View Full Version : How to take pictures of lightning??

03-19-2008, 06:29 PM
What settings should I use and how long of an exposure can you take with a digital camera. I got nervous when the camera shutter locked open for a few seconds. I never worried with film but don' know if digital is different.

PS I know I have to wait for a lightning storm. I just want to be ready.

03-19-2008, 07:58 PM
Take the following "with a grain of salt" because I've never successfully captured lightning. BUT ... I learned the following from my failures, and from the advice of people who succeeded.

Put your camera in the Bulb setting, or the equivalent on your camera, so you can click the shutter once to open and again to close. No worries about leaving it open too long. The max on my D50 is 30 minutes. You will need a tripod, of course.

If it is very dark outside, you can use a very long shutter speed without overexposure. So set up your camera on the tripod, use wide aperture, direct your widest lens toward the general area of the lighting, and use the wireless remote or the rubber band method* to open the shutter. Leave it open until the lightning strikes. Then close shutter, repeat.

*If you don't have a wireless remote, you can wrap a rubber band around the body of the camera to hold down the shutter button. Remove rubber band to release shutter.

03-19-2008, 11:03 PM
first you need a kite, some string and a key...lol