A Thunder Bay photographer says he got a little too close to his subject matter in the early hours on Monday.

Dave Zahodnik had quickly gone down to Marina Park with his camera to take pictures after he spotted a thunder and lightning storm rolling into the harbour.

"The best time to get those shots is when it's dark," Zahodnik said. "It's different every time, you're never going to get the same lightning bolt, so that's why I like it."

But Zahodnik said he doesn't like it so much anymore after he was knocked to the ground by a nearby lightning strike.

Lightning over Thunder Bay

Photographer Dave Zahodnik says he clicked the shutter on this photo just seconds before the lightning struck close to where he was standing. (Dave Zahodnik/Thunder Bay)

"I clicked the button, two seconds later the lightning flashes," Zahodnik said. "I could feel like the weirdest feeling ever, there was static all around me, the lamp posts were making zappy noises, so I'm guessing it went right above my head and struck behind me.

"It was like, basically, let's just say someone punched you in the chest just after you had just exhaled," Zahodnik said. "There was absolutely no air left in me at all. My legs went a little bit limp, a little bit numb and I kind of just fell back.

Zahodnik posted the photo he took just before the lightning strike on Facebook.

"A few moments ago I was at the Marina park taking images of the storm. Thinking I was invincible and  fine with the odds of getting struck by lighting. I was wrong. This is the last image I took before running to my car. (sic)," he said in the post.

After the experience, the professional photographer said he will stick with wedding and baby portraits, and leave shooting storms to others.

"Unless someone builds me a rubber suit that covers my entire body, I'm not doing it," Zahodnik said.