Lightning storms meet Milky Way in this new timelapse short from Philippines

Spent 10 months chasing storms and Milky Way skies on a remote paradise island in the Philippines. This is what came out of them, polished using LRTimelapse.

Martien Travel Imagez shared with us the following details on his video:

I’ve always been a storm lover and have tried capturing them in The Netherlands for many years. It’s probably one of the worst countries for it. Storms, often coming from the south, either fall apart above our country due to the climate, or usually they get blown towards Germany or the North Sea. When during my trip in the Philippines I came to Siargao island, I found myself in a storm paradise. I extended my stay there several times and shot most of the clips during the first few months. Storm season still had to start! I ended up staying 10 months for it, driving around most evenings to see if there was anything going on. Ironically I didn’t get a single great clip during the whole storm season, my D800 broke and a sudden strong gust of wind knocked over my D700/14-24 in salt water, dead in a few seconds.

After the first few months though, capturing Milky Way scenes and lightning storms, I set myself a goal to capture both at the same time. That’s the hardest thing I can think of, for several reasons. To have a lightning storm last for several hours, without clouds blocking the view on the stars, exactly during those few weeks that you’re able to shoot the Milky Way without light pollution of the moon, that requires incredible luck. To be/get in the right position to frame both is almost impossible, especially considering I was on an island. Then there’s the technical side, both require completely different settings and intervals. I didn’t even think it would be possible, exposure-wise.

A few weeks later I’m shooting a timelapse movie at the incredible Dedon Island Resort at Siargao, timing it with the Milky Way. We planned 3 nights for it. Then all nights had lightning and rain storms. The first time ever that I was not happy to see lightning storms. I captured a nice lightning scene the first night before the Milky Way was even visible, but it quickly turned into an endless rainstorm. The second night another lightning storm appeared far away. I setup my 4 cameras (2 borrowed) anyway, fearing the worst, hoping for the best. The storm lasted 5 hours and stayed at the same location. There were some clouds, but you could still see the Milky Way really well. I even captured a couple of red sprites, another bucket list item I didn’t think I’d ever capture.

I had no idea what the lightning would do when I set up, but didn’t want to underexpose the Milky Way too much, as that was what I was here for. Settings were slightly different for each camera, but averagely shot at ISO1600, 15 second exposure at the lowest aperture. Although there’s some overexposure in a few frames, both Milky Way and lightning came out surprisingly well. I’m so psyched to have captured that scene, it’s one of the first times ever it’s been recorded. It’s just crazy that I captured it with red sprites, with 4 cameras a the same time. This movie only uses one of those 4 scenes, you can watch all at


If you want to know more about Martien Travel Imagez, don’t forget check the following out:

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