Pilot Captures Incredible Shot of Thunderstorm Over the Pacific Ocean

When he’s not piloting planes, Santiago Borja loves moonlighting as a photographer. And, sometimes, he loves to do both. “Since I carry my camera everywhere,” he explained to The Washington Post, “I started trying to capture storms and in-flight experiences some time ago combining my two greatest passions: flying and photography.”

On a recent trip, Borja came face-to-face with an incredible thunderstorm at 37,000 feet in the air. While still seated in the cockpit and circling the storm, which was located over the Pacific Ocean at the southern tip of Panama, the pilot took advantage of his unique perspective. “Storms are tricky because the lightning is so fast, there is no tripod and there is a lot of reflection from inside lights,” he admits. Yet, he was still able to capture one of the most stunning images of Mother Nature’s atmospheric bellowing.

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

Scroll down to see a few more of Borja's aerial photography.

Big active storm near the coast of Venezuela.

Thirty seconds of sunset lights right before rainfall over Toledo.

Flying over the Caribbean to Europe.

Santiago Borja: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Santiago Borja.


Pinar Noorata is the Managing Editor at My Modern Met. She is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Film and Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is an alumni of the Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program in NYC. She has worked at major TV, film, and publishing companies as well as other independent media businesses. When she isn’t writing, editing, or creating videos herself, Pinar enjoys watching movies, reading, crafting, drawing, and volunteering at her local animal shelter.
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