More Storm Clouds

kentuck_8bDecember 9, 2007

These clouds give some nice photo ops if you are quick to shoot. You've got to be lightning fast, or just me.


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GREAT photo, kt. Love it.

With the delay on my digital camera I've never been able to get a good lightening shot.

Was there any secrets to how you got that one?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 6:43AM
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ohhh, what an excellent capture! I have never been able to get a good lightning shot either, good for you.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 7:32AM
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Beautiful photo.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 2:11PM
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That is a fantastic picture
Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 7:14PM
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Thanks, all!

Using my old Canon A-1 35mm, I could always double or even triple expose a photo, that is, if the first and second photos didn't capture any lightning.

That is what I like about my digital camera, I can take hundreds of photos and they don't cost anything, unlike the 35mm film developing.

I learned from my use of the A-1, to not waste film, so if you notice when there is a lightning cloud in the distance, you can count between the 'big' strikes, usually taking between 4 and 12 seconds in between strikes. The reason this happens is that once lightning strikes, it releases the negative charge, and it takes that long to build up again.

Some strikes go about every four seconds, and some 12 or even more seconds between strikes. As the storm goes on for a while, the time between strikes will gradually get longer until it stops, but for a while, sometimes up to 30 minutes, but usually less, there is a regular pattern of time between strikes.

Once you establish the time between strikes, then take the photo and increase the odds of getting a lightning shot.

I set my camera ISO 100 and usually set it anywhere between 2 and 8 seconds, depending on how dark it is outside and how often it lightnings. Use a tripod or a windowpod as I did in both of these photos.

I hope I explained this OK and I hope it helps.

One last thing, take a LOT of pictures! You may get lucky. Even if you don't or can't establish a pattern, you are more likely to get a strike on film with lots of pictures.

Here is some streak lightning. I was counting a pattern of about 10 to 12 seconds between strikes when I took this photo. It only struck four times after I took this photo.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 8:04PM
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Oh my....those are really something, I tried to understand the changing of the seconds and the ISO but I just don't get it. I need a tutorial to finally be able to start taking good pics. c

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 9:53PM
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I didn't know there was a formula you could use but it makes sense. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 9:28AM
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Thanks for the tips. They sound very helpful.

Are you outside when you take them? I confess to being a little bit of a chicken. Especially to spend that much time.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 11:41AM
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Thanks again. Both photos were taken sitting in my pickup truck using my window-pod. On both occasions, I had just gotten home, and drove out into my pasture.

Otherwise, I would have used a tripod out in front of my house.

You have to wait for the lightning that is striking far away, nothing close, although I hear it can be several miles away and still strike you where you stand. It doesn't bother me very much unless it is striking within a mile or so, and usually by then it is raining anyway...

The first photo was a single thunderhead that I watched as I drove home and it stayed far enough away that you could hear the rumbling, but no near strikes.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 12:21PM
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Do you ever dust off the A-1 and put it to work. That what the camera I learned the basics of photography with. I later moved on to an OM. I will dust them off every now and then when I feel I need to re-tweak my technical skills. Sometimes digital makes you lazy.

Great pics.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 10:41PM
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Thanks, Zjoe.

Yes, I agree about becoming 'lazy.' I have been contemplating using the A-1 again, but haven't got around to it. My Nikon Coolpix 5700 is nice but it has it's limits.

Three things that I really like better about the A-1 is that I can expose a picture basically as long as the battery lasts, I can double or triple(or more) expose a single photo for special effects, and also that the battery lasts for months, not minutes.

My Nikon has a maximum exposure of only 8 seconds and since I like to do night photos of stars and such where exposures of up to 15 minutes are required, this limits my abilities.

Also the Nikon only has a battery life, between rechargings, of about 20 continuous minutes, and a bit longer if I don't use the viewer.

I could get better macro shots with my A-l, and had an easier time with my lighting with the A-1. The depth of field was easier to use on the A-1 also.

However, the A-1 is quite bulky and heavy in comparison, which makes it tough to keep handy when hiking in rough terrain, and changing film all the time was a pain.

Both cameras have their good and bad points.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 11:14PM
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The car sounds good to this chicken.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 11:55PM
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That is what's so great about the windowpod, if it starts to rain, you simple undo it and roll up the window, plus you can position your vehicle any direction you like to capture the event.

I like to carry it with me when traveling cause you never know when you see something you want to photograph.

I use it to capture the fireworks every year on the 4th of July and New Years Eve, also.


    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 10:34AM
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4 sec exposure.


    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 8:41PM
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