San Franfrazzled: Once-in-a-lifetime picture of lightning striking iconic bridge


They say that lightning never strikes twice, but this amazing photo proves otherwise.

An incredible eight bolts struck the Bay Bridge in San Francisco last night which was captured in this incredible shot by photographer Phil McGrew, who took the photo through the rain-soaked window of his apartment. 

Mr McGrew, 49, was shocked at the striking image which shows the split-second moment of electric forks hitting the span of the bridge.

Lucky strike! Eight bolts of lightning hit the iconic Bay Bridge in San Francisco in a spectacular once in a lifetime moment captured by photographer Phil McGrew

The currency trader, who took up photography as a hobby two years ago, put his camera near his window as the rare thunderstorm lashed the city at 6pm.

He said: ‘I moved from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to San Francisco about two years ago.

‘We used to get a lot of big storms in Florida, but I’ve only seen them a couple of times here.

‘When the thunder and lightning started last night, I thought I must get a picture of the lightning against the bridge.

Mr McGrew,  set up his camera on a long exposure for about 20 seconds.

Not realising he was about to take a once-in-a-lifetime picture, he perfectly captured the white flashes of light over the inky sky set against the golden glow of the bridge.

He said: ‘I wasn’t brave enough to go outside, plus my camera would have been soaking wet, so I just set it up next to the window and watched.

‘You couldn’t see much by just looking through the window, it was very foggy.

‘When I looked at my camera, I had a few that were just dark, and then some were very bright where I had just missed the strikes. Then I saw this one, it was incredible.

‘You can count the strikes, the Bay Bridge has four distinct towers and you can see the lightning hitting each tower.


One Response

  1. Michael Cook says:

    Its just a rehearsal.

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