Meta Reviews The Best Lightning Photography Tips For Beginner Photographers
The Best Lightning Photography
Lightning Photography – In this section of Photography Tips and Techniques, Meta Explains The Best Lightning Photography Tips For Beginner Photographers.
Lightning at Night – Lightning Photography involves shooting in total darkness with a wide open shutter in Bulb Mode, and wait for the Lightning to Strike, then close the shutter.
Meta’s Lightning Photography Tips and Techniques
Lightning Photography Tips
Meta enjoys shooting Lighting Photography at Night, which often means shooting in total darkness from one of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s high up overlooks. Meta uses her Minolta AF 24mm f/2.8 Wide Angle Prime Lens. Here are Meta’s Top Tips for Shooting Better Lightning Photography:
• Try to Shoot in Total Darkness. Always Be Aware of the Lightning Storm Around You.
• Wear a Red LED Headlamp – This allows Hands Free Night Vision in Total Darkness.
• Always Shoot in RAW with Bulb Mode for Manually Controlled Long Exposures.
• Turn Off Image Stabilization when Shooting on a Sturdy Tripod.
• White Balance – Auto White Balance. When shooting in RAW it doesn’t matter.
• Long Exposures will require a 3 Stop ND Filter or use a Variable ND Filter.
• Bring an Emergency Rain Poncho, Red LED Flashlights, Extra Camera Batteries and Extra AAA Lithium Batteries.
Intervalometer Programming For Lightning Photography at Night
• Use an Intervalometer with the Camera’s Shutter Speed set to Bulb Mode.
• Install a fresh pair of AAA Lithium Batteries in the Intervalometer before using.
• Turn Off Long Exposure NR.
• Meta’s Intervalometer RAW Settings for Continuous Lightning Photography at Night:
DELAY: 00:00’:10” | LONG: 00:00’:03” | INTVL: 00:00’:05”
This begins shooting after a 10 second setup DELAY, then take one 3 second LONG Exposure, every 5 seconds (3 Seconds LONG + 2 Seconds Gap = 5 Seconds).
Note: To ensure correct operation, choose an interval (INTVL) at least 2 seconds longer than the exposure time (LONG).
If you are using Long Exposure Noise Reduction, the Interval (INTVL) should be 2x the Exposure Time (LONG), plus 2 seconds.
On some models of Intervalometers, the Interval (INTVL) is the time after the Exposure Time and Before the Next Shot, so check your Intervalometer Manual to avoid any confusion.
• Program and Try your Intervalometer before it gets dark. Most have a lighted screen.
• Refer to your Intervalometer’s User Manual for Additional Programming Instructions.
Meta’s Night Lightning Photography Sony Camera Settings
Camera: Sony a77 II Camera
Lens: Minolta AF 24mm f/2.8 Lens
Camera Mode: Manual Mode
Tripod: Sturdy Tripod with Intervalometer
Focus: Manual Focus to Infinity
White Balance: Auto White Balance – When shooting in RAW it doesn’t matter
Image Stabilization – Turn Off when on a Sturdy Tripod
Filter: HOYA Variable ND Filter
Exposure: Underexpose 1 to 2 stops, because Lightning is Super Bright
Shutter Speed: Bulb Mode – Manually Open Shutter, wait for Lighting, Close Shutter
Aperture: f/8.0 to f/11.
Use a Red LED Headlamp for Shooting Lightning Photography Tips
Meta wears a Red LED Headlamp when shooting in the dark at sunrises and sunsets. The Two Brightness Red LEDs that won’t effect your night vision! Runs for many hours on 3 AAA Lithium Batteries.
Meta’s Lightning Photography Field Kit attaches to the back of her Camera Bag. This Modular Configuration is used only for her Lightning Photography and contains:
• 1 Red LED Headlamp – Allows Hands Free Night Vision in Total Darkness
• 1 Red LED Flashlight – Helps with Night Vision in Total Darkness
• 1 Red LED Micro-Flashlight – Clips to Tripod
• 1 Sony Remote Control to Prevent Camera Shake
• 1 Dew Remover Heated Lens Wrap – For Use on Cool Summer Nights
• 1 Anker 13000 USB Power Bank – Powers Dew Remover for about 2.5 Hours
• 3 AAA Lithium Batteries – Spare Batteries for Red LED Headlamp
• 2 AAA Lithium Batteries – Spare Batteries for the Intervalometer
• 1 AA 3V Lithium Battery – Spare Battery for Red LED Flashlights
• 2 CR2032 Lithium Batteries – Spare Batteries for Sony Remote Control and Red LED Micro-Flashlight
• 4 Zeiss Lens Cleaning Wipes – Vest Pocket
• 1 Zeiss Microfiber Lens Cloth – Vest Pocket
Shooting in at night or in total darkness isn’t easy. Wearing a Low Power Red LED Headlamp and having a Red LED Micro-Flashlight attached to your Tripod can help maintain your night vision, while still illuminating your Camera and Tripod. If you park your vehicle by your camera setup, consider switching your vehicle’s Dome Lights to Red LED Dome Lights.
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