Taking pictures of lightning during a storm is a game of luck and patience that is usually left to the more advanced photographers. It requires a few extra pieces of equipment, a keen eye, and like i said before: patience. Use these steps to insure better chances of catching one of these split second events.
Things You'll Need
- Film camera
- Shutter release cable with button
- ASA100 film
First, the storm should only be a thunderstorm, not a complete downpour of rain. Taking your camera out into extremely wet conditions is not advised.
Next, locate an elevated area with a clear view of the area of sky the storm is located in.
Attach your camera to the tripod, and point it toward the area of the sky where you have witnessed the most recent lightning activity.
Next, attach the shutter release cable to your camera.
Now set your camera's focus to infinity so that distant objects are in-focus. This is when the lens is retracted all the way toward the base.
Then set your shutter speed to B. In this setting the shutter stays open as long as you hold the shutter button down.
Then set your aperture to f/8.
Now press the shutter release button on the cable and hold it down until lightning strikes.
If lightning does not strike within one minute release the shutter button and advance the film, the frame has been over-exposed.
If lightning strikes during this one minute time frame simply release the shutter button on your cable and advance to the next frame for hopes of another successful shot.
Tips & Warnings
- ASA100 film is generally the best choice for taking pictures of lightning, as the film allows for long exposures in dark environments.
- Patience is a virtue when taking lightning pictures. If you get one or two good lightning photos out of a roll of film you're doing very well.
- Fast moving clouds don't work well with long exposures, they blur in the photo. Slow moving clouds make better backdrops that don't distort the image.
- When taking pictures of lighting, keep a safe distance between yourself and possible lightning magnets, such as radio antennas and power lines.
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