Power!!! How to shoot lightning bolts

Hi All,

In the last winter I finally succeeded in photographing a lightning bolts, and not one, about ten of them.

To shoot a lightning we'll need to use long exposure of course, and not as someone from my work has asked me (how was you able to click on the shutter this fast? :-) )

an exposure of 20-30 seconds is recommended.

The key point is to wait for the thunder and try to examine the wait period between the thunder and the next lightning.

Then using the 20-30 seconds exposure catch the bolt.

Few examples of that kind:

© Modi1980 ( Help)

© Modi1980 ( Help)

You know the phrase "lightning does not hit the same place twice", well I guess it does not but at least very close.

While the to images above are in a wide angle shot, I was able to zoom in to a specific place and guess what, the lightning hit the same place twice:

© Modi1980 ( Help)

Last recommendation:

don't give up, catching a good frames of 10 lightnings took me about 50 shoots. :-)

Waiting for the next winter.

Modi

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August 04, 2009

Modi1980

Hi Mukesh,
Picturing birds in flight is a very hard technical shot.
When picturing birds it's best to leave the automate modes such as "sport" and to use the shutter speed manual definition.
Try to set the shutter to the shortest time possible within the lighting conditions or even use flash if the object is close enough.

For example, one of my most favorites pictures:
[imgl]10094635[/imgl]

August 04, 2009

Mukeshchaturvedi

Thundering great pics.

I have had rather unhappy experience trying to take pics of flying birds. Mine is a digital camera-Sony H-7. Even in the sports mode, the pics are a blur.


Any suggestions?

Mukesh

July 27, 2009

Irisangel

Since I live in Florida,"The lightning capital of the world" I'm going to have to try this. Thanks for the tip.

July 26, 2009

Atomknish

i read your post tonight during a storm and gave it a go....think i need some more trys! great shots.

July 09, 2009

Defun

nice bolts^^

July 09, 2009

Modi1980

Thanks all for the warm comments.
Regarding the technique. I forgot to mention but of course a tripod was in use.

During this specific thunder storm, I examined the wait period and saw that the avg. time between a thunder and the next consecutive lightning (for the same appearance location more or less) was something like 50 seconds.
Since my camera only allows up to 30 seconds of opened shutter I needed to adjust the 30 seconds such as the lightning will appear in my frame within these 30 seconds.
meaning waiting for about 35-40 seconds after the thunder made me catch some of the lightning appearances.

I know that this technique comes in contradiction to the known natures law: "the thunder comes after the lightning" but it's a good way to synchronize the shooting time. :-)

July 09, 2009

Achilles

This seems to be a good summer for shooting bolts. Can you explain more on your technique? What connection did you see between the light and the sound?
The key point is to wait for the thunder and try to examine the wait period between the thunder and the next lightning.

July 08, 2009

Alexhor

Great info. Depending on camera the exposure may vary. My Oly seems to be to sensitive on long exposures in dark and I get many "dead" pixels.
Your bolts are nice.

July 08, 2009

Xiepeng

Thank you for sharing, very good, learning.

July 07, 2009

Wildmac

These are great! Thanks for sharing :0)

July 07, 2009

Aginger

Wonderful shots!
And...thank you for the advice. My thunder captured with around 1/60...I had no tripod at that moment...and not so beautiful like yours :) (and deleted almost 150 shots for one)

July 07, 2009

EmeraldUmbrellaStudio

good to know

July 07, 2009

Davidwattsjr

nice work!

July 07, 2009

Hlehnerer

Thank you for the tips! Nice work!

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Photo credits: Modi1980.