Illawarra night owls were treated to a spectacular lightning show in the early hours of yesterday morning as most of the population slept unaware.
The show continued for several hours as an apocalyptic-looking set of storm clouds rolled southward off the region’s coastline.
Wollongong photographer Steen Barnes was woken by his unwell two-year-old son Gwil about 12.30pm and quickly grew transfixed on the ‘‘constant’’ lightning forks out at sea.
‘‘It was absolutely beautiful: the star-filled skies and this big, rolling mass of clouds with lighting just belting out of them,’’ he said.
There was some low, rumbling thunder but no great bangs to match the visuals.
Mr Barnes photographed the spectacle from his balcony for a while, then took his camera to Flagstaff Hill to make the most of the event.
He found about 20 people sharing in the spectacle - ‘‘just sitting there watching these big forks shooting into the sky - beautiful purple and blue colours’’.
‘‘It was going flat out the whole time - it was such a good show,’’ Mr Barnes said.
The show continued past 2am when Mr Barnes went to bed, this cracking shot safely stored on his memory card.