I’m not a big fan of lightning. It’s powerful. It’s fun to watch from the safety of indoors (unless of course it blows up the transformer across the street, then it gets more on the frightening side).
I searched the internet to find out how to photograph this wonder and decided to try it. The storm was so bad there was lightning every 10 seconds or so, therefor there was no question as to where to point to the camera.
Image Copyright © 2009, Barrett Photo Art
The advice I found on the internet was to use a tripod and your camer’s ‘bulb’ setting. The bulb setting allows you to hold the shutter open until you release it. So I set my camera in full manual mode, selected an f stop of f/11, ISO 200, and the shutter speed to ‘bulb’.
Then point the camera in the general direction you think it’s going to happen and simply press the shutter (I wasn’t worried about camera shake because it was dark) and hold it open until you see the flash. It’s not recommended to keep it open for longer than 2 minutes. If nothing happens in that amount of time then close the shutter – and try another shot. The above shot was ISO 200 / f/11 / and only 2 seconds. There was alot of lightning.
Other considerations are water. I was under the porch (Literally cowering under the porch…ha-ha) or you could use plastic to sheild your equipment from the rain. Or if you’re lucky, it’s not raining (yet). The number one thing to also consider is SAFETY. Please be safe because lightning is dangerous and you don’t want to be out in it with expensive camera equipment. I did, after all, run back inside as soon as this shot was taken.
Now that I have my first ever shot of lightning I guess I have to work on putting that beautiful scenery behind it like all of those famous photographers actually get. I’m getting better and loving the experience and lessons learned.
I hope this helps with your photography experience and if you get a chance stop by Barrett Photo Art and poke around if you like. I try to keep my best work there.
Thanks for stopping by and God Bless.
Peace, Love, and ‘There’s the Ka-Boom!”, (vague Marvin the Martian reference)