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Just Photos: Storms and Lightning

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Timbuctoo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Timbuctoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Just Photos: Storms and Lightning
    Posted: 30 April 2007 at 06:24


Admin hijack as a "Just pictures" gallery thread, so I have deleted some comments. - brettania


Please enter all your storm related pictures in here, I sure you have plenty. Cloud, lightning, twister or hurricane aftermath.







































I hope this is a decent enough start. Most have been seen before at some stage or another and I'll try to add to it as I get more. It is the dry season here now so I won't get more for quite some time. I'm looking forward to seeing other people's efforts!!

Tim H

Edited by brettania - 30 April 2007 at 14:19
The waiting game is evil!!
 



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aarif View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aarif Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 April 2007 at 13:45
wonderfull shots Tim you did a very good job , dogears very nice well done

Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7 Digital
1/750s f/11.0 at 18.0mm iso200

Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7 Digital
1/40s f/4.0 at 90.0mm iso100

Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7 Digital
30s f/8.0 at 16.0mm iso100



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brettania View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brettania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 April 2007 at 14:18


Tim

Could you edit your first post, or put a new one in here, so you can tell people what you do to capture such spectacular shots.

This duty comes from your "promotion" to Gallery status.

Thanks

Edited by brettania - 30 April 2007 at 14:22
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brettania View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brettania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 April 2007 at 14:32

I have also started a "Talking Point" thread on the same topic so you can either copy and paste your response here to that thread, or write something different if you want.
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Sanjuro View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sanjuro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 April 2007 at 23:12
Tim, great captures, also dogears, aarif your #2 seems like an atomic bomb.







and swiming while raining
Rgds
Sanjuro

"I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them." --Pablo Picasso
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arescrew View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote arescrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2007 at 01:50
@ aarif: your second image is just unbelievable! I'd like to know what it looked like in reality (i guess the picture was underexposured a lot).
 



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aarif View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aarif Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2007 at 03:32
Thanks :)

A bit brighter with less contrast, it was shot late in the day just before sunset so I got the orange color then added a bit of contrast and reduces exposure

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Bob Myers View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob Myers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2007 at 06:58
Here is one that demonstrates how taking lightning pictures is sooo much like fishing. You cast your line where you see a fish jump... you point your camera where the most lightning occurs.... but wait till the camera is done taking the picture before moving the camera LOL !!!!
Bob

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Timbuctoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2007 at 07:05
Lightning Issues!!

Thanks Great Blue for the safety tips and yes lightning photography is not for the faint hearted or you may become very faint hearted: Gallery Status, I'm new to certain aspects of forums and still learning every day so Iím sorry if I entered the original thread in incorrectly and thanks Brettania for fixing it up.

Great shots from you all. Aarif, is that Pyrocumulous from a big fire that is causing that storm with the Pilius? That's the one with the massive convection like a bomb. We had a few situations like that in Southern Australia during all the big fires earlier in the year.

We don't see hail like the photo above here in Darwin but Brisbane + Sydney get big hail from time to time. It's nice to see storm photos from around the globe.

Storm photos without lightning are better if you catch the drama, a photojournalist said to me in New Zealand recently that it's all about catching the "sweet light". The sweet light is best seen just before sunset and that's a great time to photograph storm activity. If you can combine the awesome colour of sun reflecting of clouds and add the drama of a nice lightning bolt to me there is no better picture. So how to do it??

Everyone knows how to capture a lightning bolt after dark, it is just a long exposure at the slowest ISO like capturing fireworks or car lights. It is the experimentation using digital that has made it easier with the advantage of instant viewing. Film actually deals with intense light better than digital sensors and I'm sure there are a number of techos in here that can tell me why.

Here's the best setup for your night lightning photos:

*Slowest ISO (50, 80, 100).

*Sturdy Tripod (Very sturdy - Turn AS, SSS off).

*Cheap sharp primes are better than expensive zooms/primes. If you have a nice 24mm M42 lens and adapter you have a great lens. Primes between 20 - 50mm are mostly used and make you think about the composition more. They are lighter than zooms and limit the camera moving on the tripod.

