The Brazilian photographer who captured the lighting of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro described shooting the images as “incredible” and “like a dream come true.”
Lightning struck the iconic building last month, leaving social media users stunned.
Fernando Braga, a resident of Rio de Janeiro, lives with his wife and children in a building with a direct view of the 30-meter-tall statue.
After more than 30 attempts, he was determined to get a time-lapse video and photos of the lightning connecting to the sculpture.
“It was unbelievable at first. Like a dream come true as I have been trying for a long time. At that point I expected some lightning around the frame, but not like this,” Braga told Yahoo News.
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Lightning struck Brazil’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue last month, leaving social media users stunned after the bolt was caught on film
Photography is just a hobby for me. I like to spend my free time shooting,” added Braga.
‘At home I have a very nice statue of Christ the Redeemer, so I took a lot of pictures of that. At sunset, sunrise[s]with the moon, the sun, airplanes, helicopters, birds, etc. … So I decided to buy one with lightning as well.’
Braga’s photos sent social media users into a frenzy. He posted several times on different platforms, but the most popular garnered more than 171,700 likes and more than 3,200 comments on Instagram.
The close-up showed how lightning struck the statue’s head, illuminating it like a halo.
“I didn’t expect so much reaction as this isn’t technically a difficult photo,” said Braga.
He added, “I just want to say that people are trying to get those lightning shots [should put their] own safety first. I was shooting at home… Protection and safety should always be [a priority]. Once you figure that out, give it a try! It’s really not hard to take great pictures.’
Fernando Braga took both photos and video footage of the incident, which has been viewed millions of times
Braga was determined to capture a stunning time-lapse video and lightning strike screenshots on the frame after more than 30 attempts.
“I am totally blown away by this…” one social media user wrote.
Another posted: “God has sent a message to the world!!”
The statue is visited by nearly two million people every year.
Lightning struck the head of the Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ on February 10.
Images of lighting hitting the structure were the first posted on Twitter by a user named Massimo, who credited Braga.
Many social media users wondered if the incident was the work of a divine, extraterrestrial force. Others praised Braga – whose Instagram account also includes several posts showing the image under more normal circumstances – for capturing such a visceral, temporary moment.
One user commented that, shockingly, this wasn’t the first time the statue – which was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the Ancient World in 2007 – has been struck by lightning, crashing twice in less than two decades. are in 2008 and 2014.
“At this point Zeus or Thor,” the user wrote on one of Braga’s posts. “Jokes apart, this is quite a recurring event, as it’s the highest point, it’s just luck that someone is shooting at the right time.”
Another praised the cinematographer for his prowess at taking pictures, commenting on one of his shots: ‘What a shot! Thanks for sharing.’
A third posted: ‘Wow! Oh just WOW!’
“It was unbelievable at first. Like a dream come true as I have been trying for a long time. At that point I was expecting some lightning around the frame, but not like this,” said Braga
Braga said, “I have a very nice statue of Christ the Redeemer at home, so I took a lot of pictures of it. At sunset, sunrise[s]with the moon, the sun, planes, helicopters, birds, etc… So I decided to get one with lightning as well’
The storm captured in the photos wreaked havoc in Rio de Janeiro, cutting down trees in several neighborhoods. However, the statue was not damaged by the lightning strike.
When the structure was hit in January 2014, the incident was also captured on camera.
At the time, officials revealed that the bolt damaged the effigy’s thumb, which then had to be repaired.
The 2008 lightning strike on the statue left it unharmed.
Christ the Redeemer stands more than 600 meters above Rio, on top of Mount Corcovado.