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Old Sep 20, 2005, 7:56 AM   #1
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I created this post before but completely screwed it up! Here it is again but completely under control!





























Sorry about ruining it the last time i tried putting these photo's on here!
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 8:27 AM   #2
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Hi Cloud, Those are absolutelystunning shots - you've got me suddenly eagerly anticipating our rainy season, which is due anytime now. We often have some pretty dramaticafrican storms which, in a good season, you can just about set your watch by!

Can you give me someguidlines on shutterspeed / iso / exposure values - really would be appreciated. I'm a fairly recent newcomer with a S5500 (hopefully will have my 9500 still this week), but learningmore each day thanks to this forum. Steve


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Old Sep 20, 2005, 8:51 AM   #3
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Excellent captures:!:

Steve, most of the images have the exif info intact
You can view it with a right click if you install the free opanda exif reader http://www.opanda.com/en/iexif/index.html (available for IE and FireFox)
It will give you the fstop, shutter speed and focal length used among other things.

Peter.
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 8:57 AM   #4
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Hi Steve, it's very hard to say the exact settings because lightning varies sooooo much, and to minimise camera shake always use a cable release.

Here is a rough guidline.

Lightning that is far away, just above the horizon is very difficult to capture because you need a very high ISO number, like 800 or more, but the only problem is that you will suffer from noise. Anyway, if it is really far away you can get away with an aperture of f2-f4 if you are in a very dark area for up to 30 seconds, but if you are in an area with a lot of light pollution you can forget about distant lightning shots unless you use a shutter speed of less than 5 seconds which makes it extremely difficult to capture the lightning unless it is very frequent.

For lightning that is approximately 4-6 miles away you can set you camera as low as ISO 100 with an aperture of f4 - f6, if you have a wider aperture than that the lightning will look like a thick wavey mass of white filling up at least quater of the photo! You should still keep a 30 second exposure to maximise the chances of capturing a bolt unless you are i a lit up area. If you are in a town or city you generally need to keep your exposure time down to about 8-10 seconds, at this level you still have plenty of chance of capturing a bolt and it will look absolutly amazing if you do!

Closer lightning less than 4 miles away you need to be set at ISO 80 with an aperture of around f6 -f8, sometimes slightly lower if there is a lot of rain associated with the storm. Keep you exposure time to a mximum with 30 seconds in dark places to 15 seconds in towns and cities.

A good idea is to watch the storm for a few minutes before setting up, watch where it is going, how frequent the lightning is, and count between each lightning flash to see if the storm is getting weaker or getting stronger, then you can match the timing of opening the shutter a few seconds before each flash.

If you have a car, try and get to a position where the storm will pass by you a few miles away rather than letting it headstraight for you.

Always do your best to take shots in a place where you arn't the highest object in the area or you have a high risk of getting struck yourself! So try and set up a tripod inside you car on the passenger sidewith the window open because metal tripods are just asking to get struck!




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Old Sep 20, 2005, 9:02 AM   #5
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As peter said, all the info on them is still intact, but i took these with a FujiS7000 so i had to do it a lot differently than i would on my Fuji S3 (which i didn't have at the time due it getting filled with sea water!) So unless you are using an S7000, i really wouldn't use the settings that i used for those shots.
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 9:10 AM   #6
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Ouch sorry to hear about the s3, sea water is not good. :sad:

Peter.
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 9:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Ouch sorry to hear about the s3, sea water is not good. :sad:

Believe me the words that were going through my head, and the evil things i wanted to do to the rib driver that caused it, well.....i cant even give you a hint of what i said!

I told him to take it easy because the waves were a good 4ft, but ohhhh nooo, he was flying along like someone had just shoved a firework up his a$$, we dropped intoa wave trough and then the entire wave went right over the boat! yes, thats right, i was very.....un-impressed! Insurance payed out though which was a miricle!
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 9:20 AM   #8
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Thanks Peter - Great piece of freeware which will help me a great deal - just what I've been wanting.
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 9:31 AM   #9
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Thanks Cloud for your extensive advice - especially about sitting under a strike (I think we have one of the highest incidence of lightning fatalitiesas it is without my adding to the statistics!). Really appreciate the effort you went to and will use this as my starting point - hopefully I'll be able to post some result in the not too distant future. Peter's freeware exif viewer will help a lot. Thanks once again -to a "newbie" this forum really is worth more than a libraryof reference books.
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