Question about photographing lightning

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by foto boy, May 12, 2005.

  1. foto boy

    foto boy TPF Noob!

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    I need help! I want to take photos of lightning at night, but i dont know what light setting to use. I would think that when it strikes its moving. so would that make it blurry on the film?

    Thanks :D
     
  2. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    There is a couple of thoughts on this. You will need to experiment. I have tried it by setting my f-stop at like f11-f16 and set my shutter speed at B. Then I would anticipate the strike and open the shutter till it struck. I would try not to go over 2-3 seconds. The other is to set fstop and shutter to what ever you want to start with and try to catch the strike. Very hard to do.
     
  3. foto boy

    foto boy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for help! but I need to know if i need to buy a remote shutter release. also what is the best film to use in that low of light.

    thanks!
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    A cable release is not needed but it sure would come in handy. A tripod would be really helpful as well.

    If you are trying to capture lightning when it's completely dark, it will be much easier because you can basically leave the shutter open and hope that lightning strikes while it's open. If it's not too dark, you can only keep the shutter open for so long before the film gets over exposed by ambient light...but if you can get some nice scenery with a lightning stirke...it would be a much better photo.

    Another method would be to just leave the shutter open and cover the lens with a black cloth or card. Then remove the cover when you think lightning might strike, then cover it again. You can do this repeatedly to get multiple strikes at one time.

    It's pretty much an experimentation process...so try different things. But be careful...don't stand out in the middle of a field in an electrical storm.

    I would suggest using ISO 100 film.
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Sort of a side story. I was watching a documentary many years ago about a lightning photographer. For parts of it he video taped himself, and how he did his thing. In one scene he sets up his camera on a tripod, and then walks back to fiddle with the video camera (which is running). On the tape you can see a small bolt of lightning strike right behind his camera. Less than a minute later he walks back to the still camera. He never noticed it while on the scene, and only saw it when he watched the video later. Scientists said that the bolt was more than big enough to kill him.
     
  6. Contra|Brett|

    Contra|Brett| TPF Noob!

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