Even though we ARE Nikon lovers,we are NOT affiliated with Nikon Corp. in any way.

English German French

Sign up Login
Home Forums Articles Galleries Recent Photos Contest Help Search News Workshops Shop Upgrade Membership Recommended
members
All members Wiki Contests Vouchers Apps Newsletter THE NIKONIAN™ Magazines Podcasts Fundraising
glennaa11

Arlington, US
449 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author
glennaa11 Registered since 28th Aug 2004
Fri 28-Sep-12 02:17 AM | edited Fri 28-Sep-12 02:19 AM by glennaa11

So there's a ton of electrical activity around my house tonight. I grabbed the D7000 and decided to take my first stab at shooting lightning. It is hard. Anyone have some good tips? I had to shoot through a window screen but I set things to M mode, f8 or so, 1.3 to 3s, ISO400. At the first inkling of a flash I hit the shutter. Got lucky a couple of times. Then I just tried a scattershot approach hoping something would happen while the shutter was open but that didn't really yield anything useful.

I know there are some devices that detect the first start of a flash and trip the shutter for you. Or maybe they work by static?

Click on image to view larger version

Click on image to view larger version

Click on image to view larger version

Click on image to view larger version


Glenn
http://picasaweb.google.com/GlennAuve
https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/ppuser/71182/cat/500

JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
7108 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#1. "RE: Lightning" | In response to Reply # 0

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006
Fri 28-Sep-12 06:01 AM

There are a few lightning-trigger type devices available. Rumor has it that they work quite well.

The few times I have tried this, I just set the aperture to f/11 or so, base ISO, experiment to see what the long exposure is needed to get the sky reasonable, then just keep pressing the shutter release.
Sometimes you get lucky....

---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

JDar

Houston/Alto, US
30 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#2. "RE: Lightning" | In response to Reply # 0

JDar Registered since 23rd Jan 2007
Fri 28-Sep-12 11:20 AM

No tips but a compliment on that first one.

glennaa11

Arlington, US
449 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#3. "RE: Lightning" | In response to Reply # 2

glennaa11 Registered since 27th Aug 2004
Fri 28-Sep-12 12:45 PM

Thanks.

The local news had an amazing shot with many lightning bolts on last night. Apparently the guy who shot it left the shutter open for several minutes. I guess I should I have tried that maybe. Next time.

Glenn
http://picasaweb.google.com/GlennAuve
https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/ppuser/71182/cat/500

EAPhoto

Asheboro, US
75 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#4. "RE: Lightning" | In response to Reply # 3

EAPhoto Registered since 16th Jan 2013
Wed 23-Jan-13 06:29 PM

I love shooting lightning, nice shots by the way. Another tip, try to pay attention to local weather radars and become familiar with the direction of passing storms. That way you can find a good composure in the path of the storm as it approaches. I have seen people trying to photograph lightning and they were aiming in the direction the storm came from. Your gonna miss a few bolts that way.

SweetMK

US
65 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#5. "RE: Lightning" | In response to Reply # 4

SweetMK Registered since 22nd Jan 2013
Wed 23-Jan-13 11:36 PM

That second pic looks like it has the Virginia Tech logo at the end, maybe you can market it to them!!

I would love to see a crop of the VT!

Cousin

Geelong East, AU
152 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#6. "RE: Lightning" | In response to Reply # 0

Cousin Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Oct 2011
Thu 24-Jan-13 03:00 AM

glenaa, if you don't already, use a sturdy tripod and head for your next lightning shots
Set your shutter to bulb, ISO to 100 and aperture to around f/16
Framing is the difficult part, cos you have to guess where most of the lightning is, and it's generally dark when you try to frame
Luckily at ISO 100 there is good scope to crop
Use a remote and open the shutter, wait for a good bolt, then close the shutter
It's still a bit hit or miss, but you can have the shutter open for 15 seconds or so which gives you a good chance of getting something good.
Using the same settings you can also leave the shutter open and use a black card in front of the lens, which acts as the shutter.
Experiment a bit, it's fun


M

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Cousin

Geelong East, AU
152 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#7. "RE: Lightning" | In response to Reply # 6

Cousin Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Oct 2011
Thu 24-Jan-13 03:08 AM

Just realised I had a lightning pic in my gallery
This was one of my first over, the Xmas break
I was lucky in that I had been reading up on lightning shots before I went, and ran into a big heat storm
I used the settings I mentioned above, but not the card thing
The lovely missus thought I was nuts!


Click on image to view larger version

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Rassie

Milton, CA
4269 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#8. "RE: Lightning" | In response to Reply # 0

Rassie Gold Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006
Thu 24-Jan-13 12:06 PM

From what I remember doing this many years ago:
Camera on tripod. Point to where lightning is frequently seen. Focus on infinity. Set ISO low to allow slow shutter speed. Small aperture to allow large depth of field and slow shutter speed. Trip the shutter and hope for the best. It's good if you can keep the shutter open as long as possible to have it open when the lightning strikes. If lightning doesn't strike then trip the shutter again as soon as it closes. This is a hit-and-miss method, but the best I can think of if you don't use electronic traps.

I got a nice picture of lightning this way years ago, but on a Pentax camera so I can't show it here.

Regards

My Nikonians gallery

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

EAPhoto

Asheboro, US
75 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#9. "RE: Lightning" | In response to Reply # 8

EAPhoto Registered since 16th Jan 2013
Thu 24-Jan-13 02:04 PM | edited Thu 24-Jan-13 02:08 PM by EAPhoto

If you can not afford to fork out $150.00 and up for a decent tripod do not let that stop you. I have only used a tripod one time for lightning in the past 15 years. Use your camera bag, a large bag of rice or beans will work.

I am attaching some photos that were all taken with long exposures(5 to 10sec) with my camera bag for support and my finger was used to trigger the shutter.

The shot with the church was a from my car with the camera pressed up against the driver door with the window rolled down. I slowed my shutter down to around three seconds because any longer would be tough to hold still.

Tripod IS sound advice.



Click on image to view larger version




Click on image to view larger version



Click on image to view larger version



Click on image to view larger version



Click on image to view larger version

Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)
Attachment#3 (jpg file)
Attachment#4 (jpg file)
Attachment#5 (jpg file)

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

chesterdawg

Commerce, US
213 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#10. "RE: Lightning" | In response to Reply # 0

chesterdawg Registered since 04th Jul 2010
Thu 24-Jan-13 02:36 PM

The few times I shot fireworks I did so by using the bulb setting, keeping the shutter open and covering the lens with a piece of dark cardboard - lens pointed to sky, focus set to infinity.

When lightening appears simply move the cardboard out of the way.

The good thing about this technique is with digital you can check your results immediately and make fine adjustments on the fly.

Good luck,

Steve

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Remooc

Newquay, Cornwall, UK
33 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#11. "RE: Lightning" | In response to Reply # 9

Remooc Registered since 25th Sep 2012
Thu 24-Jan-13 04:43 PM

Awesome lightning shots.

G