Gavin Gough
Editorial, Humanitarian & Travel Photographer



Seven in Seven · Day Six

Sony a7RII, 35mm, 4 secs, f/8, ISO1600


It had been a long day. All I really wanted to do was get to my hotel room, drop my camera bag, brew a pot of tea and prepare for the following day's work.

The arrival of the storm served only to increase my desire to be indoors.

The first, distant rumble of thunder came as I closed my hotel room door behind me.

"Hmm, thunder."

(I'm nothing if not insightful.)

"There might be lightning. I have a rooftop view from the balcony. I should go back outside and take a look."

"Oh, but my poor, weary limbs.. I'll just sit down for a while..."

You know those moments where you're caught between a cosy, comfortable (and dry) option and a more tiring, arduous (and rain-soaked) option...?

Fortunately, one of my infrequent, lucid thoughts chose to appear at that moment.

"Seriously? There's a storm outside. You have an elevated view across the city to one of the most sacred Buddhist stupas, a bag full of camera gear and a tripod. Are you waiting for an embossed invitation?"

My internal monologue can be unsympathetic.

One hour and 96 frames later, soaked to the skin, I had one - just one - frame which had caught a lightning bolt streak across the sky above the stupa.

There's a moral to this tale and it is this: If you stay indoors, you'll be dry, cosy and you won't even know what you missed.

"What's that, Internal Monologue? I missed the point of the story? Jeez, don't you ever let up?"

Whatever. Here's a photograph of a lightning bolt illuminating the sky above the majestic Buddhist stupa in Boudhanath which I wouldn't have taken if I'd chosen to stay indoors...

"Oh, right, I get it now!"

If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.
— Jay Maisel