Lightning

Discussion in 'Nature & Wildlife' started by bmboll, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. bmboll

    bmboll TPF Noob!

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    After not getting any good lightning photos last year I was pretty unexcited about this year. Then I got some. I have the itch again. I don't think I cropped them very well. I try to crop them in typical photo sizes. These are cropped in 8x10. Should I let typical photo size dictate how I crop?

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  2. Bodri

    Bodri TPF Noob!

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    Honestly, unless your trying to put them into a frame I wouldn't worry about it. I have seen some awesome shots that were cropped to not much more then the lightning itself. Best one was a panoramic of cloud to cloud that stretched across the sky.
     
  3. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The only thing about these is that the main bolt in all three seems oof..
     
  4. bmboll

    bmboll TPF Noob!

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    I put the lens on manual focus at infinity. I don't think I bumped it out of position. In the past that is where I have the best luck.
     
  5. bmboll

    bmboll TPF Noob!

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    I swing toward the cloud to ground myself. My favorites are when you can see where it hit the ground and when you can see that bright glow in the cloud where is "originates"
     
  6. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    First.... fantastic bolts :thumbup:

    Now, my 2 cents:

    I've found that focusing just short of infinity works better. Even though it's dark, a lot of times you can line up on the horizon line or a spot of light in the distance and slowly run the focus back-and-forth until you get a crisp line or point of light, and you will likely find that it's not going to be at infinity.

    A couple other recommendations would be to cut back the exposure time a bit... you are building noise artifacts in the shadowed areas at 62 second exposure. Even in the dead dark, I usually don't go past 20 seconds.... you're not wasting film. And, stop the lens down another stop or two. I find that the bolts tend to be a little crisper around f/16-18 range.
     
  7. EricD

    EricD TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Nice set....awesome bolts!
     
  8. pdq5oh

    pdq5oh TPF Noob!

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    Phranquey is right. A smaller aperture will make the bolts appear sharper. Too much light bleeds from the edges of the bolts, essentially over exposing the edges and making them appear soft. Really good pics, IMO.
     
  9. Art Photographers

    Art Photographers TPF Noob!

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    Love the 1st one. For some reason I feel that the camera is pointed upwards giving that Bolt a more Colossal feel.
     
  10. djk

    djk TPF Noob!

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    Great shots! Too bad these are pretty rare in LA so it's tough to play with.
     

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