Lightning #28C, 28D & 33C

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There is an interesting story behind these photographs and that of my previous lightning post, Lightning #36C.  Hanging on my apartment walls, among many others are two 20×30 poster size enlargements of lightning, one of which is the aforementioned Lightning #36C.  The second enlargement was purely an accident.

As any long time film photographer can attest, the numbers and letters on the negative strips do not always coincide with a negative.  When placing the order for Lightning #36C at my local camera store, because it was the last photograph on that roll of film, there were only two negatives on that particular strip, which usually contains four.  Because neither number or letter matched up with the enlargement wanted, I wrote under the development envelope’s special instructions to enlarge the negative with the largest bolt of lightning, thinking how hard could that be to understand and print.

However, when I arrived home from the camera store, I immediately noticed that the store enlarged the wrong negative.  But here is where the story gets interesting.  I also realized that I did not recognize the enlargement.  As it turned out, when I first had the roll of film developed, that picture came back underdeveloped and as such, I tossed the 4×6 print into the trash.

I have since decided that I like the wrong photograph better than the one I originally wanted enlarged.  Since I do not have the 4×6 print to scan onto my computer, I am not currently able to post it online.  However, in the very near future, I plan on buying a negative scanner that would allow me to scan negatives instead of 4×6 prints, which should improve the quality of photographs I post on  For viewers who have not yet viewed my previous post of Lightning #36C, the following is a brief description of how these photographs came about.

These photographs were taken in the back yard of my old farmhouse one night many years ago as my two brothers were loading up their guitars and amplifiers after an afternoon and evening of hard partying, hearty eating and loud, loud music.   After my divorce, in which I bought my first guitar on the night of my fortieth birthday, Brian and Willie would come out every other weekend for a day and night of good times pickin’ and grinnin’.  Willie wasn’t technically my brother, but an ex-brother-in-law.  However, after playing alongside him all those many afternoons and evenings, I consider and refer to him as one.  Sadly, Willie passed away two years ago after being electrocuted at work.  He never sounded better the last time we jammed!

After getting a glance of this magnificent display of lightning off in the distance, I quickly went back inside, grabbed my camera and tripod and went back out and started shooting.  If memory serves me right, I believe I shot a whole roll of film that night.

Steven H. Spring