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.

  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…
    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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