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Lightning Photography Tutorial by FramedByNature Lightning Photography Tutorial by FramedByNature
For more photography, visit Framed By Nature .NET

Capturing lightning can seem like a daunting task, but if you know the basics, it's really quite simple! Tried to make this tutorial as comprehensive as possible to answer any questions and issues that may arise when attempting to shoot lightning. If you have any additional questions, feel free to comment :)

Don't be discouraged if you don't have a DSLR and a tripod! I took the 3 shots below with my point-and-shoot.


The only lightning-related thing this really doesn't cover is stacking, which I'll write a separate tutorial for. Figured I'd leave it out of this one since this focuses more on shooting than processing :)


Happy shooting! :camera::peace:
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:iconesmeekramer:
Esmeekramer Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013  Student General Artist
What kind of program would you advice for raw photos? With the normal program they cannot be opened
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:iconesmeekramer:
Esmeekramer Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Student General Artist
Awesome and really helpful!! Unfortunately I don't think my parents would allow me to go to a 'thunderstorm shoot'... :)
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:iconjared-photos-others:
Jared-Photos-Others Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I will have to try this :)
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:icondogsofeternity:
dogsofeternity Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Professional Photographer
Very helpful and informative, thank you so much for creating and sharing this.

Cheers!!
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:iconframedbynature:
FramedByNature Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Student Photographer
Hope it comes in handy, glad to help! :)
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:iconechic10:
echic10 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2012  Professional Photographer
Nice tutorial for the starting photog, very handy. If I might make a couple of suggestions, 1st - Rain Protection. To keep my camera dry I have used a one gallon freezer bag. Put a piece of cardboard in the bag. Then you need something just smaller then your primary lens diameter (quite commonly a 58mm dia. for many Canon lenses) Look for a jar lid in your kitchen, or maybe a large pill bottle cap. It only need to be a couple of mm smaller. Trace the outline on the side of the bag next to the bottom. This way when the camera lens is pointed through the hole the bag top opening is slanted. down. You can stop here, poke the lens through the hole, slap a little gaffers tape around the lens filter to secure the bag and you're done. I got fancy and picked up a multi-prism filter, popped the prism out, then sandwiched the bag between the ring and a clear glass filter. A lens hood will also help keep the lens dry. #2 A quick rule of thumb: the human eye takes in about the same field of view as an 80-85 mm lens. So the so-called "stock" or "standard" 50-55 mm lens is actually a smidge wide-angle. Something to keep in mind when selecting a lens to use.
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:iconframedbynature:
FramedByNature Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Student Photographer
That's an awesome idea! I've just been using a rag or grocery bag. Reinforcing/shaping it with cardboard is something I have yet to try though.
80-85mm seems way too tight to cover the field of view of the human eye. When I hold my 50mm on a FF body up to my eye the magnification is nearly the same. 85mm would be much tighter. Maybe accurate for what the eye can focus on at one time, since that's a much more narrow area, but in terms of field of view I would think it's a lot wider (considering including your periphery vision, you can see nearly 180 degrees left to right with both eyes open).
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:iconechic10:
echic10 Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Professional Photographer
I guess you could call it the "apparent" field of view. There was an article about this in a photo mag years ago (I come from a long line of photographers, going back to the thirties) that measured what people "see" vs what a camera with different lenses take in. 65mm was on the very low end, with 80mm being very common. A bit tighter brings in the glasses-wearers. As I recall, the author suggested a zoom lenses in the 60/80 to 200mm range as being a good "standard" lense to keep on the camera normally.

Anyway, it is a bit subjective, the looker tends to mask out any non-important details that become glaringly obvious in the actual photo. You know, like things growing out of people's heads, that sort of thing. Even serious pros make mistakes like that from time to time. :blush:
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:iconkaizokushojo:
KaizokuShojo Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2012   Traditional Artist
My problem is not really knowing what button does what on my camera. :grump:
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:iconframedbynature:
FramedByNature Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Student Photographer
Lots of manuals and Youtube tutorials to help with that, just look up your camera model! :)
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