Brisbane gets crazy weather ! One minute it’s sweltering 45 degree heat and the next a vicious lightning storm is over head and you are running for cover. Whilst I was living there I became very aware of these ‘flash’ storms and often went out chasing that illusive bolt with my camera gear, sometimes driving 100km in pursuit. Now days there are apps for your phone where you can watch a live feed from a mapping system of the lightning and its very handy for when you are chasing storms. On this occasion a whopper of a storm was coming from the west and I planned to get around in front of it and catch some of the lightning hitting the city. It’s often not the smartest idea to get out in front of a storm but I was willing to risk it, I did end up getting a few shots of lightning out of it too.

I captured this image of Storey Bridge and the Brisbane city skyline before the storm came and it’s at that time of the night when the city lights reflect off of the clouds. I love it how they can create multi-coloured clouds depending on the city of course. There was another photographer with me on this night, his photography name was odd and something which was rather hard to remember but he did track me down online months later. He caught a lightning bolt hitting 111 eagle street with his 50mm lens when he was making pano’s and I never did see that image online. He’d shown me on the back of his camera and was pretty happy with it 🙂

I like this shot though it reminds me of how unstable the weather is in Brisbane and how it can turn for the good or bad at any moment.

Software Used:

– OnOne Perfect Effects 9  An amazing Filter program to stylise the image. a standalone Filter program which can also be launched from Lightroom, Photoshop or Aperture

Photomatix PRO – Is a MAC and PC HDR software for creating stunning HDR images. They have a free trial, but if you end up buying a copy of Photomatix you can get a 15% Discount with the coupon code LukeZemePhotography

Post Processing:

This is a HDR image and was processed using my favourite tonemapping software Photomatix Pro. I then took the resultant image into Perfect Effects which is a Filter program from OnOne and it has over 450 filters to choose from. You can vary the opacity of each filter you use so 5% of one 10% of another and mask in just parts of each one. On this occasion I probably used about 5 or 6 different filters in Perfect Effects, just small amounts from each one to get this subtle effect on the cityscape.

Image Location:

View Brisbane Glow, by Luke Zeme in a larger map


Thanks, Luke

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