How to photograph lightning

Nick

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Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,918
It's just about the time of year that the big thunderstorms start rolling through the high country. I'd really like to capture some cool lightning shots this year but I'm clueless on how to do it right. Would any experts out there care to share? A full tutorial style post would be awesome, just post here and then I'll delete my opening post so that it's your thread. Or just post some tips? :)
 

wes242

This one time...
Joined
Feb 4, 2012
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605
Well the hardest part is to be ready for it. The best storms are always when I am not ready. Or when you have your camera pointed the wrong way. I set my camera to BULB mode and have a remote handy. I shoot ISO 100 to 400 depending on how dark it is outside and f4 to f8. Really is simple stuff other then if your standing in the rain. And then you got to make it interesting, like something in the foregound. I am excited for some summer storms this year.
Heres a few shots over they years.... http://www.pbase.com/wes242/strikes_of_the_light
 

Nick

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Aug 9, 2007
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12,918
What about day time storms in the high country? Is it even possible to catch it? When it's day light but dark and gloomy.
 

John Fowler

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Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
217
One night I put the camera out on the porch and set it for 30-sec. exposures (it was dark) to try to get some lightning shots. The first one was out of focus but I put it on flickr anyway and (depressingly) it has become my most-viewed image (>7,000 views). I think some apocalyptic Web site has picked it up. Only once have I captured (by accident) a daytime lightning shot. I've been thinking about getting one of those lightning triggers.


Lightning by snowpeak, on Flickr
 

John Fowler

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Jan 17, 2012
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You know what, they can't steal it because I give all of my photo images away. When I found out that I wasn't going to make any money taking pictures, I decided to just make it my job to go out and take pictures for the rest of the world to have for free. Attribution is nice, but I won't lose any sleep over it. All of this is easier for me to do than for most, since I am retired and my reward is the job and not the money. I do understand that stealing images from someone is no different from stealing CDs in the record store, but that is other people's problem, not mine.
 

Bill

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Jan 17, 2012
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Very cool. :twothumbs:

Last month I was a few bucks shy of making both my car payments from selling digital copies. Now if everyone would pay a few bucks all of my photos that they downloaded then I could quit my real job.

But i'm not losing any sleep over it.... I enjoy sharing my work online :)
 

John Fowler

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
217
Very cool. :twothumbs:

Last month I was a few bucks shy of making both my car payments from selling digital copies. Now if everyone would pay a few bucks all of my photos that they downloaded then I could quit my real job.

But i'm not losing any sleep over it.... I enjoy sharing my work online :)
Congratulations! Do you sell via Getty or directly or what?
 

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