Photographing Lightning [pictures included]

by Klaus on September 10, 2010

in Personal Blog, Photography, Tech News

Last night we had some thunderstorms over Malta with a good amount of lightning as well and I’ve always wanted to get a really great shot of a lightning strike, so I figured I might as well begin to practice and figure out how to do it.

At first I stepped outside on the patio but when it started to rain I moved back inside. It’s usually a bad idea to be outside during a thunderstorm but if it’s raining where you are, then you’re too close – so I stepped inside and had to shoot my pictures through a window which of course wasn’t perfect.

For tips on how to shoot lightning, I recommend this article: How to Photograph Lightning.

Basically what I did last night (before reading the article above) was to shoot in manual mode with my Nikon D5000 and Nikkor 18-200mm lens at around 4-10 second shutter speeds and then experiment with the aperture to get the exposure right. It’s impossible to capture a lightning strike if you shoot when you see it – you have to shoot before it occurs and the only way to do that is to shoot a lot of frames and get lucky in that a lightning will strike where your viewfinder is pointing.

I got a lucky a few times, three, in fact. As you can see from the pictures below. Also the two first pictures shows just how much a lightning can brighten up everything – it was kinda cool.

The weather guys here in Malta says there’s a 20% chance of thunderstorms in the next 24 hours – and 40% chance on Wednesday, so I’m hoping to get another chance soon, cause I’m not satisfied with these pictures…

Nice, calm and dark during night...

Until some lightning occurs and brightens the whole thing up!

Vertical lightning

Interesting horizontal lightning

Small lightning in the horizon

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

James M. September 11, 2010 at 17:31

What’s all those dark round spots in the mid pics? Rain drops?

I can’t wait to be showing off my pictures in my blog too. Hopefully, I’d be able to save enough to buy a new dslr camera before the year ends. I’m setting my sights on at least a Canon 60D.
James M. recently posted… Automatic Photo Scanner Picks

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Klaus September 11, 2010 at 19:12

Yeah they are out-of-focus raindrops on the window. Next time I’ll try to get the camera outside if I can still keep it dry and then fire it remotely.
Klaus recently posted… 4 Reasons Why People Blog

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Glenda @ super mario costume September 14, 2010 at 04:12

This is a fantastic shot. It is a good thing when the camera can really capture what we expect to be taken. I’m fond of photography too and find it very enjoying and profitable as well. I’ve found out that quality photos rely on the quality of the camera too.

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etatvasoft September 17, 2010 at 10:59

I think to take a photograph is an art and it is taken from so many different angles. I like photography but I do not have the perfect idea of using all camera features. So help me out…Thanks in advance.

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John November 10, 2010 at 07:47

I like the first two photos, really good photography.

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Camera Recovery Software December 8, 2010 at 12:47

You have captured the real natural beauty. Congrats and keep it up

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