Michael Bath, from McLeans Ridges in New South Wales, Australia, estimates that in his lifetime he has taken more than 3,500 images of lightning bolts illuminating the sky. Photo: Alstonville, New South Wales, Australia – January 8, 2003. (Photo by Michael Bath/Caters News)
A mushroom cloud dwarfs a row of skyscrapers in what looks like a devastating nuclear bomb detonation. But thankfully this is just a spectacular weather-front blasting in from the tempestuous Rocky Mountains near Denver, Colorado, USA. The unbelievable shot is just one of many of the city's skyline taken by photographer Greg Thow. The 49-year-old has also captured equally stunning shots of lightning blasts and arching rainbows – all from the comfort of his balcony. (Photo by Greg Thow/Barcroft Media)
Second Place Winner: “Thunderstorm at False Kiva”. I hiked out to these ruins at night hoping to photograph them with the Milky Way, but instead a thunderstorm rolled through, creating this dramatic image. – Max Seigal. National Geographic Traveler Director of Photography Dan Westergren, one of this year's judges, shares his thoughts on the second place winner: “This photo combines two different scenes into one: the small kiva in a cliff dwelling and the grand vista of Canyonlands National Park across the valley. I really like the two different color palettes – warm inside and purple outside. This two-for-one scene was caused by the lightning storm outside the dwelling, which lit up the landscape like it was a huge electronic flash. Looking at this picture I can imagine what a wonderful sight it must have been for the ancient people who lived here. It doesn't seem too amazing now in our modern world, but might have been mind-blowing for the prehistoric residents”. Location: Utah. (Photo and caption by Max Seigal/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
“Stacked Supercell with Lightning”. This huge mesocyclone supercell was near the Nebraska / Kansas border on the night of June 22nd, 2012. What a stunning structure! (Photo and caption by Jennifer Brindley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
ATTENTION! All pictures are presented in high resolution. To see Hi-Res images – just TWICE click on any picture. In other words, click small picture – opens the BIG picture. Click BIG picture – opens VERY BIG picture.