New York City Lightning Photography of Manhattan Skyline by Greg Geffner

The disturbing beauty of thunder storms over New York City is documented by twenty years of photography from the roof top and windows of a loft situated on the Brooklyn Waterfront, directly on the inlet of the Newtown Creek and East River.

Formally a giant factory complex and still one of the highest structures in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the building offers a strategic vantage point overlooking a vast artificial valley of Long Island City and the East River surrounded by the eastern portion of the Manhattan Skyline and Queensboro Bridge. This affords the opportunity to observe, study and photograph lightning. Seldom revealed on this massive scale is the clash between natural forces of weather and artificial cityscape. New York City's buildings and bridges, considered the most developed real estate in the world are dwarfed by the architecture of lightning. Even in our modern age of technology and comforts, there are still random moments of susceptibility to the uncontrollable chaotic forces of nature.

This on going series is photographed at night, late evening and early morning entirely without the use of filters. Color differences are light reflecting from the city on to the various weather systems. Exposures are approximately ten to thirty seconds and contain single lightning displays. Most situations required a wide-angle lens because of the close proximity to the bolts.

Surrounded by ageless myths and legends, lightning triggers inherent fear and awe. A near miss, a reminder of vulnerability and vibrating aftershock leaving the realization that we are all small specs in a huge order of things. Lightning striking New York City's buildings and bridges can be seen as nature's attempt to reclaim terrain, to strike out at civilization's arrogance and abuses against the environment. As concrete structures invade higher and higher; nature lashes back firing down bolts of electricity, retaliating, trying to maintain sovereignty over domain and to fend off man's encroachment. A battle of extremes clashing together. Andy Warhol suggested that good art imitates nature; taken full circle, the best art is nature.