Author Topic: lightning + great opportunity = dud  (Read 4447 times)

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Offline 5DandMe

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lightning + great opportunity = dud
« on: April 04, 2006, 10:44:53 AM »
hi guys/girls,
i had a great opportunity this evening with an electricial storm that passed through my area. It had some of the best fork lightning i have ever seen, so i grabbed 5D and set myself up to confront this beauty of nature. It soon became aware that i had no idea what to set the camera to. The storm was pretty much on top of me with lightning striking all arround. One particular strike i nailed spot on with the strike and me pressing the button.....all i get for the shot was a very very bright sky and a photo of the house beside me. Can anyone help with some pointers for capturing lightning settings would be even better.

many thanks
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Offline fnugry

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Re: lightning + great opportunity = dud
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2006, 12:27:18 PM »
I've managed to produce a couple of acceptable lightning pictures using the following technique:

First, you you need a tripod and a spot with no interfering light, like that of street lights, houses and like. Take a picture of the scene with no lightning in it to use as a background layer, then set camera to long exposure with low ISO and keep shooting until you catch a lightning. Exposure time will depend on the amount of "normal" light in the scene: use shorter exposures for lighter scenes and longer for night shots. I've used 15 sec  at ISO100 for night shots with a bit of star/moonlight in the scene. Once you managed to catch some lightnings, use your favorite image processing app to combine "clean" background with the lightning shots. You may as well place several lightnings in the same pacture for more dramatic effect.  Good luck
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Re: lightning + great opportunity = dud
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2006, 09:35:50 AM »
Try a wide angle lens (so you have a biggest area of Sky covered) and a 30 second exposure. It will be very hit and miss but as soon as one shot is finished take another then another. Your batteries will go flat quick.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2006, 09:38:29 AM by Ronin »


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Re: lightning + great opportunity = dud
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2006, 01:54:19 PM »
I just saw a documentary on Germany TV about a "Pro lightning photographer" that uses a 20 year old Minolta. He chases storms and shoots about 5000 shots per year  and said that only 1 in a thousand shots are good enough. Guess he has high standards.


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Re: lightning + great opportunity = dud
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2006, 06:21:42 PM »
I have ahd some success with film cameras and the Bulb setting. Just leave the camera on the longest exposure poss though rem to aim at a dark area of sky then once u have some shots use them in other pics. Other way is to take some night pics of area on same night u live with normal exposures then aim into dark sky and get the lightning then photoshop or something similar and cut and paste and overlay nad hey presto.

Have to be honest though i use film camera for lightning myself when i have done it in past not a digital.

One thought of mine with electrical storms and the static produced could this damage ccd's in digital cams i doubt it but hey who knows especially if  ur outside.

Offline winjeel

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Re: lightning + great opportunity = dud
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2006, 04:21:39 AM »
I remember reading about an photographer. This one guy is responsible for most of the lightning-over-a-nighttime-Sydney harbour bridge shots that were well-known a few years back (I have no recollection of his name). He said that he uses a tripod, remote, and just clicks away and hopes that he just happens to 'get one'. Shutter speed? Not sure.

I think the next thunder storm I'll set the little Sweet to Stutter priority and play around with it, and see what works.
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