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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Nature & Landscapes 
Thread started 21 Mar 2016 (Monday) 17:03
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Frist time shooting lightning -- Storm over lake francis, Pittsburg, NH

 
Coppatop85
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Coppatop85.
     
Mar 21, 2016 17:03 |  #1

Hi everyone. I took this photo last summer, and meant to post it here for feedback and advice. This was my first time ever shooting a lightning storm. I really didn't know where to start with settings, the opportunity to shoot the storm just presented itself, so I went out and shoot. I had a remote shutter which I just held open until a flash of lightning happened, and let it go immediately after. In most of the shots, you could either only see the lightning and no clouds (the rest of the image was black), or you could see the clouds, but no actual bolt -- just a large area of over-exposed image. Advice on settings and feedback would be appreciated!

The settings for this shot were: 20mm, f/5.6, 19s, ISO 800.

IMAGE: http://www.coppatopphotos.com/img/s10/v105/p1931554041-5.jpg

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Wobsite: www.coppatopphotos.com (external link)

  
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Coppatop85
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Mar 22, 2016 21:29 |  #2

Any feedback would be much appreciated!


5D3, lenses, tripod, and a flash.
Wobsite: www.coppatopphotos.com (external link)

  
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madjack
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Mar 22, 2016 23:32 |  #3

Well, Im far from an expert, but I like your photo very much.

I like the scene, the clouds and the great lightning capture.

I also like the way you processed it.

I'm on the west coast now, but spent a lot of time in New Hampshire in my younger days.

I've been in some good storms on my Harley in New Hampshire.


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James33
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Mar 24, 2016 09:52 as a reply to  @ Coppatop85's post |  #4

It's a nice shot - a little dark to me, but it's all about what you were trying to capture. I'd recommend this:

Lightning is bright - it can light up your entire frame depending on how close/intense it is. It takes some experimenting but I usually just go for 15-30 second exposures max and hope for lightning to strike during that time. Adjust your ISO and aperture to make sure you aren't over exposing during a strike and you are getting the look you want. Since it is so far away, your aperture can be f/2.8 and still keep everything in focus (unless you have things very close by that are in the frame). To focus, you need to figure out where that is at the infinity mark on your lens. It's normally not right on it. You can use a strong flashlight to light up a tree or something in the distance and get the camera to focus on it then shift it to manual focus being careful not to move the focus ring. Or you can use live view and zoom in on the moon/stars etc (if available) and manually focus. Or find the infinity focus during the day. Point is, once you have that spot, mark it on your lens with a piece of gaffer tape or something so you can go to it each time. Periodically check while shooting to make sure the focus ring has not been bumped or else you may have a lot of out of focus shots later. Ask me how I know. LOL.

Hope these tips help!!


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maisak
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Mar 25, 2016 11:04 |  #5

nice pic




  
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Coppatop85
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May 02, 2016 18:29 |  #6

Hey all,

Just bumping to get some more feedback or tips on how to shoot lightning. Thanks.


5D3, lenses, tripod, and a flash.
Wobsite: www.coppatopphotos.com (external link)

  
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Geonerd
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May 14, 2016 17:30 |  #7

You're really a little too far away for properly dramatic lightning.

Half the image is a black tree. Some foreground is fine for framing the storm, but IMO this is too much.
Zoom in on the interesting area! A FF 20mm is pretty dang wide for lightning. To get any sort of subject size, the bolts have to be hitting 'too close.' IMO, a 50mm would have worked better.

ASA 800 and 5.6 should be more than enough. (5.6 / 100 is my 'standard' starting recipe when shooting the small Az monsoon storms from a few miles away.) In your situation, cranking the ISO or opening the lens another stop or two would have made for a bit more punch.

50% of lightning shooting is preparation. Scout out locations near home that offer a variety of views in different directions. Then, when the storms and light are predicted to be good, you'll know just where to go for the best view. The other 50% is a willingness to 'head out' when storms are in the area. Unless you have an unusually nice view, shots taken from the driveway are usually pretty forgettable.

Gear really doesn't much matter. If you're close, it's rare to shoot wider than f/4 / ISO 100. Just about any lens will work well from f/4 to f/8. Just make sure an AF lens is really focused at infinity... Triggers are almost mandatory if you _need_ daylight lightning, but become nearly worthless once you reach sunset. The shutter and mirror delay you get with a trigger mean you usually miss the bright branching display which often occurs during the first pulse of lightning.


"Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk!" - E. Weston

  
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Frist time shooting lightning -- Storm over lake francis, Pittsburg, NH
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