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Hey Photographer! Martina here with this week’s photography tip – How to Photograph Lightning!

Safety:

Try to find a safe spot for your shoot. Shooting from a building or in your car is your best option. If you’re outside, make sure you’re not in an open area. Stay away from single standing trees, and don’t forget to waterproof your equipment.

Equipment:

You’ll want a tripod for this type of shot! You will be shooting in a low-lit environment and may choose to use long shutter speeds, so to eliminate any blur bring your tripod. Bump up the ISO and use a wireless shutter release remote if you have one.

Any lens will work well here, depending on your desired result in terms of the photo’s frame. Lenses that work well in low light will give you better quality shots.

Bring a flashlight. You will need it to see your camera buttons and dials.

Manual Mode:

Set your camera on manual mode. Again, you’ll probably use long shutter speeds to capture enough light,  but you don’t want it open so long that your shot becomes overexposed. The scene might look very dark to your eyes, but when the lightning strikes, it will light up the sky so it looks like daytime. Start with 3 second and go from there. Adjust the ISO and the Aperture accordingly to create the brightness level you prefer. Try to use as low ISO as possible so you don’t have a ton of grain or noise in your shot. You will have to use manual focus because your camera’s autofocus function most likely won’t work well in the dark.

Composition :

Very important!! The main subject here is the lighting so leave about 60-80% sky and the rest of your frame will be the ground.  Most likely, you won’t be able to see anything through the viewfinder. Your camera detects light that the eye can’t see, so take plenty of test shots to make sure your composition works well.

Patience is the key!

Prepare to spend hours shooting the same frame over and over again and to get not even one good shot. Don’t give up. If you put in the time and the effort you will be rewarded with some incredible, breath taking shots.

Happy Shooting!

 
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