Perfect Shot: San Mateo Lightning Storm

Photos by Gino De Grandis

As covered in our May 2020 issue, PUNCH photography director Gino De Grandis is also a storm chaser, always ready to hit the road to document the largest, most destructive tornadoes. But on Sunday, August 16, a rare, violent thunderstorm struck close to home, fiercely lighting up the Bay Area night sky. Gino describes how he captured this Perfect Shot: “I had all my gear assembled, ready to head out but then I realized that my own street was the perfect setting to immortalize the lightning bolts striking over San Mateo. I placed my tripod facing the Hillsdale/San Mateo hills and started capturing a continuous succession of amazing lightning bolts until sunrise. This particular twin bolt is difficult to get at such high resolution without an automatic trigger; it takes some good instinct and loads of patience to hit it at just the right time.”

Image by Gino De Grandis/