ride 250kms from Mumbai. The workshop was mentored by Dr. Jitendra Katre and our main aim was to click star trails. Usually, shooting star trails also means getting a chance to see and click the Milky Way. However, on this particular evening, the moon and the Milky Way were going to rise together which meant, no Milky Way shots.
We gathered at a hotel 10kms away from our shooting location. After a nice sumptuous meal and a little briefing, we left for the spot. The temple is located on top of a hill overlooking the lake of the Kanher dam. The ghat is narrow with a lot of twists and turns. Once on top, the darkness is a welcome sight as darkness equals to a lot of stars!
We started shooting the trails against the foreground of a tree but then we noticed a few clouds coming in from the North East. There were a few flashes of lightning here and there. I figured that tonight, we are going to get a lot of dramatic lightning images to accompany our star trails; maybe even a few frames in our star trails itself.
After an hour or so, the lightning flashes increased with a lot of cloud to ground lightning strikes. The clouds had anyway entered our entire frame putting a thick veil on the stars, so we started focusing on the lightning strikes, hoping to get a few good lightning pictures. A light drizzle didn’t affect our plans as the frames with the lightning had piqued our interest in getting some rare images in our personal portfolio…. Shooting a thunderstorm!!
We came for star trails but we also got some wonderful lightning images. As a matter of fact, almost all of us drained our batteries before we went back to the hotel to rest for the night. It was a very successful workshop and the photos we got are a perfect tribute to that splendid, windy night!