Setting up for a lightning photo

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Cornpile, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. Cornpile

    Cornpile 12 pointer

    5,406
    1,606
    Dec 1, 2006
    Kornfield County,KY
    Setting up your camera for a lightning photo
    Use a tripod if you have one,if not you will need a
    stable area,beanbag etc,,,something to keep the camera dead still.
    The camera during the 10 second exposure has to be still.
    Exposure setting or shutter speed 8 to 10 seconds.
    What you are doing is trying to capture a lightning bolt during this long exposure.
    Hoping one fires off during your shot.If it doesnt wait for the shutter to release and instantly take
    another 10 second pic.Keep doing this everytime the shutter releases,you will catch some bolts
    in the 10 second frame. Aim your camera in the area of the storm that the lightning is the most frequent.
    Set your ISO to 100 ,this will keep noise lower in your pic.Dont worry about the pic being too dark.
    I assure you that lightning bolt will provide plenty of light. Did I mention keeping the camera still at all times...
    Set your F # or f stop to the lowest # on your lens 2.8 or 4.0 or 5.6
    A wide lens is best for these type shots,dont zoom at all.Focus your lens on a far away object.I always watch a cloud light up and focus manually.When you get a good focus ,,turn off your lens AF or auto focus.
    So here are the settings
    Exposure---8-10 SECONDS
    ISO --100
    F/stop 2.8,,,, 4.0,,, 5.6 lowest # on your lens barrel
    Be careful,take lots of shots,,,,,,MAKE SURE THE CAMERA STAYS STILL
     
  2. Berdarien

    Berdarien 6 pointer

    156
    0
    Jul 23, 2012
    Err same as biography
  3. whitetail81

    whitetail81 6 pointer

    459
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    Dec 18, 2010
    Scott County
    Thanks for the great instructions
     
  4. Luckybuck

    Luckybuck 10 pointer

    1,324
    4
    May 29, 2006
    N. KY
    Here are a few of mine:

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    kyhunter99 likes this.
  5. Cornpile

    Cornpile 12 pointer

    5,406
    1,606
    Dec 1, 2006
    Kornfield County,KY
    You got some good ones ,# 5 is a killer lightning shot.
     
  6. Luckybuck

    Luckybuck 10 pointer

    1,324
    4
    May 29, 2006
    N. KY
    I wish mine were as good as yours but now with the advice you gave maybe I can get some better ones. Timing is the key...and of course luck! ;)
     
  7. bigpuddin43

    bigpuddin43 12 pointer

    5,154
    196
    Feb 21, 2007
    bucktown
    very good advice cornpile. when I did mine I did it very similar except I set mine up on 2 second shutter speed and to take 10 photos one after another. But I had the lights of the city in the photo and was worried they would white it out too much. I will try your settings sometime and see how I do.
     
  8. Luckybuck

    Luckybuck 10 pointer

    1,324
    4
    May 29, 2006
    N. KY
    Some pictures I took a couple nights ago:

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. HuntressOfLight

    HuntressOfLight 12 pointer

    3,278
    684
    Nov 23, 2019
    Kentucky
    I love lightning, always have, and have done more than my share of storm chasing, for various reasons. I always set to "shutter priority mode", for lightning shots. Florida has frequently been designated as the lightning capital of the U.S., particularly "lightning alley", providing ample photo ops, but I have seen one very nice light show here, since arrival. They say it is best to utilize a remote, for safety. While such makes absolute sense, and I would advise it, I admit to having never done so, myself, but I do many stupid things.
     

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