Captured Lightning

This photograph was taken sitting outside overlooking a huge storm raging over the ocean. It has countless brothers, because my cousin and I sat outside watching the storm for at least an hour, trying to capture one of the frequent forks of lightning that careened down to the water and disappeared faster than our cameras could catch them. Whether it was because my cheap camera wasn’t good enough or because I just wasn’t fast enough, this photo is the only fork of lightning that I managed to catch.

Barthes says that “what founds the nature of Photography is the pose” (78). No matter how fleeting the moment is, “even in the interval of one moment” (78), reality poses for a moment and it is the pose of this moment that is immortalized in the photograph. The darkness before the lightning, and the even more complete darkness in the wake of it, don’t matter, because this is the moment that is forever motionless.


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