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How do I… Lightning?

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
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  • #1451
    Schnappi
    Participant

    Every time a storm rolls through (rare in Vegas) I wish I could get some lightning shots.
    Unfortunately, I never actually get a shot with lightning in it.

    So far I’ve tried lowering my quality (hurts so bad) so that I can take continuous shots for like 1000 frames in the hopes of a bolt going off in frame.

    I’ve also tried long shutters… but if I get very long at all I end up with garbage anyway due to the stuff in my frame moving (and cloud movement).

    So for those of you who get good lightning shots…. how?

    #19540
    Killerclaw
    Participant

    I sit there with a remote and tripod and snap off 15 second exposures.

    #19541
    linguine
    Participant

    I’ve never done it, but everything Ive seen says take lots of long exposures.

    #19542
    orionid
    Participant

    About 15 years ago, Nuts & Volts magazine had an article showing the schematics and operation of an automatic shutter relase that responded to sharp changes in light levels and produced spectacular results with 1600 ISO film (if memory serves). Some Google-fu may unearth something similar….. the trick would be making it work with a DSLR.

    Possibly with the nikon cordless remote, you could replace the button with a transistor and photocell… It’d be quick, dirty and ugly…. but inexpensive and possibly fun.

    #19543
    Killerclaw
    Participant

    there is a lightning sensor that goes on the flash mount being advertised in Outdoor Photography magazine. I’m looking for my copy, I’ll post a link when I find it.

    #19544
    Killerclaw
    Participant
    #19545
    nugz4lunch
    Participant
    Killerclaw wrote:
    I sit there with a remote and tripod and snap off 15 second exposures.

    Me too.

    #19546
    jpatten
    Participant

    same here .. stop down so I dont blow out the clouds, and click off 15-20sec frames one after another till I get lucky.

    #19547
    oi_piss_me_off
    Participant

    I had a similar question. Do you have to have a remote release?

    #19548
    swampa
    Participant

    No, you can use the timer function to trigger the camera if you want (or in the worst case you can use the shutter button but you will probably shake the camera in doing so unless it is fixed somewhere really solid). A remote release just makes it easier.

    #19549
    orionid
    Participant

    What he said.

    #19550
    caradoc
    Participant

    During the day, I use a trigger based on an Arduino microcontroller that measures ambient infrared, and pops the shutter when there’s a spike in IR:

    (clickr for Flickr, more links to the trigger “how-to” from there)

    At night, I set for ambient (good exposure of city skyline, whatever) and bang out long exposures until lightning strikes in the frame. A solid tripod and a cable release are required for ths (I simply set the lock on the cable release to force the camera to repeatedly click off exposures until I unlock it.)

    #19551
    oi_piss_me_off
    Participant

    Great! Thanks so much everyone. And caradoc, your photos are amazing!

    #19552
    olavf
    Participant

    Yeah, he’s pretty much why I pointed you over here.

    #19553
    caradoc
    Participant

    Thanks! Anyone in the metro Phoenix area’s welcome to ping me – we can go shoot.

    (I’m kind of without a car for the moment… the Forester has a couple of cracked CV boots, and I really need to get those repaired/replaced before I drive much…)

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
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