Saturday, April 12, 2014

How to Safely and Successfully Photograph Lightning

Lightning is quite simply a marvel of nature. While it does carry with it an appreciable potential for destruction, we can’t ignore our fascination with lightning. It’s a beautiful phenomenon and, as such, easily lends itself to being photographed. 

Lightning photography, however, can be challenging for the following reasons:
  • There is a lot of guesswork involved due to the random nature of lightning flashes. You never know exactly where in the sky lightning will appear, how long a single strike will last, or how bright it will be. No matter how skilled a photographer you consider yourself, lightning is a subject that will force you to rely on luck to some degree.
  • There are no do-overs, no mulligans when shooting lightning. If you don’t get it right on your current outing, you will have to wait until the next storm to try again. 
  • Lightning is a point-source subject, meaning its thin lines create very bright highlights with hard edges surrounded by strong shadows. This scenario is rather demanding on a camera’s/lens’ optical and focusing capabilities.
  • Lightning can — and often does — strike twice. And about 2000 people per year are killed by lightning. Yes, it’s a small percentage in a global context, but just remember you’re always at risk when shooting lightning.
With all that in mind, on to the fun stuff.

Complete story at - How to Safely and Successfully Photograph Lightning


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