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Lightning Pictures

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posted on May, 17 2013 @ 07:52 AM
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So I recently tried my hand at capturing pictures of lightning. I live in Oklahoma and it is currently storm season so there should be some prime opportunities to get some good shots. The pictures below are the best of 184 attempts. I’m pleased with my first attempt results. I saved the best one for last.

So if anyone else out there has some good lightning pictures or even hints on how to get better shots, then pass them along. Thanks for looking.











posted on May, 17 2013 @ 08:07 AM
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reply to post by ratcals
 


I love lightning photos! It's one of my favorite hobbies! I just recently bought a brand new camera for it. I used to use a canon point and shoot. It worked good enough!

My avatar image is one of my pictures. I am on a phone right now so I can't really post any others but I can offer some tips;

Always use a tripod! You'll be taking long exposures more often than not.

Pre compose your shot, find the background you like and fiddle with the focus until its sharp.

If you have a point and shoot camera turn down the ISO to around 80 or 100 and run the shutter speed up to balance the amount of light you capture and the most time the shutter is open.

A short exposure can have a higher ISO, but you'll have less opportunity to catch a shot during the strike the less time the shutter is open.

Lightning isn't predictable, this is good and bad. No two shots are ever the same, so you can get some wild stuff! But it can also be very boring and you'll need patience. There's also the danger of it; it's a risky game messing with a metal tripod in a storm. Just be safe and be patient and you can enjoy the sights and sounds and maybe even get a good picture! I'll try to append a picture later!

Keep up the good work!



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 08:13 AM
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reply to post by Mapkar
 


Thanks for the tips. I'll certainly incorporate those in my next attempt. What I was doing was using a tripod, extremely fast shutter speeds and a remote shutter release. It was basically a timing thing. Which is why I got so few good shots. I was also doing it from the convenience of my deck.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 08:14 AM
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Originally posted by ratcals
So if anyone else out there has some good lightning pictures or even hints on how to get better shots, then pass them along.




Two of mine that I've posted before.



1. Watch the weather radar and be at your good photo spot as the storm comes in, because once it starts raining its too late.

2. Luck.
edit on 17-5-2013 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)
edit on 17-5-2013 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 08:16 AM
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reply to post by alfa1
 


That's a great picture. How long was the exposure time for that?

Fortunately my place for taking photos is right on my deck which luckily faces due west.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 08:21 AM
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reply to post by ratcals
 


From experience i know it's not easy to get great lightning shots.
What were the camera settings if i may ask?
You managed to get some good results, a good thing is that you kept the camera on the same spot, hoping a strike would end up in the field of view. That's the best you can do when you are on a place with 'limited' view or horizon.

If you are in a wide open place it's easier to get some great lightning shots as you can better predict the direction the storm is going.
There are some different techniques to capture lightning, much depending on the time of day or night.
During the day it's more difficult because you won't be able to take very long exposures. During the day you can use an ND filter to exposure up to 10seconds. The longer the exposure the more luck to capture one.
During the night it's easier, predict the direction of the storm, set the camera to a 5 minutes exposure and watch the show.
A lot of practice and some luck can get you great lightning shots.

I added 2 shots of mine.
The first one is from last year, an amazing lightning show, 3 nights in a row, heavy lighting without rain.
It's a 4 minutes exposure, you can see different strikes in the same picture. That's the nice thing with long exposure. Multiple strikes in one shot.


The second is a 30seconds exposure. Taken at the beach while a storm was passing by at sea. The nice thing (for me) was the boat(lights you see). A lot of strikes were hitting the boat, so i just had to aim the camera at that spot.

I could show you many more lightning shots but these are the only ones i have on this computer.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 08:24 AM
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That last one is a good shot. It's way better than the first, though the first ones are pretty good. I've tried to take photos of lighting a-lot but all of mine come out blurry.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 08:27 AM
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Originally posted by ratcals
That's a great picture. How long was the exposure time for that?


Looking through old notebook, its say those two were from 1st of Feb 1994.
The film was Fuji 100, fstop was either f11 or f16 and the times were anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes.
I'd have to actually get the original negatives out to see which was the exact shot.





Originally posted by ratcals
Fortunately my place for taking photos is right on my deck which luckily faces due west.


These were shot from on top of here...
googlemaps
Since the new building works, I dont think you can take photos from there anymore... but somebody has put at photo at that spot so you can see what the view was originally like.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 08:33 AM
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reply to post by intergalactic fire
 


Those are great pictures and good advice. Thanks.

I don't recall whay my camera settings were, but I know I was shutter speeds around 1/30 to prevent too much light from getting in. I have a Nikon D3100 and I'm still getting acquainted with how to use it. I was way in to photography about 25 years ago and I'm just starting to get back in to it. So I need to relearn how to balance ISO, aperture and shutter speed to get good shots.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 09:05 AM
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reply to post by ratcals
 


With that shutterspeed i must say you got some darn good results!
What i try to do is take a 'testshot' first. Beginning with lowest iso, aperture at f8 and shutter at around 15 to 30 seconds. After that you can adjust the settings to get better exposure and results.
A lot of times i use a timelapse remote to save myself some work of pushing the release on the camera

For the focus i do this manual set to infinity or if there is a lightsource far away, use that as focus reference.
If everything is set, just get into your car or inside(if that's possible) leave the camera outside and enjoy.

Soon the season will start here also, those moments are pretty intense to say at least.
Realizing the danger i keep on going after those storms with some very close strikes, where everything is shaking, including yourself. Next time i think i will use these earplugs, it can get pretty loud.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 09:07 AM
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I will suffer the rest of my life from getting hit by lightning. While it looks cool, it is not worth your life or worse to suffer for the rest of your life. Just to add, Lightning can and will travel many miles. I got hit when it wasn't stormy in my area and a young girl was hit and killed while playing with her friends from a storm 19 miles away.
edit on 17-5-2013 by Patriotsrevenge because: added info



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 09:10 AM
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reply to post by ratcals
 


Nice...took me a number of tries to get a good one...but finally I was successful...




posted on May, 17 2013 @ 09:15 AM
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Originally posted by alfa1

Originally posted by ratcals
So if anyone else out there has some good lightning pictures or even hints on how to get better shots, then pass them along.




Two of mine that I've posted before.



1. Watch the weather radar and be at your good photo spot as the storm comes in, because once it starts raining its too late.

2. Luck.
edit on 17-5-2013 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)
edit on 17-5-2013 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)


One night in Florida it did that for an hour at my house. It was terrifying. If you would have stepped one foot outside you would have been killed. It really sounded like the scene from war of the worlds and lit up the whole house like day light. Everything was buzzing inside the house. I thought for sure it would have been on the news but there was nothing. Everyone in my neighborhood was dumbfounded because it seemed UN-natural.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 09:20 AM
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This makes me want to go out and buy a new camera.

I have too many hobbies as it is lol



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 09:40 AM
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reply to post by UberL33t
 


Holy cow! Thats huge!



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 09:43 AM
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Originally posted by MrAoxx

I have too many hobbies as it is lol


Yeah, me too. However, I never find myself with nothing to do.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 09:47 AM
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My lightning video...We had a major storm moving in to our area, I was filming the area behind the house when a Lightning Bolt hit a tree.




posted on May, 17 2013 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by ratcals
 

I have to mark your thread, as I love lightning photos, too...and, would love to take some (though lightning strikes are a little rarer here).
Thanks for the pics & thread.






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