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#649697 - 07/10/2006 19:55 Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
Well I have got my new camera and it has a billion more features than my old one..i don't know what settings it should have so it will be good to catch lightning...please help me!


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#649698 - 07/10/2006 20:32 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
thomo Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 06/12/2005
Posts: 2639
Loc: West End, Townsville, QLD
You could start by telling us what camera it is.
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#649699 - 07/10/2006 21:09 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
stormygirl Offline
Weather Babe and Moderator

Registered: 21/12/2004
Posts: 4050
Loc: Melbourne, SE Burbs
Hi Zac,

According to another thread you have the Fuji s5600 am I correct?? Not knowing terribly much about the camera I had a quick look at a few reviews. To capture lightning is really trial and error, but my suggestion would be to set it up on a tripod (essential for night lightning photography), put the camera in full manual mode so that you have control over the shutter speed and the apeture. Set the ISO to about 100 or 200, the apeture to somewhere around f5.6, and you can either set the shutter speed to around 30 seconds or hold it open until lightning strikes and then shut it off again (depends on if you like single stroke images or multiple ones!). A lot of it depends on the ambient light (street/city/car lights etc), so that's where the trial and error comes into play! The fantastic thing about digital is that you're not wasting money on processing rolls of 'black' film! You will also probably need to set and lock the focus to either infinity or a light source near where the lightning is striking.

I haven't taken many lightning photos (due to the fact that I live in Melbourne :rolleyes: ) and other members more experienced may have some other ideas! A word of warning.....photograph lightning at a safe distance not within the storm!! Get out there with a tripod and a cable release or remote (if the camera requires one) and start shooting and experimenting! You have the luxury of living where there is ample lightning, so that's a good start! Just don't set up your tripod anywhere underneath powerlines......

Good Luck!!
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#649700 - 07/10/2006 21:24 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
thanks..ok how do i cant get the shutter to stay open how i do that?

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#649701 - 07/10/2006 21:42 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
stormygirl Offline
Weather Babe and Moderator

Registered: 21/12/2004
Posts: 4050
Loc: Melbourne, SE Burbs
The review I read says it does have full manual mode which will enable you to control the shutter speed and the apeture. My advice is read the book, have a play with it, and experiment. You're not going to waste film! If it has a 'bulb' setting within the shutter speed parameters....even better! This means you can open the shutter for as long as you like, but without the unfamiliar camera or book infront of me....I can't tell you!
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#649702 - 07/10/2006 21:53 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
i have read that stupid book and i just dont get it because my old camera didnt have these good features..

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#649703 - 07/10/2006 21:55 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
ok which is better trying to have the shutter fast to get lightning or hold it open?

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#649704 - 07/10/2006 22:10 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
stormygirl Offline
Weather Babe and Moderator

Registered: 21/12/2004
Posts: 4050
Loc: Melbourne, SE Burbs
Patience, a clear head and start at the beginning of the book! You sound as though you are fairly new to the world of photography, in which case this will all seem double dutch, but take it slowly. Lightning is not easy to capture, so be patient!!

The only way to capture night lightning is to hold the shutter open for an extended period. The human reflexes are simply not fast enough to capture it once you see the flash. You may completely fluke it during the day and press the shutter the moment lightning flashes (I have done it once), but it is a complete fluke. You 'possibly' could capture it that way at night if the lightning strobed for about 5 seconds! Otherwise, with the combination of our reflexes, and the lag time of the camera it is usually not possible.

Have a read of this from Michael Bath:

http://www.lightningphotography.com/tips.html

...or this from David Simpson:

http://www.stormplanet.com/reference.htm

....and be patient! wink
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#649705 - 07/10/2006 22:31 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
thanks..but i dont understand how to change my settings so the shutter will stay open, thats my main problem, i will read those 2 now..thanks

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#649706 - 07/10/2006 22:56 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Ben Quinn (BSCH) Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 23/06/2001
Posts: 2987
Loc: Caboolture, ~45km north of Bri...
Zacy - switch the dial on the top of the camera to "M" mode and use the 4 way controller to adjust the aperture and shutter speed. Shutter speed will be the up and down buttons and aperture the left and right buttons. You'll see the values change on screen. The camera may or may not have a noise reduction mode that's enabled after a long exposure has been taken so there may be quite a delay before you see the image appear on the LCD screen.

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#649707 - 07/10/2006 23:15 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
ok 2000 is all i can go to up and down which i would take is shutter speed, i dont know what 2000 is, and i have it on f8 aperture [recommended by david simpson] now what is 2000?

