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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Lightning Strikes!!
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04/04/2007 12:15:28 AM · #1
Hey all! I was SO excited when driving home tonight! Fierce storm coming :)

Anyway, I drove (very fast) down to the river and took a few shots. This is my first attempt at lightning so any help/tips will be welcome (as always) :)

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Enjoy!!
04/04/2007 12:29:17 AM · #2
That's crazy. I tried this once but all I got was a big white screen. I don't know the first thing about shooting lightning .
04/04/2007 12:39:59 AM · #3
Come on up to TN during the next storm... we can figure it out I'm sure... mine are a bit noisy and I sure wish I would have had more time or someone to discuss it with while shooting LOL
04/04/2007 01:00:41 AM · #4
Oregon doesn't get nearly as many electrical storms as I wish it did.

I had one opportunity to get some lighting shots last summer, but I was driving home from camping and the only place I had to stop on the road was almost completely obstructed.

I got one or two that showed visible lighting, but they were so obscured that it wasn't worth keeping them.

Maybe Florida this summer...
04/04/2007 02:48:37 AM · #5
I was at the coast in a highrise for a holiday and a storm roled in over the ocean. I stood on our balcony, *it scared that it would strike the building, but I managed to get this shot after about 45mins of 4sec exposures. ( the max of my nikon 990 ) But damn I was happy to get it.
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04/04/2007 09:55:53 AM · #6
SHAMELESS BUMP bwahahahahahhahaha!!
04/04/2007 10:10:32 AM · #7
So how did you do these? Did you use a tripod? And how long was your exposure? Or did you just keep shooting really fast hoping to catch something? (lol that is my way of taking pictures)
04/04/2007 10:11:20 AM · #8
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These are from about a year ago. ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Smartypants was just out shooting lightening the other night, but I don't think she got any bolts.
04/04/2007 10:15:13 AM · #9
mornin jojo! good work! i think you have a great start on this stuff, and once again you've proven just how fast you're learning photography...

have you considered using bracketed exposure? or shooting in RAW so that you can adjust what you have? i know you dont normally do that, but you asked for advice ;)

anyway, if this is where i think it is, you better call me next time girl! I've been fascinated by lightening since i was a kid, & you've just re-ignited the passion!

<<<< goes to find the tripod & weather forecast.....
04/04/2007 10:24:07 AM · #10
My advice is just take TONS of shots. I use long exposures...varying from 4-10 sec and snap one right after the next. Adding buildings into the shot can also be interesting. I got this one last summer....helps to be lucky sometimes too! ;-)

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Message edited by author 2007-04-04 10:25:11.
04/04/2007 11:04:57 AM · #11
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Out of 50+ shots this was one of the better ones. This was the storm that spawned several tornados on March 1st.
04/04/2007 11:21:34 AM · #12
The guy teaching my photography class was big on giving tips on how the "pros" cheat to get their photos. He said during a lightning storm at NIGHT to set your camera for a bulb exposure on a tripod, lock the shutter open (with a lockable remote or switch) then cover the lens with a black felt covered board, removing it when lightning begins to roll towards you. I think this would work best during the big Southern or desert storms where the lightning does roll towards you. But he said he has used this technique in Missouri and captured multiple strikes in a single frame.

We haven't had a storm where I could try this yet. I guess we'll see if it works.

-Drew
04/04/2007 11:24:25 AM · #13
Talk about a rush! Wasn't it exciting? You must have gotten that nasty storm that blew over us yesterday. There was some serious lightning produced. One hit a block or so over and set off the car alarms in the area. It hung in the air for a good long time too. I wish I had my camera set up. But because it was daytime, I decided not to bother with it since I couldn't put it on slow shutter without blowing out the shot. Night time is the best time! Both of your shots are great! The border is way to bright on the first one. The best part about your shots is that it has surrounding scenery to go with it. Not just the bolts! Looks like you don't need any help taking this type of photography! You nailed it!

04/04/2007 11:30:53 AM · #14
Originally posted by drewbixcube:

The guy teaching my photography class was big on giving tips on how the "pros" cheat to get their photos. He said during a lightning storm at NIGHT to set your camera for a bulb exposure on a tripod, lock the shutter open (with a lockable remote or switch) then cover the lens with a black felt covered board, removing it when lightning begins to roll towards you. I think this would work best during the big Southern or desert storms where the lightning does roll towards you. But he said he has used this technique in Missouri and captured multiple strikes in a single frame.

We haven't had a storm where I could try this yet. I guess we'll see if it works.

-Drew


This is the method I use for fireworks as well as lightning. just be sure not to touch the front of the lens with the card. I don't have a felt covered card. I have used white index card to cardboard (whatever is available) At night its all black. But I think I will construct a felt card for future use. Thats an interesting idea.

