Photographing Lightning

Photographing Lightning

LighentingShooting lightning is a tricky subject. It is unpredictable and extremely fast. This leaves 3 common ways to capture it. The first two ways are similar (shoot and pray). Basically the first way just keep shooting image after image hoping you will get the lightning in your shot. This works at night as well as during the day. Luckily shooting digital makes this cost effective and Lightroom allows you to move through hundreds of images in minutes. The second way only works at night or when it is dark. You can use a long shutter and wait for the lightening to strike. This allows you to shoot a really long exposure increasing your odds of capturing the image. This is how I captured the above image. I used a 1 minute exposure and the lightening was flashing on average 2-times a minute. This gave the the benefit of capturing two strikes at the same time making the lightening more impressive. The last way is to purchase a lightening shutter attachment for your camera. There are a few different ones and the range in price but you can pick up a good one on Amazon for about $170. They work by sensing the infrared light just before the lightening strike and then triggering the shutter on your camera. This allows you to shoot during the day or night and still get the shot. Some times it will make mistakes but you end up with much fewer misses that the other two options. The downside to this option besides the extra cost is if you want to capture multiple strikes in one image you have to bust out Photoshop and start layering, Since I am not great at Photoshop, so far I have only been using the second opting and use long exposure shots.

Good luck with your lightening but remember to be safe. Don’t take chances and use a telephoto lens to zoom in and keep yourself at a safe distance from the strikes. This is also better for your camera as rain can be harmful to your camera.

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