Lightning is hard to photograph. You have to have patience, solid timing and a general acceptance of the possibility of getting soaked. If that doesn't really resonate with you there's always the route that Matthew Albanese chose. Rather than go through the stress, waiting and danger of shooting an actual lightning storm he just made his own. Matthew has been creating these worlds for years now. In fact, we featured his work last year as well. The lightning storm is one of his most recent creations and the method behind it is very clever.
I made it a point to try and figure out how he did the lightning before I dug deeper to find out...and I wasn't even close. Matthew opted to paint a large piece of plexiglass black, and then etch out the bolts of lightning so the light would shine through.
Truthfully I'm not sure there's a more elegant solution out there, and he would know. This piece is part of an ongoing series he started in 2008 called "Strange Worlds" which contains over 20 images of equally incredible dioramas he's created.
Be sure to check out more of his work at matthewalbanese.com