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Thread: Lightning photos

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    Member AWB's Avatar
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    Smile Lightning photos

    Hi,
    I think fork lightning photos are beautiful. But i'm really new to photography and am not sure about settings, modes, ISO, ?use tripod, i'm thinking fastest possible shutter speed etc. So i thought i would ask in preparation for the next thunder and lightning storm. Any advice....
    Thanks in advance
    Ali

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    Hi Ali,

    Lightning is one of my favorite things to photograph but be prepared that it takes extreme patience! Some nights I will take 300 shots for 3 decent photos. Definitely use a tripod and a remote shutter release, and instead of a fast shutter speed, use the bulb setting. The secret is to hold the shutter open, and close it after a strike. Lightning is so fast, by the time you react, it's gone. I time roughly how long it is between strikes (just count it in my head) and when another one is just about due, I open the shutter and wait. I then close the shutter either after a strike, or when too much time has passed (from my balcony it's 15 to 20 seconds before the street lights blow the shot out).

    Good luck!

    Nicole

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    No expert here, but a few thoughts.
    To predict where lightening will happen is hard, so you need your shutter open. Shutter not open, no lightning photo. This makes it hard to get photos in daylight, unless you have ND filters.
    Low ISO = less noise.
    As Nicole mentioned, is there any other light that will affect the photo. As opposed to her using bulb, I'm trying manual and if a bolt happens, I just cover the lens with my hand until exposure time is up. Or not bother. I got one photo with two bolts that happened within 30 seconds that looked okay.
    So this link had ISO 100, f/16 (to control the lights and give a little more DOF) and 30 second exposure........http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ng-over-Mudgee

    I'll be learning from what others have to say also.
    Good luck Ali.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    Canon 80D, 60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S.

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    Don't discount the idea of daytime lightning. It is possible to shot lightning in daylight with no ND filter or lightning trigger, just need fast reflexes-



    This is by far my best daytime lightning shot. This was shot through my car window (which was wet unfortunately). Believe it or not, I was actually looking straight ahead and had to turn to my side before taking the photo. That gives you an idea on how long this lightning strike pulsed for!
    Last edited by Lazyshooter; 26-02-2012 at 9:46pm.

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    I would advocate for a tripod and patience, however sometimes as lazy has demostrated a bit of quick reflexes works well. Sometimes just having your camera on you is enough, rather than planning and chasing storms.

    Some Nikon stuff... gerrys photo journey
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    No amount of processing will fix bad composition - trust me i have tried.

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    Gerry,

    That is an excellent photo. What kind of damage was that storm doing (I am assuming it was a severe storm, certainly looks like it to me)? Was this taken using a tripod with a remote/cable shutter release? Quick reflexes or lightning trigger?

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    I don't use bulb because I can't the exposure. In these http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...Lightning-Show I used 8 second expsure so the lights and clouds were not overexposed.

    I set up on a tripod. Small apeture, f22 in above, to increase depth of field. Manual focus otherwise lens will hunt in the low light, focus near where you expect the lightning. Remote release. Low ISO say 100.
    Then just keep shooting. As soon as the previous shot is finished, start the next. You get lots of shots with no lightning.
    Mark


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    I love those lightning shots!! I've always thought it was way too hard but I might give it a go in the next storm :-)
    Never give up, never, never, never....

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    Thanks everyone. Had to google bulb setting. He he. Awesome fork lightning photos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazyshooter View Post
    Gerry,

    That is an excellent photo. What kind of damage was that storm doing (I am assuming it was a severe storm, certainly looks like it to me)? Was this taken using a tripod with a remote/cable shutter release? Quick reflexes or lightning trigger?
    it was pretty intense, serious hail and rain. This shot was one of 3 images, handheld, nothing but a bit of good timing and luck. You would need a ND filter to get a long exposure here since it was still quite bright and about 2pm in teh arvo.

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    Awesome shots......lightning photography is something I would like to have a go at as well.

    Dean.

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    why is it now that i have my camera there hasnt been a strom here in about 3 months
    Jimmy!!!
    Nikon D3400 18-55mm kit lens AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mm f4-5.6G ED VR 2 tri-pods

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