It was around 9 o’clock in the evening when I was walking the coast of Thessaloniki in order to capture some long exposures of the ships with one of my friends. I was had my Hasselblad 500CM loaded with a Fuji Provia 100F and was searching for the ideal place to set our tripods. My friend, Charis, had a Canon A1 with Kodak Portra 400.

I love Fuji Provia 100F for long night exposures because you don’t have to be that accurate with light metering as you have in a daylight situations. As we were setting our tripods we noticed that a storm was starting at the other side of the gulf and some lightning strikes draged our attention in that direction. We decided to go back to our car and search for a spot in order to capture some lightning strikes instead.

My Hasselblad 500CM + Carl Zeiss Distagon CF 50mm f/4, Dimitris Chatzis

We were so excited as the storm became more intense and every ten seconds, the entire sky was lit like daylight. After half an hour we found the perfect spot on the beach — I say perfect because we could see all the lightning strikes on the sea and there was no even one drop of rain there!

The only lens I have for the Hasselblad is a Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm f/4 CF, as I bought this camera mainly for landscape photography. It cost me about 1000 Euro for the body and the lenses in very good condition. I was surprised by the sharp images that this lens produces. In general, all the Carl Zeiss lenses made for Hasselblad cameras are very sharp and deliver excellent results. You also have a large variety of lenses to choose from, too.

Back to the storm!

I set the lens at f/8 and shutter speed to bulb and, with a cable release, made some long exposures. After 3 or 4 strikes I stopped the exposure as I think that the film could end up burnt from the excessive light of the lightning bolts. After an hour, my twelve frames were finished, and returned home. I was so excited that I started the preparation for developing the film immediately. Here are five of my 12 frames.

Slide film development is a kind of a tricky process if you are alone but my friend Charis was there to adjust the temperature of the water tank all the time. I really like the results, maybe because it was the first time that I captured a storm! Thanks for your time!!

~ Dimitris

Submit your 5 Frames... today

Get your own 5 Frames featured by submitting your article using this form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.

Share your knowledge, story or project

The transfer of knowledge across the film photography community is the heart of EMULSIVE. You can add your support by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.

If you like what you're reading you can also help this passion project by heading over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and contributing as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.

About the author

Avatar - Dimitris Chatzis

Dimitris Chatzis

I am passionate about analog photography. I use only analog equipment with manual focus lenses. I started a year ago and film was my first touch with photography. I love landscapes but I am trying also with street photography at night and some portraits.


Join the Conversation



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Great start for the storm 😉
    Like the colors.
    Zeiss lens can do that and the Velvia is the must for this kind of photography.
    Bravo, great images.

  2. serendipity and a photographer’s great eye and sense of timing! These are FABULOUS! Congratulations!