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When lightning strikes

Discussion in 'Nature' started by SpaceManSpiff, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Here in Tucson, it gets *really* hot during the summer, so I do quite a bit of my photography at night when it cools off a bit. Luckily, we get some relief from the heat with some powerful thunderstorms that provides dramatic skies, great lightning and much needed rain.

    WNG shared with us some shots in his killer thread of an epic storm that rocked our area Tuesday night (https://www.talkemount.com/threads/13546/#post-96711).

    As it happens, I was also out in that same storm but 80 miles to the south. I was initially hoping for some drama right at sunset when the sun was low enough to be below the brewing thunderclouds, but no dice. It just got very dark...and then the heavens opened up. :eek-30: :hide: Torrential rain and wicked lightning all-around. I waited for a break in the weather to set-up before the next wave rolled in. :ninja: I had to work pretty fast because it wasn't much of a break...but I got a couple of shots I am happy with.

    NEX6 with OM 50 f/1.4 30s ISO 100 f/8 or f/11 (click for a bigger version)
    LightningStorm-2-L.

    NEX6 with OM 50 f/1.4 20s ISO 100 f/8 or f/11 (click for a bigger version)
    LightningStorm-1-L.
     
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  2. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Love the second shot!
     
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  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Aug 6, 2011
    These are great, Eric. Very dramatic!
     
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  4. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Thanks, Ad! That shot worked out well since the asphalt was wet, making it quite reflective. I lucked out a bit in the position of the two strikes were nicely gave me a rule of thirds type composition.
     
  5. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Thanks, Amin! I am glad the drama comes across because it was pretty "dramatic" photographing the storm as well.

    Capturing the lightning is fun...but I never quite know what I captured during the exposure, and then having to wait another 20-30 seconds while the LENR takes a blank exposure feels like a long time.

    Has anyone tried one of those lightning triggers? It is a little hit or miss doing it manually.
     
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  6. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Outstanding shots !!
     
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  7. slothead

    slothead TalkEmount Top Veteran

    544
    Mar 1, 2015
    Maryland
    Tom
    Great stuff Eric! I try this every once in awhile and never seem to be able to capture such great images! Thanks for the settings. What is LENR?
     
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  8. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Nice work
     
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  9. AlwaysOnAuto

    AlwaysOnAuto TalkEmount Top Veteran

    717
    Feb 17, 2015
    LENR = Long Exposure Noise Reduction

    Excellent shots.
     
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  10. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Thanks, Tom! I like using manual focus lenses at night so I can get the focus right. LENR = Long Exposure Noise Reduction (you can set it in-camera).
     
  11. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Fantastic captures!!!
     
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  12. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Wooohoo! Fantastic captures! It sure was a hair-raising night, wasn't it? :)
    My friend picked up the lightning trigger for his Nikon, but didn't try it. Not enough time to set it up. He did say it's more for daylight triggering, and long exposure is still more successful, and you get to see the surrounding. The trigger gives just the bolt in a very blackened background.
     
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  13. slothead

    slothead TalkEmount Top Veteran

    544
    Mar 1, 2015
    Maryland
    Tom
    Yep, MF is almost mandatory in the sky at night. OK, LENR... I've never seen it labeled like that (Nikon always writes out "Long Exposure").
     
  14. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    My bad, Tom --I think Sony also always writes the whole thing out. I guess I had seen it abbreviated in forums and picked up on that use.
     
  15. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Thanks, Will! With the monsoons kind of "off" this season, it was great to see a proper monsoon storm. Yeah, I was at my sunset location when the storm hit and being a wimp I thought --ya know this is pretty dramatic and all...but I wouldn't make it 15 steps before getting soaked and it would *really* suck to get struck by lightning and ruin my camera by taking it for a bath...I'll stay here inside the car for a bit. :coffee-26:

    Thanks for the info on the lightning triggers, I will have to read up on those a bit.
    This is an inspirational picture that made me think about those triggers (from one of my favorite photo locations).
    http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/photo-contest-2015/gallery/week-11-all/4

    Cheers!
     
  16. tillman

    tillman TalkEmount Regular

    91
    May 28, 2014
    Keizer, Oregon
    Tillman
    Very impressive, good work!
     
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  17. DailyPeaksCO

    DailyPeaksCO Guest

    This second shot speaks of the power of such electrical events, as it is realized even more thru the reflections on the wet road. Nice job when doing this in the blind of darkness before lightning makes its' strike! Thank you for sharing and providing further avenues in my own growth in photography.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2015
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  18. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Welcome to talkemount, Deb! You are welcome...I generally point my camera in towards an area of good activity, focus on something bright near infinity, and then go through a couple of test exposures to see if I got the camera oriented correctly (the in-camera leveling tool is a useful place to start). The lightning photography is fun --the action occurs incrementally in split seconds and I never know what I am going to get until I look at the screen after the long exposure.
     
  19. slothead

    slothead TalkEmount Top Veteran

    544
    Mar 1, 2015
    Maryland
    Tom
    I'll add my welcome too Deb. I'm curious about your sig. What does the "K" mean on your camera identifier ("ILCE-7M2K")?
     
  20. DailyPeaksCO

    DailyPeaksCO Guest

    Thank you Tom for your curiosity, it helps to ask about the "K". Lesson #1, don't use the identifier of your camera on the box it came in. Haha, the identifier is showing I bought my Sony as a kit. I believe.:rolleyes-20: Your curiosity is helpful to me, and has been corrected. thx