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Lightning

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 4, 2011

Lightning

Lightning

My first lightning photos!

Lightning storms are not common where I live, which means that I don’t get many opportunities to practice. Although I’ve read articles on photographing lightning, I couldn’t remember a thing, so I stood on my balcony and shot frame after frame, trying different exposures. The first exposures were much too long. Although most articles recommend very long exposures, that probably works best in an area with little light pollution. I ended up with weird, brown, halogen-lit skies instead of lightning.

The first photo was shot at 1/10 sec., f/3.5, 18mm, ISO 200. The second one was shot at 1/4 sec. I shot these in RAW, which made processing them a lot easier. Manual focus, no tripod.

At the time I was annoyed that there was a big cypress tree between me and the storm, but now I appreciate the importance of foreground interest in a lightning photo.

If you want to photograph lightning properly (instead of fumbling around in the dark like I did), check out the Digital Photography School article on photographing lightning.

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