Settings for lightning?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Nickanoor, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Nickanoor

    Nickanoor TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone, I've been searching a bit for settings for lightning on my T2i, but my problem is that it's too dark. When it DOES flash, it doesn't show up. I'm trying to keep the ISO minimal while still maintaining shutter speed. So, how do you do it? Thanks! Btw, it's getting dark here, that's why it's hard to see it. I'm using a Canon 55-250mm lens.
     
  2. ruaslacker2

    ruaslacker2 TPF Noob!

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    use a tripod, set your camera on "M" , start with f11 at around 10 sec. and adj from there. when you see a flash set off the shutter, for it usually will catch any secondary flashes.... this is just a starting place, I hope this helps.... good luck
     
  3. Nickanoor

    Nickanoor TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply, but I was wondering, wouldn't 10sec just blur the lightning? I thought the shutter speed needed to be much faster.
     
  4. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    How are you doing it now? Are you sure you're actually capturing the lightning and it just isn't showing up because it's too dark, or could you be missing it all together?

    I don't have a ton of lightning shots, but here's how I've always done it:

    Tripod, ISO 100, Manual mode with f/8 & Bulb.

    Set the focus where it needs to be, then using a remote open the shutter before the lightning goes off. If nothing happens for about 10-20 seconds, go ahead and close the shutter. Try again. The time between when you close the shutter and when you open it again is when all the the lightning strikes will happen. :lol:

    If lightning actually dose strike while you have the shutter open, you can go ahead and close it, or you can leave it open a little longer for more ambient exposure & the chance of a second strike.

    Figure out how many seconds it takes for the ambient light to start exposing the sky more than you'd like.
    That's the limit - if nothing happens after that amount of time, close the shutter.
     
  5. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That's what the tripod is for.
     
  6. Nickanoor

    Nickanoor TPF Noob!

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    Well, I had it on manual, and the ISO about 100-200 just tweaking it. Had the shutter 500/sec because I guess I'm confused but say I throw a ball in front of the camera with a shutter speed of 10, even with the tripod. The ball would blur as it crossed the camera view right? So why wouldn't that apply to lightning? Wouldn't the bolt look blurred? And I was catching the lightning. But every time I'd take a shot it was black. I'm pretty sure it's because of the shutter speed I was using combined with a low ISO, but I'm just curious as to how 10sec would work. Thanks again!
     
  7. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    Lightning doesn't move or wiggle. It's an extremely detailed and jagged line drawn in the sky. The shape you see is it's only path. So leaving the shutter open is going to capture the entire strike.

    If you were to try to snap the shutter when the strike happened you'd only catch residual strikes that wouldn't be nearly as spectacular. IF you could catch them at all.
     
  8. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah, basically - the ball would be moving, the lightning wouldn't.

    If you tried to do a 10 second exposure hand-held, it would be blurry because you would be moving the camera around a little.

    Put it on a tripod and remove any possibility of the camera moving and everything will be sharp (assuming you focused properly).
     
  9. Nickanoor

    Nickanoor TPF Noob!

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    That makes perfect sense. Can't believe I didn't think about that. lol You guys have been a big help, thank you very much!
     

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