Tiny storm with lightning

Was this a picture that you personally shot? I only ask because the intensity of the orange in the lower-right makes me thing sunset, yet the sky is so dark that this can't be the case. Are those 'city lights' in the lower-right?
It's a -- well -- very creative picture. Among other things, unless my monitor is deceiving me, it looks like the artist didn't rubber-stamp out a few "stars" inside the "cloud".
It's a -- well -- very creative picture. Among other things, unless my monitor is deceiving me, it looks like the artist didn't rubber-stamp out a few "stars" inside the "cloud".

Good call, I didn't even notice that until you posted.
Well, the "stars" on the clouds could very easily be artifacts on the lens that were lit up, since this is obviously a long exposure time. The orange could be from street lights, and the "doubling" effect in the clouds could be from separate lightning strikes that lit the clouds up as they moved closer or farther away.

Just a thought.
If the orange glow is the setting sun, it's in the right place for summer, assuming you are looking west. But the stars visible above the sunglow seems wrong.

Wouldn't the main storm tower be backlit byt he sun? :?
Only photoshop in this picture is, I brought levels up as it was a little too dark for my taste. I adjusted contrast, and I cloned out some power lines in the foreground. The "stars" in the cloud are just dead pixels I guess. Shutter was open for 17 seconds f/4.5 at ISO 400. The bright orange lights would be the outskirts of the City of Madison Wisconsin.

Funny. I dismissesd this as "just an OK picture" when I took it and never put it on my web site. Now that I am bored and SDS has kicked in... I am looking through old pictures, I put it online and posted it to a couple photo fourms and here, and I get all this "It looks too good to be real" stuff. If some still do not believe me, I have other pics from this storm I would be happy to post. This one was the only good one where you could see a fair amount of bolts.

Doug Raflik
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Very cool Doug. Yeah looks like dead pixels, or at least "hot" ones. I get those alot on my canon on longer exposures. Much worse than I ever got on my sony. Then again sony was so noisy they probably just blended in more.
I can confirm the hot pixel problem with my Canon as well. Try doing a super long exposure (over 2-3 minutes), and the bright spots get so bad you can't keep the picture. I only know this because I tried beating on it once to see what the limits were. Though I have heard this can permanently ruin the CCD, mine still works just fine.
Doug, since it's your picture I apologise for doubting and have to say it's one amazing picture! And the "hot pixel" effect that simulates stars is something I sure may want to duplicate. And the vertical lightning out of the cloud... wow! That's a keeper!
And the "hot pixel" effect that simulates stars is something I sure may want to duplicate.

Well most of them ARE stars. The ones in the upper right anyway. The white spots in the cloud are not, but the others are.
Ahh, I have the Canon Digital Rebel... haven't ever seen or used the D60 so not sure how they compare against each other. It takes very awesome pictures though!

What settings do you typically use for lightning photography?
Always ISO 100. Around 30 seconds, and adjust the f/ stop to the distance of the lightning. Over 2 miles... f/4ish area, and as it gets closer I close down the apeture. Now this is a generalization, and it can vary slightly with different conditions.
Hopefully this year I can do more lightning photography. I did some last year, nothing impressive...
I've just got into lightning photography. A small thunderstorm woke me up at 4 one morning. I usualy like to film the storms with my videocamera and then grab the lightning frames, but my camera had no more tape left and no battery. I grabed my new Nikon 8800 and set it up on a tripod out my bedroom window. I had no idea what to do, for i had just recieved the camera and i have never had a camera with manual settings. I decided to do a 30 second exposure at any f stop. I did not know what and f-stop was so i just put anything, which happend to be 5.6. I took a dozen pictures and only one turned out:
Hey Doug, I just saw your picture on the WFO-MKX website. http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mkx/document/document.php

It says it was taken on June 23, the tornado outbreak day. I remember the supercell that passed my house had a very intense lightning show immediately following the passage of the (at the time nonrotating) wall cloud. The tower cam from one of the Madison TV stations also showed this.
Andy. This isnt that storm. The first, tornadic storm went through. Then the next large storm went through. Then this little guy tried to go, but never got any bigger than this.

Doug, I was under the impression that DSLR class cameras didn't suffer from "hot" or "stuck" pixels. I'd expect a little thermal noise, sure, but not the artificial stars that infest your shots.

My P/S digicam produces dozens of red and green snowflakes when shooting anything longer than a few seconds. DSLR owners in other forums have assured me that their new toy is immune to the problem.

The big question I have regards sensor degredation: Has your D60 always had hot pixels, or is it a worsening problem? Also,at what ISO/temperature/shutter-speed combination does the problem start to get ugly?


-Greg (Still stuck in the photochemical era, but a potential DSLR buyer.)
Tiny Storm Picture

I noticed something odd about the far edge of the cloud deck above and just to the left of the left edge of the large patch of trees...........there are two or three identical stripes at the bottom of cloud deck. Even subtle vertical elements near the bottom of the cloud deck are repeated perfectly at least twice. Is this the result of getting rid of the power lines?