Models showed a convective complex developing around midnight in the St. Louis area, and it happened just after 11PM about 20 miles south of New Baden. New thunderstorms are the best in terms of lightning quality, mainly due to the fact that the precip core hasn't fully developed and expanded, allowing for more lightning channels to be visible and 'crisp' outside of the rain. This storm put on quite a show for several hours, with near continuous flashes. The complex was still going strong when I finally decided I'd captured enough images. At the beginning, several 'bolts from the blue' arced out from the updrafts into clear air, with stars visible above. The frequency of the flashes was enough to break out the video camera - I recorded about 30 minutes of the near-constant cloud illumination.
A Perseid meteor streaked across the frame in one of the shots, though the exposure settings I was shooting at didn't allow it to get picked up. After that, I did a series of exposures at meteor-shower settings (high ISO, open aperture) hoping for another, but there were no more. Overall a great nighttime lightning event, one of the best this year so far (and only 15 minutes from home).
When this first one hit, I had the camera pointed high to get stars in the shot. This CG hit the ground a good 5 miles or more to the west of the storm: