Saturday, October 12, 2013

Photographing Lightning Storm

Few times a year we get a heck of a light show in our parts of a wood here in South-West Ontario. Back in September 11 just after sunset was one of them. It was one bolt after another not too far away what looked like London, Ontario area. It wasn’t raining yet so I scrambled to get my camera, tripod and lens ready and do all the settings on camera before it started to rain cats and dogs. Since I never took a shot of lightning before I was just guessing that I will have to use lowest ISO speed so that the foreground will not be too bright and a long exposure because nobody has any idea when the lightning will strike. It worked. All the pictures were taken with Canon T1i (500D), Sigma 10mm-20mm zoom set at 10mm, ISO 100, f/3.5, 15 sec. exposure and triggered with Yongnuo RF-603 C1 radio trigger. Second and third picture shows forming of a tornado funnel, this area had some bad tornadoes, but after few minutes the funnel disappeared.
Here is my very first shot of a lightning.

You can see the tornado funnel forming with heavy rain in center.

The funnel is getting wider instead of more tapered and eventually dissipates.
I don't think that these bolts struck at same time. 15 second exposure will do that.


Anonymous said...

Can 15 sec exposure cause a blur in the clouds or trees and if so, how do you correct it?

Jerry said...

No Seb, 15 second exposure will not blur the clouds or the trees because everything is pitch black for 14.999 seconds. They get visible only when the lightning strikes. It is like using gigantic flash to photograph trees, clouds and everything else. Only thing you need is solid tripod and luck.