Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I will definitely give it a watch.A couple years ago at the Weatherfest event in Lincoln, I offered some tips/advice on how to get better lightning photographs. Below is a link to the video of my presentation.
From Storms to Sunsets: The Science and Art of My Photography
Lightning portion of the talk begins at 23:45
Dan's guide is just about spot-on, IMO. He's one of the few that seems to 'get' the aperture vs. lightning brightness/distance concept. All I'd add is the notion of scouting favorable vantage points ahead of time. Then, when the storms arrive from a given direction, you'll know right where to go!Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial with us. ^^ This will be very helpful.
Hey Taylor. Thanks for the reply. I have yet still to own a DSLR camera, the tripod, and a trigger. Using all the funds I currently have saved up to move into my own place. My dad currently lets me borrow his Nikon DSLR camera. Have no clue on the exact model, but it is a wonderful camera. My dad has a fairly sturdy Tripod that he also lets me borrow. He got it from best buy. Taylor, if you can give me the exact settings I will greatly appreciate for the next time I am able to go out and try and get some shots.I shot these with no tripod, no remote, and f/22 aperture with a 10-15 exposure. ISO was around 400 if I remember correctly. I can get you exact settings if you want. Basically, all you need is a DSLR, a sturdy place to set your camera, and some good bug spray. Don't be discouraged by thinking you need to spend a thousand dollars on a tripod. Look for a day with some good CAPE, and you'll likely have a prolific lightning producer. PECANs often provide some good lightning shows as well.
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EDIT: @Steve Miller why won't media embed work?
Thanks for the advice Dan. For now I think my fathers Tripod will work well. However, soon I will have to get my own, so that will be something to keep in mind.You can find tripods at Wal-Mart for $20. They don't last very long with heavy chasing use, but they work just fine. I used to go through two of those a year back when I started.
~$240 will get you a small Manfrotto tripod and a RC2 ball head that will last for a long time.
Being around city lights, or bolts being closer may require something higher than f/8.1: Tripod required.
2: Remote shutter release or cable (if using cable, be careful not to move the camera).
3: I don't use a trigger because I want to control the entire exposure
4: Use the lowest ISO possible. This allows longer exposures and helps to avoids noise, especially at night.
5: Don't use any f-stop above f8 or the bolts will look very thin
6: Use manual settings, never automatic, including manual focus
7: Keep checking the exposures to make sure they are properly exposed for any existing daylight
8: Try for the longest exposure possible, for example: f5.6 at 20 seconds instead of f4 at 10 seconds to capture more lightning
9: At night in total darkness you can expose for longer periods and fill the frame with lightning as desired. Remember that city lights
will blow out an exposure.
10: Don't get zapped!
I know what you're talking about. I believe I came across an image or two, talking about lightning photography special effects you can do"Panning camera trick"...
This trick will separate the individual return strokes in a single strike. Strikes are composed, often, of many return strokes very close in time together. You can pan the camera back and forth during the exposure, and this will separate the strike.
It has to be basically totally dark. No farm lights, no city glow if you can help it. Then pan the camera left and right, back and forth at a fairly fast rate. You don't have to shake the camera though. I'd guess about 1/2 sec to make a sweep.
Sorry, I can't find the pic that I got this way accidentally in the 90's when I shot one out the side window while going down the highway, but it separated the return strokes the same way.