Conway Springs man captures lightning in a photo

Conway Springs resident Collin N. Forrest took this photo at about 10 p.m. last Wednesday, Aug. 21, at the Farmers Cooperative Grain Association elevator in Conway Springs. The image is a composite of two 20-second exposures.

By Sam Jack

Wednesday night, Aug. 21, Conway Springs resident Collin Forrest was at home watching a movie with his family when he saw that a storm was rolling into the area.

“I thought, ‘I better run out and go find something to shoot,’” he said.

Forrest, who has been pursuing photography seriously for the past five years, is now on a constant lookout for interesting weather, especially lightning.


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“I’ve actually driven in the country a lot, marking windmills and stuff like that, just so I can find them when a storm comes in in the future. Because lightning’s cool, but you’ve got to have a subject too,” he said.

During last week’s lightning storm, Forrest’s subject was the Farmers Cooperative Grain Association elevator in Conway Springs.

“I was trying to get something Conway Springs-specific in it, and ended up settling on the elevator. I just walked across the street and set up my tripod,” he said.

To create the image accompanying this story, Forrest took two 20-second exposures and combined them digitally.

“The first one, a street light was on when I took the picture, so it washed out some of the detail in the building. The second one really toned that down, and then I blended the two together,” Forrest said.

Forrest bought his first professional-grade camera in order to take photos of his stepdaughter’s basketball games. His wife, Shelby, is also a photographer, and they have both continued to hone their skills, and upgrade their equipment, over the years

They have been taking photos at rodeos and barrel races this summer, including events in Conway Springs. In June, they took a trip to Yellowstone, capturing volcanic features along with lots of wildlife. Photo galleries can be viewed at

Forrest’s favorite time to take photos is during the “golden hour.”

“Sunrise: I’m a big fan of that magical light at the start of every day,” he said.