Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Tips & Tricks

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Aug 18, 2006, 5:06 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
kung-fu-alien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 176
Default

Can someone please help me out, I have been trying to catch lightning with my D50 for two days now, and every shot is useless.

If I leave the shutter open between rolls of thunder and wait for the lightning to happen, the shots are over exposed so badly their just white.

And I have worked out that trying to capture it manually by finger is a great excercise in futility, and wasting time.

Can someone please offer me some advice on how to do this in both daylight and night conditions?


kung-fu-alien is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Aug 18, 2006, 9:18 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 726
Default

For nightime, You could try, using your lowest ISO and maybe a 1-8 second shutter speed. You could also try and shoot RAW and then process them on the computer yourself. You will get the exact picture by shooting RAW.:-)

For daytime, i dont know..... i'v never shot lightning in the daytime....:G

Also, are your pictures over exposed, or blurry?

tell me how it goes.

shooting_rubber.

shooting_rubber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 18, 2006, 10:32 AM   #3
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Lightning pics (night time):

First, you want a tripod and remote release

Set camera to "bulb" setting and aperture to about f8

The basic idea is to hit the release and leave the shutter open until one of two things happens:

1. You reach the exposure limit (you have to do some test shots to determine the max time you can keep shutter open depending on lighting conditions)

2. You capture a blast of lightining

When either of those 2 events occurs you release the shutter. If you release the shutter becaus of #1, then you can delete the photo.

This process assumes you have frequent bursts of lightning. But in general if you wait for the burst to appear it's too late. And, as you already noted you can't just leave the shutter open forever. But, this process also requires a tripod and remote release.

IMO, shooting RAW only helps so much - if it's way overexposed the shot is likely ruined anyway. RAW may be a good idea but won't solve your specific problem of leaving the shutter open too long.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 22, 2006, 5:34 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 8
Default

Lightning defintely is a challenge.

- You MUST have a tripod
- Remote release is a plus, but not a necessity
- you MUST use Burst mode. 3fps, 5 fps etc.

The lightning storm I was in was qutie regular, with forks flashing every 30 seconds to so. I started the burst modes at about 20 sex or so, and let them rip. I would say about 3-5% of the shots were somewhat useable, and had about 200-300 shots fired through a half hour session.




klutzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 23, 2006, 5:46 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
kung-fu-alien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 176
Default

Quote:
I started the burst modes at about 20 sex or so, and let them rip.



Is that what they call a freudian slip?

Thank you all for your help and advice. I have taken it all onboard and next time there is a storm here I am heading for the hills to get a decent shot.

Klutzo - those shots are pretty impressive, specially the last one, nice work.

As for the rest of the advice, I noted that some say I would need a manual shutter release, unfortunatly my D50 does not have this facilty, but I think if I run a fibre optic cable from my remote control and tape it over the ir sensor on the camera body, I could make a makeshift manual shutter cable, it's a theory, but it should work.

To answer the exposure question, myshot's were under exposed to the point that nothing was visible.

I have made a kind of cocoon type attachment for the back of our car, so I think I can use that when photographing the lightning whilst I am on the moors in Staffordshire.

If my wife posts a picture of a pair of smoking training shoes on this forum, you'll know that the lightning got to me first :-).
kung-fu-alien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 23, 2006, 5:58 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
kung-fu-alien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 176
Default

What the hell am I talking about? If I have a infa-red remote shutter control, why would I need a cable!

Let this be a lesson to us all .............

Never post a comment before having the vital first cup of coffee in the morning, as my earlier idiot idea proves that the brain does not function without caffine.

I am so docile :lol:
kung-fu-alien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 23, 2006, 4:09 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 8
Default

Thanks for the kind words!

Note that I did not use any remote trigger for these shots. I essentially put my finger over the trigger, and at the 20 second count, started the burst mode.

Yup.. 20 Sex. =>
klutzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 1, 2006, 3:04 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
jhacker's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 161
Default

This shot was 20 seconds at f-22 with a pentax istDL and the kit 18-55 lens at sunrise on Aug. 10 here in Southwest Missouri. At night a wide-open aperture, the lowest iso and, depending on the frequency of the lightning, anywhere from 10 seconds to bulb setting will work. At sunrise or sunset, the lowest iso, a narrow aperture, f-22 or more and the slowest shutter speed you can get without  overexposing the shot will do it. 
Attached Images
 
jhacker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 1, 2006, 3:08 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
jhacker's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 161
Default

This shot was earlier that morning, when it was still dark. Same camera and lens, the shot was a 30-sec exposure at f5.6. Sometimes you have lightning that is just too bright for the sensor, I've had lightning that blew out sensors on Cannon digital rebel and Pentax DL. No permanent damage though, just a lot of white. This shot was close to that limit.
Attached Images
 
jhacker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2006, 12:57 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
xfxgeforced's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 235
Default

i did an 8sec exposure with like 4.5 aperature on this one, thought it was decent, but knida low light:


xfxgeforced is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:15 PM.