By Nelson Groom
A photographer has captured a striking snapshot of a storm hitting Australia’s most sacred landmark, Uluru.
Photographer Kartikeya Sharma, 32, has made it his mission to chase storms in the country’s ‘red centre’, which he describes as a ritual that spiritually connects him to the land.
From rainwater cascading down the rock, to bolts of lightning striking overhead as blackened clouds consume the peak, these incredible images show the rock formation as it’s never been seen before.
Kartikeya, who captured the images last week, said: “I definitely feel a connection to the sacredness of the land when I’m doing this.
“It reminds you how insignificant you are in the bigger picture, and how much bigger things there are going on in this world.
“Uluru under heavy rains has to be seen to be believed, the hundreds of waterfalls streaming down the rock. No photographs could do it justice.”
Kartikeya, who works as a chef at an open-air restaurant, said it’s easy for him to keep an eye on the sky and spot any looming storms.
And he said capturing his most eye-popping photograph to date – a super cell bearing down on the big red rock last year – gave him a narrow window of time.
Kartikeya said he is hooked to the adrenaline rush from chasing storms, never shoots when they are overhead for fear of being hit by lightning.
And he believes there may be something unique in the land that attracts the ferocious storms he is determined to capture.
Kartikeya said: “Some people believe the high iron content in the red dirt may attract the storms or lightning, but that hasn’t been proven.”
“I knew when I saw the cell approaching that I had never seen anything like it, and I managed to reach a dune top to shoot it at just the right time.”
“I love the adrenaline rush when you see lightning nearby, but I know never to get directly underneath as safety is important.”
“It really stays with you when you see this in person.”