Monday, August 15, 2011

Late Night Lightning Storm

I have this fascination with lightning storms and, a goal of mine is to capture some lightning, but in that oh-so-perfect shot. I have yet to nail it like i want to but, here are three pics I got at between 1:30 and 3:00AM. The first one isn't too great, but it shows you all of the many tens of branches of a lightning bolt. The light at the bottom left is just a street lamp. All of these were taken from the spit at Lincoln Beach, Utah Lake State Park, UT.
This one is a little better. It took me a while to get the camera all dialed in so it was performing about how I needed it to. At first, I had the f number too big and, apparently, the ISO too low. Maybe my camera just isn't good enough because, I've read people online shooting lightning at 100 ISO. But my sensor wasn't picking up much at 200. So, I had to bump that up to 800 for these. I have a lot to learn. There aren't many lightning-shooting experts, and I don't have any photographer friends who've shot much of it so, I'm probably on my own to get it figured out. Here's hoping for another great storm soon.
I couldn't seem to get away from the wind and the rain, in order to stay set up outside, on the ground. So, I was doing the best I could inside my car. My tripod definitely isn't the best and, it doesn't fit real well on the passenger seat where I had it. But, that was the way things went tonight. As you can see, the way I had it set up on the passenger seat, it was more than slightly off-kilter; the bottom of the frame in the 3rd pic is some distant land on the left and the surface of Utah Lake on the right. This shot could have been so much better, had I been able to set up on the ground with everything perfectly set for a nice landscape shot. Oh well; I think it's my best lightning shot to date. I won't quit trying to get that perfect shot, somewhere down the road.


Alicia said...

Them last one looks awesome. The pink sky is great.
In the middle one I love the 3 "arms" meeting in the middle.

Kari said...

The last big storm we had I saw a ton of lighting but was trying to figure out how you take them without getting wet. The car was the only thing I could think of. I still think they turned out pretty cool. I know someone who has taken a lot of lighting pics. Maybe I should send him a message and see if he has any tips.

Wade The Rascal said...

Thanks you guys. I had fun being out in the storm. Something very spiritual about it; you really come face to face with Mother Nature and her power.
These still aren't quite want I want. But they're better than the other ones I took a year ago so, improvement is what counts, right?