TPF Noob!
Aug 26, 2010
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Olive Hill, Ky
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I searched the forum, but I'm looking for something a little more specific. I've heard some people using 25 sec exposures and some using 5-10 sec exposures. I was messing around with different ones earlier, but I had gotten out too late. There was one shot where there was a nice bolt, but it was during a 20 sec exposure. When I saw the shot, the bolt didn't show up. I know the longer the shutter is open the less of an impression a quick light source like that leaves on the sensor, but shouldn't it have at least shown up? I was shooting at F3.5 with shutter speeds between 10 sec and 30 sec.
I didn't want to make the aperture smaller because my meter was already saying too dark, though I thought if the lightning struck it would up the exposure. Am I just completely screwing up?
id try with the aperture at 3.5,i dont know about ISO i never tried shooting anything that stays bright for a fraction of a second in darkness surrounding it. maybe you were just overexposing the shot somehow? i havnt tried to shoot lightning yet but i heard im supposed ot be getting some rain this week, maybe ill try and show you my results
I have never shot lightning, but you are correct in thinking that the lightning will light up the exposure. Just as light painting will, or an off camera flash would. I would close down the apertrure a bit and use bulb mode. I wouldn't try to use the same exposure length each time. ( use a cable release if possible ) That way after the lightning flashes, you can release the shutter so as to not overexpose. Try listening to the thunder and timing it. After a good thunderclap, engage the shutter and hold it open til a flash happens. You can blend the shots to have multiple bolts, or if you get it dark enough you may be able to let the exposure go to pick up multiple bolts ( like light painting )
I find the best way is bulb mode with a cable release, just hold it open until a strike happens or 10-15 secs whatever comes first.

What happens in your exposure depends on how bright the strike is and where the the strikes are happening.

This is a 15 sec exposure f3.5 iso 100, came out great.(straight out of camera)

This one is 10 sec exposure f3.5 iso 100, Sensor was over powered by the brightness of the flash. (my guess as to what happened, i got several of these this night.)



I really don't know what I'm talking about but this is my experience with lightning photography.

Not that it matters but the first one was from last summer the last two are from this year, I also got some that came out right this year.

PS the last two went through some work in photoshop. this is a before/after shot

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