Thunderstorm photo from aircraft, SantiagoBorja

The most incredible thunderstorm photo ever taken


We have all seen and admired thunderstorm photos. As incredible as it sounds these are nothing new for us. But just when we thought we are passed that point when a new thunderstorm photo could wow us, this incredible image not only leaves us awestruck but raises the bar when it comes to thunderstorm photography. Call this the ultimate thunderstorm photo. It was made by Santiago Borja. Borja shot this from inside the cockpit of a Boeing 767-300, 37,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean flying towards South America. He shot this with his Nikon D750.

Borja is a pilot and a photographer. He works for the LATAM Ecuador Airlines but loves carrying his camera everywhere. He says flying and photography are his two greatest passions. It is difficult to say though which one is his greatest love.

Anyone who has tried his hands at photographing lighting would acknowledge how difficult it is to time the shutter release at the precise moment when a lightning strikes. A million different things can go wrong and they often do. Most photographers set their camera on a long exposure mode and trigger in anticipation. They employ stacking methods as well to achieve a dramatic effect.

Making the image was harder than you think it was. It was almost dark and the ride was not exactly smooth. Plus, shooting from inside the cockpit means you always run the risk of catching reflections on the windows.

Borja wrote in an email to the Washington Post,

“I like this photo so much because you can feel the amazing size of the storm and its power,” Borja said. “But at the same time it’s wonderful how peacefully you can fly around it in still air without touching it.”

It is certainly a one in a million shot, if not the most incredible thunderstorm photo ever taken, given the odds. It is the closest one could get to experience Mother Nature’s destructive intentions without getting caught in one.

Rajib Mukherjee

Rajib Mukherjee

Rajib’s love for the road is second only to his love for photography. Wanderlust at heart and a shutterbug who loves to document his travels via his lenses; his two passions compliment each other perfectly. He has been writing for over 6 years now, which unsurprisingly, revolve mostly around his two favourite pursuits.
Rajib Mukherjee