Please help me with these lightening pictures?


TPF Noob!
May 30, 2006
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Hello! I have never done lightening before, I did a 4 second exposure and I was using a tripod. However, they are reallllly fuzzy and I am not sure why. Help? :blushing:

By the way, ignore the fact that they are a terrible view with the yucky lights and landscape.... I am just trying to learn how to take a lightening shot before I go out and try to get a *pretty* one and these are from my front porch looking over by the grain bins :mrgreen:



looks to me like they might just be out of focus.

also did you take these through a window?
No they weren't through a window.... hmmm focus... lol, I wonder, I can't remember but I think I might have moved and kept taking them as the storm got closer without really looking through the viewfinder... that could be it, haha.... I'll just have to wait for another storm then thanks ;)
if not focus you shook the camera... sometimes at four second tripping the shutter will do it. The camera will move slightly with the finger pressure on the shutter release button. If it were 15 seconds it wouldnt matter just a guess.

If the scene were lit purely with the lightning strike, then it wouldnt matter but if you were setting up for the ambient light as well, then it would.
Not bad for a first effort.

I would suggest using either a remote shutter release or a timer to trip the shutter. The use of a tripod is manditory for long exposures.

I would also try setting my apeture to f8 and using the hyperfocal distance (this is the distance of closest focus out to infinity). f16 would give you more depth of field (DOF) but f8 is usually the shapest apeture on your lens.

Preset the apeture, shutter, etc. Then wait for the proper time and trip the shutter and wait. If it is windy out either block the wind with your body to protect the tripod setup or try placing heavy weight (like a camera bag) on the tripod for stability.
If you have a quick reaction time, using a remote trigger and tripping the shutter as the lightning starts is the best approach. This one was taken using the bulb function and using the remote to open the shutter as I saw the lightning then closing the shutter with the remote after the lightning is gone.

2.3 sec F6.3 @ 18mm.

You have some great pictures of lightning, but it looks as if the focus is much more near you. When I set the focus I set it at almost infinity, but not quite. Manual focus is a must as there is nothing to focus on as it is usually dark and is impossible to get a quick reaction time if the camera has to focus first.
The ISO 200 looks like it did a good job. I tend to attempt mine at ISO 100. I was curious about Janet80's ISO as it appears it may be a little too high for the exposure time etc.

I have encountered many people over time that believe it needs to be set much higher than it should be when they are testing things out, afterall lightning is fast, right?
You can visit the following site if you are interested in taking lightning photos..

Lightning Trigger

The followings are sample photos taken by using the gadget..



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