Lightning strikes

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Last night we were entertained by a Lightning Storm, so it was out with the D700.

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Nice Barry. Lightning trigger?
No, just long exposures, some are 20 sec and others are 30 sec. As soon as I get a strike with the shutter open, I then put my hand in front of the lens to stop anymore exposure until shutter closes again.
 
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They are lovely shots Barry. And very well exposed given that you're just using a long exposure.

It's a pity that Nikon cameras don't have the equivalent of Olympus's "Live Composite" mode. I took this a few nights ago with the E-M1ii using it. What Live Composite does is to take repeated exposures (anything from 0.5" to longer) and then save them using an "additive" algorithm to a single file (raw or JPEG). This means you can set your exposure to match the ambient but if anything bright comes along (like lightening), it gets added to the shot. You can leave it running for as long as you like without worrying about the general scene getting overexposed or your memory card filling up. What's more, you get a constant view on the rear screen of what's going on so you can terminate the sequence once you're happy.

View attachment 1667544
Evening Storm by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

It's great too for:

- Fireworks
- Light painting
- Star trails
- Car tail/head light trails
- etc

Maybe I should write an enhancement suggestion to Nikon. Do they ever listen to these things?
 
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They are lovely shots Barry. And very well exposed given that you're just using a long exposure.

It's a pity that Nikon cameras don't have the equivalent of Olympus's "Live Composite" mode. I took this a few nights ago with the E-M1ii using it. What Live Composite does is to take repeated exposures (anything from 0.5" to longer) and then save them using an "additive" algorithm to a single file (raw or JPEG). This means you can set your exposure to match the ambient but if anything bright comes along (like lightening), it gets added to the shot. You can leave it running for as long as you like without worrying about the general scene getting overexposed or your memory card filling up. What's more, you get a constant view on the rear screen of what's going on so you can terminate the sequence once you're happy.

View attachment 1667544
Evening Storm by Paul Kaye, on Flickr

It's great too for:

- Fireworks
- Light painting
- Star trails
- Car tail/head light trails
- etc

Maybe I should write an enhancement suggestion to Nikon. Do they ever listen to these things?
Not to be a critic or dismissive, Paul—I love your shot!, but for me Barry's approach shows more user skill.
 
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Not to be a critic or dismissive, Paul—I love your shot!, but for me Barry's approach shows more user skill.
I guess that's my point about the Live Composite feature really - it considerably simplifies this sort of shot. Asking photographers to up their skill when the electronics can do it for you is not, IMHO, the right approach!
 
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I feel the same way about triggers.
That said, my "collection" of lighting shots is absolutely pathetic, even non existent! :oops:
I feel that triggers would be of great help during daylight hours, but for night shots, I'm quite happy with my approach and the results I get.

Last night, I took 33 exposures, about 15 of them captured lightning strikes and the 7 above were the pick of the bunch, so I'm quite happy with my success rate.
 
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I feel that triggers would be of great help during daylight hours, but for night shots, I'm quite happy with my approach and the results I get.

Last night, I took 33 exposures, about 15 of them captured lightning strikes and the 7 above were the pick of the bunch, so I'm quite happy with my success rate.
I'm sitting here waiting for the next storm—may be a long time, but I do so want to try your method! Reminds me a bit of in-camera dodging/burning we used in the old days!
 
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Really great shots, Barry!

So are you getting multiple lightning strikes.....meaning strikes that happen several seconds or minutes apart?
The strikes were minutes apart, but I only wanted to record the one strike, so I would start the exposure and wait, once a strike happened I would then put my hand in front of lens to stop any other light affecting my exposure until the shutter closes again.
 

Butlerkid

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The strikes were minutes apart, but I only wanted to record the one strike, so I would start the exposure and wait, once a strike happened I would then put my hand in front of lens to stop any other light affecting my exposure until the shutter closes again.
Thanks for the clarification. I didn't realize that when closing the shutter there would be enough light entering the camera to affect the shot such that covering the lens would be necessary.
 
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I didn't realize that when closing the shutter there would be enough light entering the camera to affect the shot such that covering the lens would be necessary.
If you are closing the shutter using a remote release whether wired or wireless, I don't think covering the lens is required, though it wouldn't hurt to cover the lens. If you are pressing the shutter release button, then it would be a good idea to cover the lens first. That's because any camera movement that occurs while pressing the shutter release button won't matter.

By the way, if light entering the camera is a concern, the viewfinder should be covered throughout the process.
 
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Thanks for the clarification. I didn't realize that when closing the shutter there would be enough light entering the camera to affect the shot such that covering the lens would be necessary.
If a second strike came, I felt it would ruin the first exposure.
 
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