Missing a storm

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by D40, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. D40

    D40 TPF Noob!

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    OK, we have a very nice lightning storm going on so I decided to get some shots. I get my camera out and set up and set the camera to manual mode, 4 sec shutter speed, f/5.6 and when I click the butten to take the picture the camera does notheing. It has this question mark butten that means something is not set right. It says it is to dark. What am I doing wrong???
     
  2. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't know... but make sure you turn the automatic focus off and focus on infinity.
     
  3. D40

    D40 TPF Noob!

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    That was it but know the bolts are done:( Next time:)
     
  4. D40

    D40 TPF Noob!

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    What does it mean to focus on infinity?? When I got back out it was lightning but no bolts so...

    Thanks for the help though autofocus was my problem:)
     
  5. Remi M.

    Remi M. TPF Noob!

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    The symbol that looks like the number "8" laying on it's side is the infinity symbol. It's next to your focus ring on your lens.

    I don't know the particulars of you location and shot. But here is what I would do:

    Set your camera on a tripod
    Set your ISO to the lowest number
    Switch your camera to manual
    Meter of a bright portion of the sky.
    For a landscape scene by default I would set the camera to F8 or F11
    Adjust your shutter speed of the meter. Depending on what you see, you should be aiming for at least a few seconds, if the shutter speed is faster than you like, set the aperture to higher F number and adjust the shutter speed accordingly.
    As sabath said, switch your focus to manual.
    Prefrably shoot in raw, as you never know what white balance you could really get with a lighting strike.
    Make a few test shots and check if the image is blown out anywhere or too dark. The cameras overexposure overlay is great for this, as is the histogram (with out getting into histogram color channel issues).

    This is just the way I would shoot, not knowing what exactly you up against.
    Take it all with a grain of salt as I have never shot a lightning bolt (they are extremely rare where I live)
     
  6. D40

    D40 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, could you explain how I watch the metering?? I have heard that come up and do not quite understand? Thanks agian for the adives!
     
  7. TheLostPhotographer

    TheLostPhotographer TPF Noob!

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    Someone once pointed out to me that nothing is ever infinity away. If you want to get into the super accuracy of focusing for landscapes (particularly in dark conditions) you could do a bit of research on hyper-focal values. Or, you could just set your lens to infinity then knock it back a touch.
     
  8. Remi M.

    Remi M. TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure how your meter looks exactly, but I bet it's the same or pretty close to my d70s.
    When you have the camera set to manual look through the viewfinder. You should see a bunch of bars on the bottom of the viewfinder. With gradations to the positive and negative, with the middle being what the meter thinks is the best exposure. You should see a bunch of highlighted bars. The furthest highlighted bar away from middle is what your camera is set to, simply turn the shutter button until you have the highlighted bars disappear or have them close to the middle as desired.
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What Remi said applies to metring for the current light. So the clouds would be metred and would come up very normally exposed. However the second the bolt hits the lighting changes. You can not metre for a lightning bolt. You can just guess and adjust. The reason being is the bolt will bring with it an incredible light source many stops (exposure values) higher than the surroundings. I have had success with taking 10 second exposures at f/12. The picture looks VERY dark normally, but for the 2 frames where I got lightning bolts it looked perfect.
     

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