Photographer Captures Incredible Triple Lightning Strike in Chicago

Triple Lightning in Chicago by Barry Butler

Photographer Barry Butler is known for capturing all sides of his beloved city of Chicago. In late July, when he heard that a lightning storm was coming through, he seized the opportunity. And he was lucky enough to come away with a stunning photo of three bolts of lightning simultaneously hitting the Sears Tower, John Hancock Tower, and Trump Hotel.

Butler knew, given the amount of lightning, that a triple strike was probable, he just needed to be ready. “There was so much lightning for a three-hour period that I almost got tired of shooting,” he tells My Modern Met.

Butler decided to stay with a wide composition in order to maximize his chances of capturing a triple lightning strike. Luckily, his patience was rewarded. While his incredible photo may seem like a composite, that's not the case. The bolts of lightning in the image all occurred at the same time and were captured in one frame.

And while Butler took a lot of stunning images during the lightning storm, nothing tops this masterpiece. “We have free entertainment thanks to Mother Nature,” he reminds us.  “Whether it’s a sunrise, sunset, or storm, there is always something that you can be amazed by.”

Funnily enough, Butler's plans to photograph the storm were almost foiled by Ed Sheeran. Butler had tickets to the British singer's concert that night, and throughout the show, would check radar reports to see when the storm would hit. Luckily, Sheeran finished right on time, allowing Butler to make his way to a building with a good view of the Chicago skyline and take his position before Mother Nature's concert began.

See more images Butler took during this incredible lightning storm in Chicago.

Barry Butler: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Barry Butler.

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Incredible Triple Lightning Strike on Three of Chicago’s Tallest Buildings

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Photographer Captures Striking Photo of Golden Gate Bridge Surrounded by Lightning

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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