Photographer Catches Three Lightning Strikes Hitting Chicago in One Photo

Three lightning strikes hitting Chicago
Lightning bolts connect with (from left to right) the John Hancock Center, Trump Chicago, and the Sears Tower.

A photographer captured three bolts of lightning striking the Chicago skyline simultaneously in one epic photo.

Barry Butler’s camera caught lightning hitting the John Hancock Center, Trump Chicago, and Sears Tower all at the same time on July 29.

Confirming to PetaPixel that the incredible photo is not a composite, Butler says he knew earlier that day a storm was due.

“My challenge was that I knew it was coming in the evening but I had a ticket to see Ed Sheeran at the Chicago Theatre,” explains Butler.

“After each song, I checked the NOAA radar to see how long it would be before the storm would hit downtown Chicago. I crossed my fingers that Ed would finish in time, and he did.”

Butler left the concert venue and it began raining. He headed to a building west of the Chicago skyline and the action folded in front of him.

“I spent the next three hours in what could be best described as a shooting gallery,” he says.

“The skyscrapers in our town we’re guessing battered with lightning. I thought it was just a matter of time before all three of the main skyscrapers in Chicago got it simultaneously. The storm was too active for not to happen.”

Butler says he has got a fantastic reaction from people commenting on his social channels. “If you were in Chicago, it was no secret that we were having a storm… It was the talk of the town.”

He says that the most challenging aspect of the photo was “patience and having faith that things will develop.”

“Our downtown is along the lake. There are many times a storm develops in the suburbs and heads east. The atmosphere is different along the lake, sometimes the storm front will either peter out before it hits downtown or takes a detour. Many broken hearts when you see a strong storm out west head east and it just disappears.”

The Chicago shooter uses Nikon Z9s to shoot his photos with and Really Right Stuff tripod. Butler covers Chicago on a daily basis and has been doing so for over 10 years.

“I love Chicago, it’s the prettiest city in America. I have one book that I published three years ago, Chicago – a City Above All. Another one will be released in September called Chicago – Morning, Noon, and Night.”

More of Butler’s photo can be found on his website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.