*Remove your vertical grip it gets in the way (personal preference).

*Cable Release.

*Small black hat or Black cardboard.

*Umbrella or Pentax K10D, Nikon D200 ouch I hear you say, Sony are you listening!!

*Patience.

*Lightning at 10-15km away is usually best and suits a 35-50mm prime. I generally don't make exposures any longer than 30 seconds as I have noticed that the longer the exposure the more noise you get. I use the M mode mostly and take a few practice shots first to include the lights and get them exposed properly. Point your camera towards the main area lightning is coming from and open the shutter. If you get one really spectacular lightning bolt early in the exposure I normally cover the lens with a hat because the intense light from the lightning will light up to foreground easily enough. If there is another big bolt within the 30 seconds it will generally be to intense for the sensor and stuff up the first bolt, that wasn't always the case with Velvia film.
*If you shoot RAW it will allow for greater exposure control and you can experiment with filters later at home.

* Car window tripods are the best idea for safety as shooting from within a grounded vehicle is of course a nice life insurance.

Once you have a sure fire way of catching night time lightning you might want to try the daytime variety. There are a few methods but only one is reliable.

1. Shoot at ISO200 or 400, get the fastest shutter speed possible for about a 2 stop underexposure. Use the fastest primes and have a fast trigger finger. You can get lucky and capture a daytime bolt but it is hard.

2. The only effective way is to use a lightning trigger. It mounts on your cameraís hot-shoe and uses a modified trigger release. It picks up the electrical signals from the lightning. Just set it up, put in a big memory card and let it go to work.

Most people in here are much more advanced in photography than me so all I can say is read the websites about lightning and storm photography and learn the tried and tested. Add some of your experimentations give it a go and just remember the "sweet light".
One more thing, why do I suggest the M42 lenses for this sort of photography? No one wants to have their expensive zoom lens water logged, storms can arrive quickly and new Sony/Minolta lenses are hard to replace. M42 lenses are sharp, quite cheap, easily replaced and focus at infinity accurate once you've got the adapter sorted. Zooms generally creep past infinity which can be rather annoying. That's my 2 cents worth and I hope this helps someone!!

Tim H
The waiting game is evil!!
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Timbuctoo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Timbuctoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2007 at 07:10
Here's a pick of a storm building and the Pilius on top. It is a little less dramatic compared to Aarifs but it's the same type of cloud.

The waiting game is evil!!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote keith_h Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2007 at 12:23


A line of storms moving across the bay.



Then pretended to clear before the heavens opened. I ran for the car at that point.

Edited by keith_h - 01 May 2007 at 12:23
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aarif View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aarif Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2007 at 13:00
Originally posted by Timbuctoo Timbuctoo wrote:


Great shots from you all. Aarif, is that Pyrocumulous from a big fire that is causing that storm with the Pilius? That's the one with the massive convection like a bomb. We had a few situations like that in Southern Australia during all the big fires earlier in the year.

Tim H


Tim no fires burn in the desert, I remember it well as I shot this from my house I checked the Doppler radar on our local site and it was about 50 miles away


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Cekari View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cekari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2007 at 13:14
I can't help my self for commenting, some realy nice pix in here and Aarifs #2 is just incredible... I would have guessed a volcano eruption or explosion, not clouds, and the 'hats' on top is just amazing.. a clear winner and should be posted on some magazines.. WOW

Images https://www.flickr.com/photos/cekari/sets/ ,

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aarif View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aarif Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2007 at 13:40
Cekari Thanks I'm glad you liked it

I just wanted to add if you shoot in bulb mode be careful not to overexpose by much that will cause you lightningís to disappear and under exposing by much will add noise too so its safer with camera doing the metering, also remember to focus on infinity and turn your camera or lens to MF, in the dark thatís easy just find a distant light focus and switch to MF.

2 more examples

Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7 Digital
29s f/8.0 at 30.0mm iso100

Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7 Digital
46s f/8.0 at 22.0mm iso100
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