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#1367857 - 29/02/2016 22:28 Night time weather pic's!
marakai Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 05/01/2006
Posts: 1746
Loc: Maryfarms NQ
Hi all

I know there are some phenomenal lightning photographers on WZ and would like to pick their brains as to how they get their captures.

I've recently got myself a half decent Camera, not the best but adequate enough to learn on and to see if the bug really bites before outlaying a small fortune on what is basically a personal hobby.

My first question is how the hell do you get a focus in the dark ?

Camera is a Cannon 750D, Bulb setting with remote, ISO 100, F13, manual focus/ or auto then switched to manual on tripod.
Even in twilight the image is blurred, even over short exposures like 30 seconds.

What am I doing wrong ?

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#1374050 - 27/04/2016 20:50 Re: Night time weather pic's! [Re: marakai]
Wild Wassa Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 17/03/2012
Posts: 390
Loc: NW ACT
Originally Posted By: marakai
Hi all.


G'day to you too.

Quote:
My first question is how the hell do you get a focus in the dark ?


Pre-plan your images well. Focus in daylight then after calibrating where your focused points might be (to one point like at 'infinity' or several closer distances), do things like cut fine strips of masking tape or a couple of dabs of nail polish and stick or paint them on the lens focusing ring against an index point on the lens. So that when you switch from auto focus to manual focus you will know where the focused distances should be accurately aligned. This is called zone focusing, and it's an excellent technique for fast moving subjects, like shooting sport. Don't forget to take a head torch with you so that you can see your marks in the dark.

Quote:
Camera is a Cannon 750D, Bulb setting with remote, ISO 100, F13, manual focus/ or auto then switched to manual on tripod. Even in twilight the image is blurred, even over short exposures like 30 seconds.


Use a cable release or the camera's self timer. Getting the perfect timing with a self timer is problematic of course.

Anyway, when a camera is on a tripod, and you touch it or make an adjustment to it the camera doesn't immediately settle down. Depending on the quality of your tripod the camera might stay vibrating for some time. Even up to 10-15-30 seconds. The vibration will degrade your image. I like to wait several seconds or even longer for the camera to settle down before I take a time released shot. Also if you're adjusting the camera on a tripod, be conscious of being gentle when you're doing it

I hope that this helps.

Warren.



Edited by Wild Wassa (27/04/2016 20:58)
_________________________
No one's a bushman in a fog.

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#1374149 - 29/04/2016 10:34 Re: Night time weather pic's! [Re: marakai]
Ronfishes Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 25/02/2013
Posts: 3325
Loc: Gordonvale
Firstly, Wazzas pics are amazing so whatever he says is gospel smile

One i have found useful for distance is to use your lcd screen to zoom in (on the screen not the lens) and focus on a bright star. You need to have a rough focus first so that you can actually see the star.
If you have something in particular you want to focus on, try a poweful torch to highlight it and then focus.
_________________________
MTD: 91mm
2016-2017 wet season: 1317.8mm
YTD: 1747.4mm

Science doesn't care what you think.

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#1374157 - 29/04/2016 11:29 Re: Night time weather pic's! [Re: marakai]
EddyG Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 19/12/2008
Posts: 4346
Loc: NSW Port Stephens
Originally Posted By: marakai

Camera is a Cannon 750D, Bulb setting with remote, ISO 100, F13, manual focus/ or auto then switched to manual on tripod.
Even in twilight the image is blurred, even over short exposures like 30 seconds.

What am I doing wrong ?


If you are shooting for distant lightning, I would knock the F-stop down to anywhere from F4 - F7, if the lightning is real close, then anywhere from F7 - F12.

As for focusing, my method is exactly the way Ronfishes finds focus or you can buy a lens that already has an infinity marker on it, but even then some lenses sweet spot can be just either side of the marker!!

Here is a pic I took just over a week ago of some distant offshore lightning, it was nearly full moon too!! settings are
ISO 100, F4, Shutter Speed 87 sec, Focal length 35mm.
IMG_3059 by Eddy Groot, on Flickr


Practice is the key, just keep mucking around even if there is no lightning about!!
_________________________
Rainfall
MTD 15.9mm
YTD 1110.3mm
https://www.flickr.com/photos/eddygroot/
YNWA

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#1394716 - 27/11/2016 02:03 Re: Night time weather pic's! [Re: marakai]
Skysthelimit Online   content
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 08/11/2008
Posts: 1125
Loc: Gladstone Sth Aust
Lovely shot there Eddy. So much to look at. Would love to be there sitting on the sand enjoying the light show smile

Some good advice here from those in the know. Thanks to those who took time to share their knowledge.

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