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Distant Lightning
Lens: Sigma 18-125 DC HSM Camera: K-x Photo Location: East Pilbara, WA ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: Above 6s Aperture: F5.6 
Posted By: ranmar850, 02-03-2015, 03:36 PM

heavily cropped shot of a thunderstorm beyond our remote camp two nights ago. Quite windy, so their is a lot of tree blur for the 20 second exposure--more troubling is the fact that fixed structures are a little blurred as well, I really must upgrade that cheap forty year old tripod (with the good Manfrotto head )

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02-03-2015, 05:06 PM   #2

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Good catch!
02-03-2015, 07:52 PM   #3
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I've been wanting to try a lightning shot. I really like this one. Any advice while I wait for spring?
02-03-2015, 09:15 PM   #4
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wow, nice. that is a serious strike

02-04-2015, 01:10 AM   #5
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jeantree--I keep it very simple, tripod, of course, with time exposure. I have previously used 30 second exposures, now trying 20s in the hope of less noise. ISO 200, f5.6, just trip the shutter with the remote and keep shooting. Focal length is a compromise--wider angle gives more chance of a capture if the storm front is wide, but the resulting image will need more cropping, with resulting loss of definition. I rarely shoot longer than 70mm, usually 35-55mm. A neutral density filter would probably be useful when it isn't yet completely dark, to get the longest possible exposure--this, only to avoid having to take an image very 1 or 2 seconds, with the resultant risk that the strike is between open shutters. I will go right out to min iso and min aperture to avoid this, but that has it's own risks.

This image, and the one below were the first lightning I have taken in RAW, which I have only gotten serious about since last summer. The one below is very heavily cropped, which shows. My method is capture can really be described as lazy photography--set it up, pick your piece of sky, and sit there in a chair with your infra remote. You could even have beer available. :-)

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