If you find yourself flicking through the latest Bureau of Meteorology calendar, you might come across a familiar landscape.
Port Macquarie photographer Ivan Sajko's Lightning Strike photo, taken from Tacking Point Lighthouse in 2021, was chosen from thousands across Australia to appear in the hotly sought after 2024 Bureau of Meteorology calendar.
This is the second time a photo of his has been chosen for the nation's top weather calendar.
Mr Sajko said he was "stoked" to see his photo chosen for the month of April.
"I didn't expect it at all," he said. "They sent me an email earlier in the year and asked me to submit a photo.
"I didn't hear back for a few months and thought that was it, but they contacted me a bit later and said my photo had been selected. It was surreal."
Mr Sajko, former Port News photographer and now owner of Ocean Drive Images, said it is his favourite photo he's taken so far.
"I've got it on a canvas at home and everything, I just really like it," he said.
"It's got everything in it. You've got the water, rain, people on the beach and the lightning bolt. Then you have North Brother Mountain in the background and the clouds hanging over it all.
"To get that bolt in the shot takes the photo up another level."
Mr Sajko said it takes a perfect storm of luck, timing and the right equipment to get a lightning bolt in a photo.
"I used a lightning trigger to get the lightning bolt... they are designed to make the camera go off when they detect a bright flash," he said. "It's also about having the right lighting, storm and settings on the camera to capture it.
"When I saw the photo on the back of the camera, I was just stoked to see the bolt."
Mr Sajko has been been photographing storms in Port Macquarie since 2013. While he doesn't class himself as a typical storm chaser, he said he's been taking it more seriously for the last five years.
He said the unpredictability of storms drives his passion.
"Taking photos of a storm is a bit like surfing," he said. "Where every wave is different, I think every storm is different... you're never going to get the same storm twice.
"You also don't know what you're going to get with a storm. Some storms are weak and fizzle out. I have come down here heaps of times where that has happened.
"Other times you come down here and it doesn't look threatening at first, but something happens where the weather changes and creates a perfect storm.
"You don't want to miss that moment."
Mr Sajko said the Tacking Point Lighthouse is his favourite spot for taking photos.
"This is the perfect spot because we have the Lighthouse here and we're elevated," he said. "There's no trees and buildings blocking our view, and we've got great views pretty much every second of the day."
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