Split

I stood on the doorstep for about half an hour, my camera held aloft, as I tried to capture the flashes of lightning streaking across the sky. The light rain had lifted the scent of the rosemary bush to my nostrils.

I waited, my finger on the button, as the camera took shot after shot, on sports mode, of the street and the night sky. I wondered how photographers captured those fantastic shots of nights split in half by forked lightning. Faster, more sensitive camera perhaps, better location, not cluttered by roof tops and street furniture.

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  1. #1 by BouBou on August 7, 2008 - 5:38 am

    Don’t for get simple luck!

    In our leasing office is a poster sized photo of a bolt of lightning. I found out from our security guard that it was taken by one of the tenants. He lives on the penthouse floor – 19 floors up – with a private patio. An ideal location, but timing that photo was pure luck.

  2. #2 by gawdess on August 7, 2008 - 5:01 pm

    the other thing is you don’t need a faster camera!
    I only just learned this…and did what you did with no luck,
    so…apparently you want a solid surface and to leave the shutter open for longer…I like your shots and their moody feel but I know what you mean…
    http://www.digicamhelp.com/learn/nature/lightning.php
    is helpful and
    here is a bit from it…”I set the camera to ISO 100 and use a small aperture for greater depth of field. I often set the zoom to wide angle to capture a wide area of the scene. I may crop a picture when editing so the lightning fills the whole frame.”
    I haven’t had a chance to try yet but am looking forward to it.

  3. #3 by Lew on August 12, 2008 - 7:17 pm

    At night, the secret is to use longer exposure times, with the camera on a solid surface (or tripod). Use “bulb” or 20 to 30 second exposure, repeating until you capture a streak of lightning. The lights from houses in your location would end up being too bright. It still is a lot of luck to get the streaks. You did get some very good night shots.

  4. #4 by angelfeet on August 18, 2008 - 9:30 pm

    Thanks, gawdess and Lew. I’ll have to find a better location and apply some techniques. it was still fun though.

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