Photo: Sandro Puncet
Sandro Puncet, a storm chaser from the island of Lošinj, has been stirring up excitement throughout Croatia and the world with his genius photographs of lightning, clouds and other meteorological phenomena.
His striking motives were recognized by the editors of the internet edition of National Geographic. They selected one of his photos to be the top shot of the day among thousands of photographs they receive on a daily basis. Puncet says that he has always felt passion for studying meteorological phenomena, and that having two parents and a grandfather who are meteorologists certainly contributed to his line of work. He grew up in a house just beside a weather station, where his parents still work. He says, “I have always walked among clouds, weather conditions and storms.”
To touch a lightning by hand
It sounds surreal and incredible; however, he barely survived his last storm. Lady Luck helped him, who has been most likely following his courageous feats in his desire to take the best photograph of a lightning he can. This professional truck driver was on a lookout above his native island of Lošinj. He was waiting for an interesting shot… And then – a hit! Strong! Unexpected!
“I was incredibly lucky. The lightning literally hit a meter away from me! I was shocked! It was so close I could have touched it with my hand. When it hit, I managed to capture the sparks and the leaves around me that had caught on fire. It could have killed me. That is the so-called sporadic lightning that hits left and right,” Puncet says, who, otherwise, tries to avoid dangerous and critical situations as much as possible.
He bought his first camera in 1997, a Kodak film camera, and he tried to chase lightning with it.
“It was only during my fifth or sixth attempt that I managed to capture two lightnings. I started chasing lightning and that is what I have done to this day. Lightning, clouds and other meteorological phenomena are my greatest passion. However, I also like to chase rare meteors and comets,” Puncet says.