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lightning over the port

By britt_wa
Any tips for lightning photos would be appreciated. This was my 1st attempt at lightning, I must have taken 300 photos and this was the only one that worked, I had my camera set on "p" at f/8 set the timer to take 10 pics in a row at 30~60second intervals on a tripod

Tags: Night photography Storm Lightning Low light photography Landscape and travel Ports Lightning storm L andscape

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


stuart1963 4 272 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2012 9:24AM

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

2 Aug 2012 12:58PM
6 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2012 1:09PM
Electrifying, and in someways quite shocking.

Regards Nathan.

As pointed out byPhil there are some brilliant articles on the above mentioned link.
Andrew_Hurley 10 71 73 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2012 2:00PM
When you upload a mod, the comments don't show, should be fixed really, but basically all I've done is cropped the image to create a panoramic. It helps concentrate the eye on the lights and lightning.

banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3531 Canada
2 Aug 2012 4:47PM
Welcome to EPZ Britt. This is a good shot, - and one in 300 isnt bad! Good information in the link, and also a nice mod by Andrew to get you started.

Enjoy the site.


paskinmj 7 11 1 United Kingdom
3 Aug 2012 12:36AM
Well timed capture.
3 Aug 2012 12:49AM
Thanks everyone
Davesumner 9 28 300 Australia
3 Aug 2012 2:01AM
Hi Britt,

Welcome to EPZ and hello from Victoria, I presume by your name above that you're WA. Great shot of lightning, it isn't easy but at least in WA you will get a few chances of lightning shots. There is a technique to shooting lightning and putting the camera onto 'P' mode and shooting lots of shots isn't it I'm afraid. The first thing you will need is a tripod to steady your camera and make things easy for you and a black bag or hat that you can't see any light through plus a remote release with a shutter lock function. With lightning the same composition rules apply and just shooting at it in the sky whilst it may capture the lightning, it doesn't make for a great shot. Planning is the key, go out and find a great vantage point which would make a great landscape shot and use that as your base for the shots. I would suggest that you still have your car nearby as a refuge if the storm comes your way, nothing worse than being stuck on a hill with lightning bouncing around waving your carbon fibre tripod in the air.

Once you've established your vantage point wait for the storm to come and rush up there to get your shots. Now this takes practice but, setup your tripod and put your camera on to Bulb. Set your aperture to say f/16 and establish focus onto a point in your shot where you think the lightning will strike using manual focus as auto focus probably won't work well in the dark. Put the black bag or hat over the lens so no light can enter through it and open the shutter using the shutter lock on the remote otherwise you will have to hold it open with your finger. You can alternatively use 30 second shots in Tv mode instaed. When you think the lightning is about to strike, remove the cover from the lens and wait for the strike then immediately cover the lens and close the shutter. You can leave the shutter open and uncover the lens over several shots if you like but I would suggest checking the exposure of the first few shots to see how well it has been captured. You should be able to capture some lightning shots using this method and practice will make it work better for you.

Oh and one last thing, get off auto ISO and set it to ISO 100 otherwise your shots will be hugely noisy.

Hope this helps

3 Aug 2012 6:02AM
Thanks, will try it that way next timeSmile I have been trying to self teach myself for the last year and a half, but have just signed up for a photography course, because my ultimate goal is to go completely manual.
paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
3 Aug 2012 7:15AM
Good effort. I've tried this from hotel balconies in Majorca and it's not easy. You are a touch over exposed causing the lit areas to be too bright.


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