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Old Jul 1, 2005, 10:12 PM   #1
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Okay, I know I was the one that asked for the Fireworks challenge, and here I am posting night shots.....

These were all shot during the challenge period, but not for the challenge....I just like to shoot lightning and storm clouds. Anyway, these were both shot out of my bathroom window at F8 (the highest my camera goes) with a 15 seconds exposure time (the longest my camera will hold the shutter open).

This was my favorite, even though the lightning is way off to the side. I live east of the airport, and on the left of the shot, you'll notice jet circling the airport.
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Old Jul 1, 2005, 10:13 PM   #2
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Here's the second..... I really enjoy the cloud to cloud stuff more than the cloud to ground. Oh, both shots are completely photoshopless...well, except for resizing to a size that I can post.
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Old Jul 2, 2005, 11:40 PM   #3
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Number 2 rocks. I like the jet in number 1. Both great shots. Was this about an 8 sec. exposure or longer?
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Old Jul 3, 2005, 9:03 AM   #4
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I absolutely like the second one too. Man I would love to catch a lightning some day - on camera that is.

Any hints of "how do ya know der coming". Thanks for sharing.
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Old Jul 4, 2005, 10:31 AM   #5
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Lightning is surprisingly easy to capture, once you have the secret, and if you have the patience. You'll need a tripod, and a safe/dry place to shoot from (and a cable release doesn't hurt either). Stop your camera down so it's letting very little light in. In my case, F8. Then set your shutter to bulb mode. Hold the shutter open until you see lightning, then release. Personally, I just set mine for 15 seconds, and then set it to take 5 shots in a row.

It's awfully expensive to do that with film, but with a digicam, you just need a large memory card and the willingness to shoot a couple hundred completely useless shots. Here in Minnesota, we get storms all time, so just wait for a good lightning storm to come through, and get your camera out there before the storm and after....don't try to shoot in the middle of the storm, the hard rain screws up the shots anyway.

The first pic was shot before the storm hit, and the second was after it had passed. Here's some more if you are interested. http://daved.fotopic.net/c573259.html
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Old Jul 4, 2005, 12:28 PM   #6
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Went to the link - those are your bad shots?!!!! Thanks for posting Daved.

Questions:

What do you mean before or after the storm - won't you miss the lightning then? Or is this something scientific I am missing.

Hold the shutter open and then releasing (have I got this backwards)??? And why 15 secs.???

Thanks
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Old Jul 5, 2005, 10:36 AM   #7
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Before and after the storm so you don't get your camera wet. here in the midwest, it seems to rain a little bit before the real storm gets here and then a little bit after the storm has passed. Shoot then. You don't want to get soaked, and you certainly don't want to soak your digi-cam.

As I said, I shoot for 15 seconds because that is the longest that my camera will hold the shutter open for. Experiment with the duration. If the sky is dark, you should be able to hold the shutter open for a long time. The reason you're doing the long exposure is that your finger isn't going to be fast enough to capture the lightning on it's own....so hold the shutter open and wait for the lightning to show.....then release it.
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Old Jul 5, 2005, 11:15 AM   #8
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Cool lightning shots. My favorite from your gallery is August 2004. Thanks alot for tips. I dont currently have a bulb mode camera, but that isa tipI will definately remember for when i do.

Best regards,

Mag
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Old Jul 17, 2005, 10:33 PM   #9
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Here's two more shot (and posted) on the final night of the extended night challenge. This one was brightend up a little bit, only to get the color out of the sky.....

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Old Jul 17, 2005, 10:35 PM   #10
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This shot, as usual for me, has no post precessing except a resize.


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