Photographer’s ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ turns heads

 

Jimmy McDonald

Jimmy McDonald

Photo by Jimmy McDonald | jmacphoto.com This photo captures a lightning strike over the Hamlet Depot on June 19. It was featured in the August edition of Carolina Country.

Photo by Jimmy McDonald | jmacphoto.com
This photo captures a lightning strike over the Hamlet Depot on June 19. It was featured in the August edition of Carolina Country.

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

The name Jimmy McDonald is as synonymous with photography as it is Richmond County itself.

This week, area residents are receiving their August editions of Carolina Country, a magazine published by Pee Dee Electric. On page 5 is a feature photo taken June 19 by the 46-year-old Rockingham resident who happened to miss the regular monthly meeting of the Richmond County Photography Group due to a scheduling conflict. Instead, he and his son, Christopher, watched the show from their home in Rockingham. Then they followed it to the Hamlet Depot.

What a show. What a snapshot.

“I was just lucky to be there,” McDonald said. “I’ve never seen so much lightning.”

McDonald, who has been honing his craft since Christopher was born 19 years ago, took a series of photographs of the lightning display that was eye-catching and jaw-dropping. Sometimes, people don’t even realize what they’re seeing. This was one of those times.

“It was a perfect … once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” McDonald said.

Photo by Jimmy McDonald | jmacphoto.com The second of three of Jimmy McDonald's top photos from a June 19 lightning show over Hamlet.

Photo by Jimmy McDonald | jmacphoto.com
The second of three of Jimmy McDonald’s top photos from a June 19 lightning show over Hamlet.

Of the photo Carolina Country used, “that’s one of my favorite. We definitely remember the ‘pop.'”

McDonald’s photos also have appeared in Our State magazine. His sports photographs regularly appear in the Richmond County Daily Journal.

McDonald said he’s improved quiet a bit over the past two decades — for a variety of reasons.

“The equipment has improved, which doesn’t hurt,” McDonald said. “I think understanding light is the key. Without light, you’re not going to have a photo. Understanding the (camera’s) functions. Even with the lightning shots, I know how my camera needs to be set up.”

McDonald said another key to success is being willing to experiment.

“I have hundreds of thousands of photos that I’ll never post,” he said.

Photo by Jimmy McDonald | jmacphoto.com The third of three of Jimmy McDonald's top photos from a June 19 lightning show over Hamlet.

Photo by Jimmy McDonald | jmacphoto.com
The third of three of Jimmy McDonald’s top photos from a June 19 lightning show over Hamlet.

The Richmond County Photography Group which McDonald guides meets monthly on the third Thursday at the Arts Richmond building on East Washington Street in downtown Rockingham.

 

 

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  • Vickie Singletary

    Those are breathtaking!!

  • Abbie Covington

    Absolutely beautiful work.

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