Missouri lighting doesn't usually 'roll' its a quick flash and a very hard beast to catch! It's usually behind the clouds most time! I went thru mulitiple card loads of bad shots to get the one good one. I'm afraid of lightning so I set in the kitchen with my lens poking out the sliding glass door. I face the camera upwards to avoid the power lines.
04/04/2007 11:37:41 AM · #15
Nice capture Guru, I love the purples it gives when taking pics of lightning. Here are some I caught last year on vacation.

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Message edited by author 2007-04-04 11:41:58.
04/04/2007 12:27:55 PM · #16
I like this one the best ==> ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/70375/thumb/492734.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/70375/thumb/492734.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Good catch!!!

Originally posted by TCGuru:

Hey all! I was SO excited when driving home tonight! Fierce storm coming :)

Anyway, I drove (very fast) down to the river and took a few shots. This is my first attempt at lightning so any help/tips will be welcome (as always) :)

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/70375/thumb/492733.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/70375/thumb/492733.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

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Enjoy!!
04/04/2007 03:54:57 PM · #17
Originally posted by Tlemetry:

This is the method I use for fireworks as well as lightning. just be sure not to touch the front of the lens with the card.


How do your fireworks pictures come out? He said to use a lens hood or stepping ring on the front so you don't run the card against the glass.

-Drew
04/04/2007 05:34:41 PM · #18
Originally posted by colorcarnival:

So how did you do these? Did you use a tripod? And how long was your exposure? Or did you just keep shooting really fast hoping to catch something? (lol that is my way of taking pictures)


Actually, (blushing) I was tripodless last night :(

I zoomed really fast over to the old ferry launch and backed my SUV up to the water, opened the sunroof, took off my shoe and used it as a prop to give the camera leverage, set the camera up on the roof, set it to bulb, attached my remote, lined up the shot, and locked the shutter open until the lightning flashed, then closed it and opened it again real fast :) I was out there for about 30 or 40 minutes just opening and closing the shutter and praying it was doing well and that it wouldn't start raining on me :D

ETA: ISO was 400, shutter was set to bulb, and they were shot at f5

I didn't put them in FS because of the expert editing ruleset :)

Message edited by author 2007-04-04 17:36:47.
04/04/2007 05:38:37 PM · #19
Originally posted by Tlemetry:

Talk about a rush! Wasn't it exciting? You must have gotten that nasty storm that blew over us yesterday. There was some serious lightning produced. One hit a block or so over and set off the car alarms in the area. It hung in the air for a good long time too. I wish I had my camera set up. But because it was daytime, I decided not to bother with it since I couldn't put it on slow shutter without blowing out the shot. Night time is the best time! Both of your shots are great! The border is way to bright on the first one. The best part about your shots is that it has surrounding scenery to go with it. Not just the bolts! Looks like you don't need any help taking this type of photography! You nailed it!


It was very very exciting :)
Ty for the kudos... I thought they were a little noisy but I suppose that's just what you get LOL
Yes, it was probably the same storm :)
04/04/2007 05:59:06 PM · #20
here are some of my best shots from last summer.

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And I think strangeghost got this same bolt (his is better focused, though)
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04/04/2007 06:06:01 PM · #21
You guys are so great!! Sharing your pictures with me :) I am lovin em :)
04/04/2007 06:27:27 PM · #22
I like lightning photography very much... captured a few myself:

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My friend, Susan Strom, is a very well-known lightning photographer who makes a lifestyle of chasing storms. She is known as The Lightning Lady and has captured some of the most spectacular lightning images I've ever seen. Her web site does not do her work justice but it is here:

The Lightning Lady

All of Susan's images are captured using film-based cameras.

Probably the "best" lightning picture I've ever seen is a famous lightning image taken at Kitt Peak National Observatory back in the late 60s by an astronomer whose night of observing have been ruined by a lighning storm, an event not uncommon there during the monsoons. He caught it on his FIRST roll of film:

Famous Kitt Peak Lightning Poster

Sorry about the poor quality of the poster image.

Message edited by author 2007-04-04 18:29:45.
04/04/2007 07:47:54 PM · #23
Originally posted by TCGuru:

Come on up to TN during the next storm... we can figure it out I'm sure... mine are a bit noisy and I sure wish I would have had more time or someone to discuss it with while shooting LOL


Are you asking me out on a date?
04/04/2007 08:07:50 PM · #24
Originally posted by Lowcivicman99:

Originally posted by TCGuru:

Come on up to TN during the next storm... we can figure it out I'm sure... mine are a bit noisy and I sure wish I would have had more time or someone to discuss it with while shooting LOL


Are you asking me out on a date?


Are you bringing a camera??? ;)
04/04/2007 08:45:05 PM · #25
Originally posted by TCGuru:

Originally posted by Lowcivicman99:

Originally posted by TCGuru:

Come on up to TN during the next storm... we can figure it out I'm sure... mine are a bit noisy and I sure wish I would have had more time or someone to discuss it with while shooting LOL


Are you asking me out on a date?


Are you bringing a camera??? ;)

HAHAHHAHA

Is a disposable ok?
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