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?
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
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.