Your First Lightning Shot

Embarrassing, but hey I was 16

First Lightning shot ever, for a fact. I was 16 and was so stoked I sent it in to the news and they showed it and talked about it and mentioned my name, Hah I even recorded the broadcast. I have come a ways since then :)
This was taken in Cordes Lakes, AZ... (Northern)

Chalk me up in the "Beginner's Luck" category...back on October 19, 2005 the same day I received my first DSLR, a Nikon D100 I got from my brother. It all started with a great storm out by Alva that I ruined about 50% of my pictures because I didn't have time to get to know the camera and blurred out many of the images. On the way home, new storms were developing at Hwy 51 and I-35, and I stopped to attempt some shots. After a few blurry shots of the moon, I dialed things in and got this...

For a good couple of days I didn't even realize I got a lightning bolt on this picture, I was just shooting at the sunset where I had been seeing a few random strikes here and there. Then a couple days later, I went over my pictures again and went "Wow!" lol.


Last night was my first night going out to try and get some lightning shots, i'm new at this so im not sure what settings I should be using or how much exposure to give it or any of that. Plus I was in a kinda bright area which affected my first couple of photos. After seeing that I made sure to stand in the way of the light to help it some.

I just posted this up on my blog last night...

Working On Lightning Pictures
This was a totally accidental catch on a very lightning active supercell near Wayne City, IL on June 19, 2009. This was only a 1/25th second exposure on Landscape auto setting. It wasn't until this year that I have started using my DSLR correctly(without using auto settings) and also doing real long bulb-exposure type lightning photos. A couple of my favorites from this year are also posted in the "best lightning shots" thread.

April 2002 in San Antonio, TX. I had an Olympus OM-1 and Zuiko 50/1.8 propped up in a window on a Wal-Mart tripod and was holding the shutter down by hand. I've forgotten where I got the idea to try shooting lightning, it was probably from Gene Moore's site.

7/25/10 West of Mulvane, KS. Nothing spectacular but it is my first.


After a little tweeking.

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