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Capturing lightning guide

lightning maassluis
Here is a guide to take pictures of lighting, however the picture above is a screenshot and non actual photo however that is one way to get a picture of the lighting just film it and later grab a screenshot, however one big problem would occur is that the picture is very low res and very noisy and grainy. Nowadays we have HD to film anything that happens however HD is a pretty big resolution but it is not that good as a solid picture.


So here is a tutorial how to be able to capture lighting with a DSLR camera. First of all you need a DSLR camera, tripod and a remote. I use a Canon cause actually Canon is the only brand gives a free software to remotely control your camera with your laptop or computer through a usb cable. However you can bus a remote that is wired or even wireless.

To take a picture you really need to set the shutterspeed to speeds that is too hard to hold steady just by hand, so that why a tripod is handy to have a good steady shot. A remote is needed to keep your camera even more still cause even just pressing the shutter button on your camera makes your camera to shake and there by producing motion blur and to have a blurry picture.

The shutterspeed and aperture is very important to use and always depends on what the environment is so that is no real magic number that would say that is the best settings. But the best way to take the picture is to use either bulb or the longest shutter speed setting of 10 - 30 seconds, and depending if you over expose or under expose you choose the right aperture.

To capture lighting you really have to anticipate where they are striking and mostly they would strike is close distances but also could travel around cause of the clouds. But to take a good picture the best is to have a wide lense cause you would never really know if that spot is the perfect place. And because you never know when it strikes you are continuously taking pictures and hoping that is falls just after you press the button, you can't just press it when you see it nor do you need special devices that would react to the lighting. It's just taking pictures with long exposures and hoping that a lightning falls at the right time.

Difference between 30 seconds and bulb
With the bulb you can hold the shutter as long as you want and also stop when ever you want. With 30 seconds you have only max 30 seconds but also it would not stop earlier. The problem with 30 seconds is that is does not stop earlier which means you could have exposed to several lightnings that happended in 30 seconds making a very overexposed picture, cause if you used bulb you would have shot multiple shots instead. However the problem with bulb is that the correct apertures is hard to set cause holding shutter to long you might over expose but holding to short might underexpose.

So next time the weather predicts thunder and lightning try and capture it with your camera, cause lightning bolts are very beautiful art of nature but only last for few seconds or less.

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