Shooting Storms...settings.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Dragonfly..shotz, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. Dragonfly..shotz

    Dragonfly..shotz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Warwick QLD Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi, I am trying to improve night photogrsphy and with the storm season on its way I would really like to get a hold on it with the new camera I bought a few months ago. This is the first shot I tried last night with a storm and it looks soft. Can anyone point me in the right direction as to settings for the 40D, what program, aperture and ISO are best for night photography?

    For this shot, the camera was set AV program, ISO-800 F/16, 30sec exposure, metering mode pattern. Something tells me they are not the right settings, or program. I have not used TV before but somehow think this is what I should be using.

    Here is the shot from last night. Many thanks and any help would be greatly appreciated.

    The other thing I had trouble with was geting the camera to focus!! 9 out of 10 times it would not and only when it picked up a flash did it AF.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Kegger

    Kegger TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    The warm, sunny, very polite South
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Just set the focus to manual and put it at infinity.
     
  3. Dragonfly..shotz

    Dragonfly..shotz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Warwick QLD Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi Kegger, I am not sure how that is done? any help there please? Will the focus be sharp if I do this?
     
  4. Ejazzle

    Ejazzle TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Jupiter/ Tequesta FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    dont raise the iso more than about 400, put the camera on B (bulb) and set your aperature to about 8 or 9 and do about 10 second exposures max. Hold the shutter down until lighting strikes then after the lightning is totally done flashing let your finger off the shutter, look at the LCD and SMILE! \
    infinity is the way to go with focusing, i dont know how do to it, beside the little greek infinity simble that they use in math on to of the lens
     
  5. Dragonfly..shotz

    Dragonfly..shotz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Warwick QLD Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thank you so much Ejazzle, I have worked out how to change the camera to bulb (read the book) and in M mode I could wind the shutter dial back to BULB so now I can manually use the shutter. It did mention noise may be increaded and a way of fixing it with a setting but did not understand that, maybe the ISO you suggest should fix that. Thank you for the tips regarding ISO and aperture, really appreciate them. Now, if I could just get my head around setting the lens to infinity when in manual focus. Thanks heaps again.
     
  6. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I just focus on the furthest thing in the distance with auto focus, and then switch it to manual focus so it doesn't change.

    If you can't get it to focus because it's too dark, you can probably get it to focus on the first lighting strike, and then switch to manual and keep shooting the way that was already suggested.

    Best of luck! I love shooting storms. I just wish we got more of them here.
     
  7. Dragonfly..shotz

    Dragonfly..shotz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Warwick QLD Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks John, didnt think of that. I wonder when setting up of an evening, if I auto focus on the cloud and leave the lens set like that but change to manual into the shoot, would that be infinity I wonder and also would the shots still be sharp.
     
  8. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If you focus on the cloud and set a smaller aperture (higher F number) they should be sharp as long as the storm doesnt move too close, i think...

    I havent had any problems with shooting storms that were moving away, but it may depend on the lens too. I'm not sure. I'm no pro.

    Hopefully someone else who knows more can stop by and offer more help.

    These aren't the best shots (I had to shoot through triple paned glass and a CP filter), but they still came out fairly good and sharp using a kit lens on my old Rebel XT shooting how I explained (focus on first strike, change to manual...).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Dragonfly..shotz

    Dragonfly..shotz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Warwick QLD Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thank you John, you have been very helpful, those strikes look sharp to me.
     
  10. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

    You're welcome. I'm glad I could help.

    I knew I had another picture i could use to show how infinity focus will help, but couldn' find it when I originally posted.

    In this shot, I focused on the hill behind the smoke stack you see in the bottom slightly to the left, and recomposed the shot. The rest was just too dark to get good focus. There's a factory behind that hill and the little light it gives off was just enough for the camera to focus there.

    Anyways, this was shot outside, so it's much sharper than the previous 2 pictures I posted. As you can see, the lightning was considerably (almost frighteningly) closer than the hill in the background, and it was still sharp using infinity focus, and an aperture of F11.

    [​IMG]

    Again, best of look with your future storm shots. I look forward to seeing them!
     
  11. BoblyBill

    BoblyBill TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,860
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    in the eye of a tornado
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Dragonfly..shotz, John_05 has some great advice. The only thing that I would add would be set your ISO to 100. Use live view to focus on a light in the distance. Get a cable release if you don't have one. Then change the f stop depending how close the lightning is to you. For example:

    This Lightning was at least 10 miles away and I used an f/4:
    [​IMG]

    But this was right overhead and I was stopping down to f/11:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

    More good advice, and wicked shots too! Hopefully it helps someone else if they see this thread while looking for answers to the same questions. :thumbup:

    The only thing I forgot to say before was if you have a lens hood and use it, make sure you check it occasionally for any rain accumulating inside it . A friend I was shooting with didn't and had about an ounce of rain water built up in the makeshift hood she was using. If the bottom of the frame is dark, you may not notice if you check the images while still shooting.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
best setting for shooting storm
,
flickr long exposure smoke-stack
,

shooting storms

,
storm shots
,
the key to shootings stroms are?