Internal Combustion (seeking advice)

Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
4,992
Location
florida's east coast
I'm a bird photographer, but when I walked outside the house at 6 am yesterday and saw a lightning event over the ocean by Marineland I wanted to try to get some shots, never having shot lightning before. This was taken 30 minutes before sunrise. D7200, 16-80 VR on a tripod with the lens set to infinity. I simply would wait until I saw a flash of light then I'd press the shutter button. This image has issues and I was wondering, in this situation, what I should do to get a cleaner/sharper image. I live in the lightning capital of the country so maybe I should learn how to photograph it.
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Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
9,299
Location
Clearwater, Florida
Not a competition, buy my area is the "lightning capital" of the Northern Hemisphere.


Though the Tampa Bay area is sometimes referred to as the "Lightning Capital of the World",[6] it is more accurately called the “Lightning Capital of North America” if measured by average number of days with thunderstorm activity per year. During the summer, west-central Florida receives as much lightning as the world's true lightning leaders such as the Lake Victoria region of Africa and the central Amazon River Basin. However, there are few thunderstorms in the Tampa Bay area from approximately October to May, decreasing the yearly average.[3]

Every year, Florida averages 10 deaths and 30 injuries from lightning strikes, with several of these usually occurring in or around Tampa.[7] University of Florida lightning expert Martin A. Uman has calculated that the average resident is within a half-mile of 10 to 15 lightning strikes every year.[8] TECO Energy, Tampa's electric utility, spends over millions of dollars annually to repair transformers and other equipment damaged by lightning strikes.[9]
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
1,624
Location
Johns Creek, Ga
I'm a bird photographer, but when I walked outside the house at 6 am yesterday and saw a lightning event over the ocean by Marineland I wanted to try to get some shots, never having shot lightning before. This was taken 30 minutes before sunrise. D7200, 16-80 VR on a tripod with the lens set to infinity. I simply would wait until I saw a flash of light then I'd press the shutter button. This image has issues and I was wondering, in this situation, what I should do to get a cleaner/sharper image. I live in the lightning capital of the country so maybe I should learn how to photograph it.
View attachment 1668254
Very cool Bobby! You might get a remote release, or if the storm is producing lightning frequently make a longer exposure. The act of pressing the shutter can contribute to camera shake. Also during the day focus on infinity and mark the spot with a piece of tape, as the marking on the lens itself may not be correct. Currently researching a Pluto trigger that reacts to lightning as well as being a wireless remote.
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
43,444
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
i think there's a device that triggers the camera on a lightning flash

[edit] google says there are alot, check Pluto, $125 for a lighting trigger for D500
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
4,992
Location
florida's east coast
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Very cool Bobby! You might get a remote release, or if the storm is producing lightning frequently make a longer exposure. The act of pressing the shutter can contribute to camera shake. Also during the day focus on infinity and mark the spot with a piece of tape, as the marking on the lens itself may not be correct. Currently researching a Pluto trigger that reacts to lightning as well as being a wireless remote.
Thanks John, and your comment about the camera shake makes sense.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
1,976
Location
Winter Haven, florida
The lightning triggers work great. I have an old one, http://store.lightningtrigger.com
If you are going to actually try to do this, the trigger is worth it. If you just want to try it a little, manual release can work. Try 5-10sec exposures.
Lightning tends to occur in clusters of flashes. The triggers automatically open your shutter with the first flash of lightning. You do not actually capture that first flash, but your shutter is open for the statistically expected secondary flashes. You just set up your composition and walk away. You will end up with hundreds of black nothing frames- but the surprises are worth it. I actually use mine more for fireworks, works the same.
Gary
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2017
Messages
3,418
Location
Kuşadası / Turkey
Nice image although it was your first trial. You managed to shoot some blowing light behind the clouds and its small reflection on the water. I also like the composition. Nice dawn shot.
 

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