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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Astronomy & Celestial 
Thread started 29 Jun 2016 (Wednesday) 00:50
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Shooting lightning.

 
hanalwala
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Jun 29, 2016 00:50 |  #1

hi....
I am interested to shoot lighting .

I understand there are two ways:
1. Keep the camera on manual mode and set it at continuous shots at 30 sec so that the camera keeps on shooting non stop. As and when the lighting sticks it will capture.

2. There is a lightning trigger to be attached on the hot shoe of the camera and it will trigger as soon as lightning sticks.

My question is: Which is better way and give 100 % results. If it is better to use a lightning trigger which brand would you recommend. I am told that Stepping stone from Colorado is a good one but it is too expensive ($300+) . Could someone please suggest an alternative brand . Thanks,

Hussain Nalwala




  
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Davenn
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Jun 29, 2016 04:22 |  #2

hanalwala wrote in post #18052948 (external link)
hi....
I am interested to shoot lighting .

I understand there are two ways:
1. Keep the camera on manual mode and set it at continuous shots at 30 sec so that the camera keeps on shooting non stop. As and when the lighting sticks it will capture.

2. There is a lightning trigger to be attached on the hot shoe of the camera and it will trigger as soon as lightning sticks.

My question is: Which is better way and give 100 % results. If it is better to use a lightning trigger which brand would you recommend. I am told that Stepping stone from Colorado is a good one but it is too expensive ($300+) . Could someone please suggest an alternative brand . Thanks,

Hussain Nalwala


hi there

I assume you mean strikes, not sticks ;-)a

nothing is 100 % for still images. there's lots of luck involved. Pointing in the right direction being the top of the list (well that applies for doing video as well)

I have a lightning trigger. They are all much of a much. Only really works well with the really bright and reasonably close strikes.
This is mainly because the more distant ones are fainter and the detector has difficulty detecting the difference between the daytime light and the lightning flashes
I have dabbled with ND8 filters to be able to do slightly longer exposures during the daytime ... mediocre success

because of those things daytime captures is difficult ( but not impossible)
I normally use video for the daytime stuff and pull out the individual frames

for nitetime imaging I will do 20sec exposures or till I capture a strike, which ever occurs first and then do the next exposure
it has produced some awesome results


hope that helps a little :-)

cheers
Dave


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stevieray
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Jun 29, 2016 07:58 |  #3

I use the first method, its cheap, and works reasonably well. I used 20 second exposures at nightfall for this.
Best,
Steve

IMAGE: https://c7.staticflickr.com/6/5793/22753957182_3729f35534_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/AEFY​JA  (external link) IMG_2353 (external link) by Steve Christle (external link), on Flickr



  
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mtbdudex
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Post edited over 4 years ago by mtbdudex. (2 edits in all)
     
Jun 29, 2016 11:20 |  #4

I had a budget trigger from Amazon, ended up returning it just not reliable.

i've had success on the continuous method and also the remote method, both on fixed tripod.

from our summer 3 week out west 2014 camping trip, this is Custer State Park campground (external link) , around 1am


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pdxbenedetti
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Jun 29, 2016 13:06 |  #5

Agreed with others, just do constant exposures, reliability from a trigger is not very good IMO. Plus with constant exposures you can do a timelapse and/or stacking to make really awesome shots. I generally do 20-30 second exposures at a lower ISO and stop down multiple stops. Here's a few I captured last summer:


IMAGE: https://c5.staticflickr.com/6/5745/20628784812_032b259e8a_b.jpg


IMAGE: https://c3.staticflickr.com/1/735/20628777442_e165e72960_b.jpg


Had a good storm come through my neighborhood, neighbors trees got struck, lasted about an hour so I sat on my front porch and watched the show.


IMAGE: https://c3.staticflickr.com/4/3869/18823895506_ba3f657d7f_b.jpg

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gjl711
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Jun 29, 2016 13:56 |  #6

First method is the cheapest and easiest but limits you to night time lightning. As to triggers, this pretty simple technology. A hobbyist can easily assemble a trigger from Radio Shack parts for about $15 or just go to Amazon and search lightning triggers. Several in the $60~$80 range. Below is a shot using method #1


IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2811/9074248669_280f0ff19d_b.jpg
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andicus
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Jun 29, 2016 14:18 |  #7

Wow! Great shots, all!

I use the same method (~20 second exposure) but don't have anything nearly as impressive to post.




  
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Alveric
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Jun 29, 2016 14:51 |  #8
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I use the first method as well. Yet, I find lightning for the sake of lightning doesn't quite cut it. I begin by choosing a nice scene and compose carefully, then I keep operating the camera until the storm has passed by.


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sandwedge
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Jun 29, 2016 23:25 |  #9

I use the first method for night time lightning. I like to use a remote trigger in bulb mode. That way, if a lightning bolt is particularly bright, you can cut the exposure short.

Since everyone else is sharing, here's my favorite shot:

Mississippi River Bridge, Vicksburg MS, June 6, 2013

IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Storms/i-9MwKP5q/0/XL/Lightning06062013%20030-XL.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://photos.smugmug​.com …013%20030-XL.jpg&lb=1&s=A  (external link) on Smugmug

and my most recent, Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park, June 7, 2016

IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Storms/i-5KCw3hP/0/XL/ys21-590-XL.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://photos.smugmug​.com …/ys21-590-XL.jpg&lb=1&s=A  (external link) on Smugmug

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Jim_T
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Jul 01, 2016 12:39 |  #10

I use the multiple exposure method. I set the exposure to 10 - 20 seconds (depending on the light), put the camera in burst mode, point it at the storm, then lock my remote shutter release. The camera will click away and capture all lightning flashes. After I'm done, I sort through the exposures and delete all those that don't have lightning.

Below are two shots taken from the the same multiple exposure effort:


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Dean5
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Jul 07, 2016 20:37 |  #11

I use method 1 at night. The hardest part is making sure your glass is pointed in the direction of the lightning.

I did just recently purchase a trigger and have not had a chance to use it. Wanted it mostly for daytime lightning.

Here are a couple pictures captured with method 1.


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Celestron
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Jul 07, 2016 22:00 as a reply to  @ Dean5's post |  #12

Great captures , well done !




  
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mattmiller03
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Jul 08, 2016 11:22 as a reply to  @ Dean5's post |  #13

really like this shot. so my question to you is:

by using a long exposure you are able to hopefully capture multiple lightening strikes over the 20-30s exposure correct? Sorry I know it isnt the best question because i am pretty new at photography and I am just learning here.




  
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gjl711
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Jul 08, 2016 12:39 |  #14

mattmiller03 wrote in post #18061307 (external link)
really like this shot. so my question to you is:

by using a long exposure you are able to hopefully capture multiple lightening strikes over the 20-30s exposure correct? Sorry I know it isnt the best question because i am pretty new at photography and I am just learning here.

THat's going to depend on the storm. When I lived in Illinois we had a lot of t-storms but so much of the lightning was buried in the clouds that I was lucky to get one visible. Here in Texas it is very different. It's not unusual for there to be multiple strikes in a matter of seconds so 30 seconds tends to be a bit long. 10 seconds can get you 3~5 strikes.


Not sure why, but call me JJ.
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mattmiller03
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Jul 08, 2016 12:46 as a reply to  @ gjl711's post |  #15

yeah the 3-5 strikes on the one photo exposure. ok i know i might seem slightly dumb this but just making sure i am understanding the information




  
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Shooting lightning.
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