Ride the Lightning...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by JamesMartin, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. JamesMartin

    JamesMartin TPF Noob!

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    Hey all,

    I have just been outdoors (about 10pm here) because we have a really nice storm rolling in, so I was shooting lightning shots before the rain comes :).

    So my question is.. Does anyone else do this (or am I the only crazy one :) ) and if so, got any ideas on getting better shots of a weather phenomenom (?) like this??

    Thanx
    - James
     
  2. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    I love taking pictures of lightning, there are some threads here about it as well. Are you shooting film or digital. If film, try to get about 100 and set the aperature so you can get a 30sec-60 second exposure, move the camera to bulb mode and hold the shutter button down. Same idea with digital.
    What kind of camera do you have?
     
  3. ksmattfish

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

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    I saw a documentary about a photographer in the southwest who shoots lightning. For the documentary he was also running a video camera; recording himself in action. There is one scene where he sets up his still camera, and then walks back to check the video camera, and a small (but still deadly) bolt of lightning strikes about a foot from the still camera. He never saw it, heard it, etc... until he got home and looked at the video recording. Experts said it would have killed him if he'd been standing at the still camera. Be careful out there. :)
     
  4. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

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    Hmm. I stand under shelter at home... set the aperture to the highest f/stop you can get... then hold the shutter open until you get lightning

    if its at night, it should be dark enough not to over expose.
     
  5. doenoe

    doenoe TPF Noob!

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  6. JamesMartin

    JamesMartin TPF Noob!

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    Kewl :)
    Thanx alot for the info.
    My camera is a Canon 20D (Digital :)).

    The real problem that I am facing is how to 'find' the lightning? What I did the other night was setup the tripod and leave the exposure open (like suggested here) and wait for it to strike infront of the camera... takes along time, after about 80 pics I got about 5 that had lightning in them :(
    Also 3 out of the 5 had lightning in the pic, although because the camera was not zoomed up onto the area it is only small, still viewable, although I would like to to be full screen..... any idea?

    Thanx again
    - James
     
  7. JamesMartin

    JamesMartin TPF Noob!

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    Oh and Doenoe, is that a Beardie you got there?? :) Red phase?
     
  8. doenoe

    doenoe TPF Noob!

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    Well, i dont think there is a way to find lightning. Its just luck, i guess. I did the same thing as you did and it worked. I took something like 150 pics the time i tried to make those shots and around 5 of them had lightning.
    You can try and shoot at the best quality and then just crop the pic. That way you can still have a nice pic of lightning. Just not good enough for printing though.

    And yes, thats a beardie :). Its a normal phase (well, it was sold to me as a normal). Got 2 of them. And both can get pretty orange when they are relaxed.

    Greetz Daan
     
  9. fotoconsolation

    fotoconsolation TPF Noob!

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    last summer i used to 'chase' storms i guess you could say? nothing crazy, but when a storm was moving in i would drive around and try to find the best spot i could and set up real quick. i got a bunch of shots with no lightning, a few with lightning but not too impressive, but i got one that i really like. that one made it all seem worth while. i wanna get into that a lil more when i get my new camera and remote.
     
  10. JamesMartin

    JamesMartin TPF Noob!

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    Remote? So you can hide from the storm? :)

    Good to know other people that do it don't get 100% perfect shots everytime :) You see some photos on National Geographic etc.. and they are so awsome, then there are mine.... hmmm... yeah well.. :p :)

    Oh well, I shall keep hunting and see how I go :)

    Thanx alot for all the info so far

    - James
     
  11. hobbes28

    hobbes28 Incredible Supporting Member

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    Yeah, the remote is awefully handy because you don't have to keep going back to the camera. You can sit on a chair and just click away.

    When I lived in South Carolina, we had all sorts of lightning storms and I LOVED going out and trying to get lightning shots. Now, in NH, we don't get that many storms with forked lightning or ground striking lightning. That decreases our chance of getting some of those scary storms we used to get down there when lightning would strike houses in your neighborhood but sure does take away from the storm hunting gene. :D

    Happy hunting.
     
  12. doenoe

    doenoe TPF Noob!

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    yeah, remotes are wicked. Another good thing about them is, when you have the camera on bulb mode. You click once and the shutter opens and when you click the remote a second time, the shutter closes. Can have really long exposures then. That can come in handy when shooting lightning.
    oh, this is how it works for the Canon EOS 350D, dont know about other cameras.

    We also dont have alot of lightning here. Think we have about 4 or 5 good storms to take pics a year. Kinda sucks, but you cant win 'em all.
     

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