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Photographer captures electrifying images from rim of the Grand Canyon

Rolf Maeder / Rex Features via AP

Lightning strikes the Grand Canyon on Aug. 30, 2013.

Using long exposures, photographer Rolf Maeder managed to capture multiple lightning strikes hitting the Grand Canyon under atmospheric stormy skies. 

Sometimes an opportunity comes very unexpectedly. On August 30th, Maeder and two friends were driving from Sedona to the Grand Canyon to get some sunset shots. 

Maeder explains:

After a short time being there, we noticed that we couldn't get what we wanted because of the very hazy light. So we decided to return to Sedona, just shortly checking out some more viewpoints. 

On the Moran Point we noticed that far away a lightning storm was building up. That was much more than we expected, so we started setting up our tripods and started to take pictures. The shot with the 2 lightning strikes was taken 9 p.m. with a Nikon D800, 24mm lens at f/8, ISO 400 and a 25 sec. exposure. The long exposure made it possible to catch two lightning bolts with one shot!

Rolf Maeder / Rex Features via AP

One of the photographers Maeder was traveling with used a flashlight and "light-painted" the foreground elements of this scene during the long exposure.

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and reaches a depth of over a mile. Nearly two billion years of the Earth's geological history has been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock. These images were shot from Moran Point (elevation: 7160 ft) on the South Rim of the canyon.

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