lightning shots

  • ccrios
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Is there a secret to taking lightning shots or is i just a matter of perfect timing?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • tierra
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm not heavy into photography, but I know my cameras and the technology, and the only way I can really creatively give you an answer is to look for good spots to do time exposure shots (leaving the lens open over a period of a few seconds). Then you really just have to hope for the best, or only do it when it's a good lightning storm.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The best way to do lightning shots is with a 35mm and a hat. You compose the sky the way you want it, and use a shutter release cable to hold down the shutter ( a few rubber bands will do the trick) Then its a matter of timing but since lightning lingers for a few seconds, just remove the hat from your lense and the lightning will expose, place back the hat and wait for the next bolt, and so on and so forth. (this method is a lot easier for fireworks, but will work fine with lightning)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

wow interesting technique! I'm gonna have to try this.... :shock: :D 8)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I like that hat thing too. Some cams are also set up with a time expose delay. So you could set that for say 30 secs and set it on a tripod and let it do it's thing (unless you can't set the time delay -- I think for the older cams it's about 1 minute -- I can't speak for the newer ones...I bought mine in 1979 and it's one minute by default). I think that's how most good lightening shots are captured.

I'm curious if anyone has any good suggestions about shutter speed and F-stop on lightening. And what film speed and are you pushing it in development? It's been years since I played with film photography, but was OK at it once. Wouldn't mind playing around again...and lightening has always fascinated me as a "subject".
  • b_heyer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ATNO/TW wrote:
I like that hat thing too. Some cams are also set up with a time expose delay. So you could set that for say 30 secs and set it on a tripod and let it do it's thing (unless you can't set the time delay -- I think for the older cams it's about 1 minute -- I can't speak for the newer ones...I bought mine in 1979 and it's one minute by default). I think that's how most good lightening shots are captured.


The reason this may not work, is if its not a completly black night (like some lightning shots have blue skies) you will WAY over expose your film with just the general light, not even with the bolts.
ATNO/TW wrote:
I'm curious if anyone has any good suggestions about shutter speed and F-stop on lightening. And what film speed and are you pushing it in development? It's been years since I played with film photography, but was OK at it once. Wouldn't mind playing around again...and lightening has always fascinated me as a "subject".


You really shouldn't be needing to push or pull the ISO/ASA because if you are specifically shooting lightning you should have the right film, just like if you were shooting indoors you'd use iso 100. The reason you don't need to pull/push is because it is only a last resort for when some 800 speed would do real good for this roll of shots, but you only have 400 on hand.

As for f-stop and shutter speed its more important for your environment, if you want to get trees and the bolts infocus, then a higher fstop, and if you want to get just the bolts, a low fstop focusing on infiniti. For shutter speed, if you are taking them with the hat, then you need a trigger release and set it to "p" or whatever your shutter release option is. But if you are trying to just capture one bolt, something around 1/50th or so should do it (maybe even 1/20th).

I left off the importance of a tripod in the last post...very important!
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks. Your answer sparked a few memories. I hadn't heard those terms in so long I almost forgot what they were. Your explanation was excellent and understood.
  • b_heyer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

heheh I JUST learned 35mm over the summer from a guy named Mike McLean (http://www.mcleanphoto.com) They guy is a wizard photojournalist, and a great person to, I understand so much more about 35mm then before the week's class.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

http://www.mcleanphoto.com

great link b_heyer ;)
  • b_heyer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ah yeah, he is a great photographer, and a great teacher, but eats sooo much :-P he isn't fat or anything just eats and eats and eats, I hadda go get him a coffee and cookie one time! :-P (I did get a slice of cheesecake outa it tho :-D)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

good deal! :thumbsup:

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