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#649708 - 07/10/2006 23:22 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Ben Quinn (BSCH) Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 23/06/2001
Posts: 2987
Loc: Caboolture, ~45km north of Bri...
That would be 1/2000th, meaning the shutter stays open for 1/2000th of a second - ie it's the fastest shutter speed the camera has. Go the other way wink You want the slowest shutter speed, which is 15 seconds for your camera. Once you have it at 15 seconds just push the shutter button and you'll hear the shutter open - it'll stay open for 15 seconds before you hear it close again... if the camera has noise reduction it'll probably take another 15 second exposure which it'll use to map out the hot pixels in the previous exposure. In due course the image will appear on screen.

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#649709 - 07/10/2006 23:29 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
THANK YOU VERY MUCH YOU RULE!!!! I CANT WAIT FOR RESULTS!! Will you be chasing or going down to photo lightning after storms move into the bay as I would like to meet with some people to take photos! Cheers bodie ur a champ!

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#649710 - 07/10/2006 23:40 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Ben Quinn (BSCH) Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 23/06/2001
Posts: 2987
Loc: Caboolture, ~45km north of Bri...
You're welcome.

I'll probably be spending more time around local lookouts than usual this year with work committments likely to be more limiting this year than they've ever been, so yeah - if we end up at the same lookout i'd be happy to give you some hints and tips.

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#649711 - 08/10/2006 07:08 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Volkl_1 Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 17/06/2005
Posts: 1755
Loc: wangaratta
Zacy, now that you have that figured out, go outside after dark and play around with 15 second exposures. Wave a torch around in front of the camerra during the 15 seconds, get the feel for it so that when an unexpected sttorm arrives, you will be prepaired.

15 seconds is easily long enough to get good lightning photographs.
Set the apperture to F5.6. If you need to set the apperture to F8 then you are way to close to the storm and in danger!!
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#649712 - 08/10/2006 09:04 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
stormygirl Offline
Weather Babe and Moderator

Registered: 21/12/2004
Posts: 4050
Loc: Melbourne, SE Burbs
OK Zac,

I've done a quick google search and here are the results.

http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=...le+Search&meta=

I know you don't have an SLR, but your camera still has some features that SLR's do. Have a read through some of the links and you may get a better understanding of f stops and shutter speeds and how they relate to one another. When they talk about film speeds, all you ned to do is change the ISO setting on your camera.

There will be a lot of information to digest, so take it slow, and experiment with your camera in the dark as Rob has suggested. READ THE CAMERA MANUAL from cover to cover so you familiarise yourself with the features of the camera and how to change the settings easily. It will take time, and if you are used to using a little point and shoot then it will seem a little daunting!

Have faith in yourself, take one step at a time! Remember you have to learn to walk before you can run! wink
_________________________
New online weather station up and running: http://www.stormygirl.net/wx/index.html




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#649713 - 08/10/2006 09:55 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
ok thanks rob and stormy girl i didnt expect this much help at all..i am familiar with just about everything now on manual mode i know how to change aperture, iso and the shutter speeds now..i have also toyed around so it doesnt show the picture and have multi shot on in manual mode it i need it..so i think i should be good by storm season..anyone know where i can get a trippod for my camera?

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#649714 - 08/10/2006 10:27 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
thomo Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 06/12/2005
Posts: 2639
Loc: West End, Townsville, QLD
The best thing to do is read about 1 function of the camera at a time. Got outside and play with that function adjust it take a photo and adjust it again and take another photo while keeping the camera pointed at the same spot. Have a look at the pics on your pc and look for the differences in the photo.

I find that the easiest way to learn about the camera, and what that particular function does.

You should be able to get a tripod from where you got your camera. It all comes down to price you can spend $60 or $600 on a tripod. A $60 will do for you at the beginning. Your local camera store should have the cheaper ones in stock.

As mentioned before practice, practice and more practice.
_________________________
Westend - 0mm MTD - 256mm YTD
Severe Weather Chasers

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#649715 - 08/10/2006 10:29 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
thanks..alot..i will go out and do that a little later..

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#649716 - 08/10/2006 11:54 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Anthony Cornelius Offline
Meteorologist

Registered: 22/05/2001
Posts: 5162
Loc: Brisbane
I'll be doing a presentation at the Beaudesert Camera Club on Tuesday the 24th of October on storm and lightning photography for anyone interested! Might post some details later/give some more details at this weekend's ASWA meeting as there appears to be some interest in this!

AC
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