Now You See It: Photographer catches close lightning strike on c - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Now You See It: Photographer catches close lightning strike on camera

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The strike was too fast for the human eye. (Source: KXTV) The strike was too fast for the human eye. (Source: KXTV)
(KXTV/CNN) - A lightning strike at Yellowstone National Park is caught on camera. The man who got the picture was shooting a hailstorm when the bolt hit the ground just a few feet away.

Amazingly, the man who shot the video didn't see it.

"And there was no sense of a flash. We just knew it was very close. And it was only when we reviewed the video that we realized how close it was," Bruce Hyland said.

Hyland was camping with a group of friends at Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone, and pulled out his point-and-shoot camera to take pictures of a sudden hailstorm.

"All of a sudden we hear this enormous crash. We didn't see a flash of lightning, we didn't know how near it was. But I just thought 'hey, I've been taking a video. I wonder if I caught the thunderclap when it went off,' so I played it back."

A frame-by-frame examination of Bruce's video shows what the human eyes at the campsite couldn't see in real time, as lightning strikes a pair of nearby trees.

"You can clearly see one frame completely saturates with the light from the strike. And yet, we didn't see that at all. The next frame, it's gone but you can see a little orange glow in the tree and you can see an orange glow that goes out into the lake. I think that orange glow in the lake is just reflection off all of those little raindrop craters."

Within 1/30 of a second, the ground erupts as the enormous jolt of electrical energy finds a path through the roots. Ten frames, one-third of a second after the flash, Bruce reacts to the thunderclap, the startled photographer jerks the camera. Still pictures taken moments later show the deep scars left by the lightning strike, and how close it came to the campers. With medical care hours away, Bruce and his friends know they're lucky this video is the only thing they came away with.

Copyright 2014 KXTV via CNN. All rights reserved.


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