Photo: Intro to Lightning

Lightning photography is an interesting challenge to photograph. The problems I faced when a storm came through last night were:

– unpredictable timing
– unpredictable location of lighting (hard to frame)
– unpredictable distance/intensity/brightness of lightning

In order to compensate for the unpredictable timing, I set my camera to continuous shooting drive, with a big CF card, and manual shutter speed. I held down the button so I’d have continuous exposures to avoid missing a strike.

The inconsistent locations were easier to deal with as I just whipped out my Tokina f/2.8 11-16mm lens and framed as much of the horizon I could out my window.

The hardest part of the shooting was finding the ideal aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings for the camera. I started with longer exposures (about 10 sec), but found the images would get blown out if the lightning was too close/bright – even with my lowest ISO (100) and f/7.1.

I slowly brought the shutter speed to about 2 seconds with ISO 200 and f/5.0-7.1, and found this seemed to work for the lightning. With some trial and error, I was able to get the following shots:

This one seems to have the lightning coming out of the cloud:

This one is my favorite:

There are a few more shots on my Flickr.

Tell me what you think! let me know how you shoot lightning! I want to see how other people do it without so many wasted shots!

Of course, after the fact, I look up how to do lightning and find a pretty comprehensive guide here. Next time it storms, I’ll be ready!

This entry was posted in photo and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Ron McDonald
    Posted June 2, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    These are clearly photoshopped.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*

  • Tags

    Food Photography Review washington dc Travel diy awesome subway baking cooking wmata nyc recipe snowboarding wedding FAIL blog restaurant wedding photography awesomeness crumpler movie public transportation Roaming Domo dating friends halloween himym metro spider holster taiwan bread canon dessert kitchen music new york city popover work PSA bag camera bag costume crush dinner equipment fireworks gear las vegas movies party photography gear san diego skills virginia volt washington post 4th of july Humor artomatic bacon canada complete seed cupcake dc domo dupont circle egg frederick md fruit funny sign google government gutter garden le creuset long exposure manfrotto meat molecular gastronomy mortar and pestle nevada pork restaurants satire taipei think tank winter
  • Archives

    • 2014 (2)
    • 2013 (3)
    • 2012 (29)
    • 2011 (78)
    • 2010 (91)
    • 2009 (45)