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Photography tips for amazing lightning shots

Posted by Chris Hughes on

Shooting in nature has always been an arduous task for beginners. It requires lots of trials with abundant patience to capture the clean shot. From the many wonders of nature lighting is one that has fascinated many and to capture it a desired manifested by some astounding photographers. I came across an article which has demystified with some simple tips.


Capturing a lightning bolt is every photographer’s dream and needless to say, it is one of the most spectacular phenomena of nature. Contrary to what many think, photographing lightning is actually not that difficult a task. By following a few simple steps carefully , any one should be able to capture great lightning photographs. The following are a few steps that should be followed and are generally advised while photographing a lightning

1. Wait until it gets dark:

Capturing a lightning bolt during the day is a very difficult task as it involves shutter release exactly during the moment of the lightning. But when it becomes dark, you can set your camera in long exposure mode and capture the entire lightning streak.

2. Find a suitable location:

Find a location that is

a) safe so that you are not in the danger of getting struck by a lightning and
b) as far away from the city as possible to avoid unwanted lights 

3. Use a tripod:

As with any capture that involves the use of long exposure, using a tripod is mandatory for a good lightning shot

4. Use rain cover:

Lightning is generally accompanied by rain. So, using a proper rain cover is a wise thing to do, in order to protect your gear in case of a downpour.

5. Use manual mode:

Use manual mode to set all parameters right. An aperture value of around f/11 and ISO 100 would be optimal for lightning shots. Use bulb shutter speed which keeps the shutter open as long as you want. If your camera doesn’t support bulb mode, use shutter speeds in the range of 10 - 30 sec that is bound to produce some good results.

6. Use remote shutter release:

All it takes to spoil your perfectly planned lightning shot is a minor shake in your camera. So it is always safe to use a remote release cable under such conditions to avoid such accidents.

Courtesy: excerpts from DiedraWlison blog

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