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#649737 - 29/07/2007 07:47 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Shayne Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 26/01/2006
Posts: 5816
Loc: Cedar Grove SEQ
just remember to check the sellers feedback Zacy, have a look for someone thats purchased the same lens and even shoot off an email to someone thats purchased the same item from the same seller before you slap down your hard earned, ask about quality, if the images are crisp throughout the image, that sort of thing.

will send you a link in PM with the three most recent buyers of this item listed so that you can check it out with them, you will probably have to sign in to eBay to see this however.
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#649738 - 30/07/2007 22:47 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
yeah im gonna do that on wednesday when i can send user mail or whatever because i only registered last night. but i also got my paypal account up and running too...i want to get a fisheye before i go to Canberra for a week from 10-17 August laugh

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#649739 - 21/08/2007 19:44 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
OK, just getting all my manual setting inputted to my camera so I don't have to refer back to anything. And I don't know where cam's infinity is, if it can do that. ISO is at 100, f5.6, manual focus. I just took a couple of 15 second exposure looking into the kitchen which is like black and they came out good. then i decided to open the shutter walk through the kitchen and see what happened. but i wasnt on the screen? why? hwo will the camera be able to capture lightning then? does it automatically pick up any light and capture it or something? please explain.

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#649740 - 22/08/2007 01:22 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Kane H Offline
Member

Registered: 29/12/2005
Posts: 321
Loc: Coffs Harbour, NSW
Zacy the lightning is bright enough when it flashes to be recorded in the image. When you walked around the kitchen how fast did you walk? You have to walk very slow or stand still in it for a while to see any part of you as you need to be still enough for the light to bounce off you and be absorbed by the sensor long enough to show up anything (your iso speed, f stop and exposure time will affect how much time is needed to absorb the light) . Here's a good trick to get an idea how it will work with lightning. Do the same thing as before but this time walk around with a torch or wave it through the air in front of the camera when it's exposing. In the picture should be lines of light following where you walked.

A good way to get infinity focus is to put the camera on auto focus then focus on a distant street light and then switch back to manual focus after it locks on and don't change the focus again after this.

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#649741 - 22/08/2007 07:14 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
Ok, I will try that tonight. Will I have to zoom in to focus or not on a streetlight?

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#649742 - 22/08/2007 14:44 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Kane H Offline
Member

Registered: 29/12/2005
Posts: 321
Loc: Coffs Harbour, NSW
Should focus either way Zacy.

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#649743 - 22/08/2007 17:12 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
ok thanks kane. will it work without having to focus on a streetlight?

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#649744 - 22/08/2007 17:15 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Kane H Offline
Member

Registered: 29/12/2005
Posts: 321
Loc: Coffs Harbour, NSW
yeah the street light is just for night time when its hard to focus on a distant object and you want it set to infinity.

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#649745 - 22/08/2007 20:18 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
so u must have a streetlight for nighttime shots?

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#649746 - 22/08/2007 20:25 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Kane H Offline
Member

Registered: 29/12/2005
Posts: 321
Loc: Coffs Harbour, NSW
It just makes it easier if you don't have a infinity marker on the lens which most camera lenses don't except DSLR's, (though mine don't have them on my 350D lenses either).

In the dark its difficult to focus on any object in the distance to have the focus set to infinity and a street light in the distance just gives your camera something to lock on to.

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#649747 - 22/08/2007 20:36 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
oh ok. thanks for all the help kane. got msn i can add you on?

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#649748 - 28/08/2007 15:35 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
lightning chaser Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 18/06/2007
Posts: 548
Loc: nowra NSW
to whoever it was that mentioned marking the focus rings on the lenses to show infinity focus to make night time lightning photos easier thanks for the tip. Did that the other day and it works well. One thing i found is that my wide angle lens if focused manually to infinity before being turned off will be out of focus when turned on ( so i needed an "off" mark and an "on" mark. Anyone know why this would occur? i can only assume the camera defaults to a close focus when turned on.
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#649749 - 23/09/2007 09:25 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
ok, it seems I got the hang of it on my first attempt (last night) here are the results. Exposures varied from 15-8 secs.

don't be too harsh.

Really bright flash.


Distant CG :p


Simultaneous Distant CGs


Only part of a CC I saw or captured

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#649750 - 12/10/2007 21:22 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
^Lem^ Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 20/09/2004
Posts: 77
Loc: Kureelpa, Sunshine Coast (SE Q...
(Copied from Breaking Weather thread for SE Qld/NE NSW October 5-12, 2007)

RE: Aperture settings for lightning photography.

Here's general rules that I use for myself:

Aperture around f/5.6 or 6.3. If lightning is exceptionally bright, I'll raise that to 7.1 or the next step up from that.

I have the ISO always at the lowest possible (ISO 100 for the 10D and 30D, can do ISO 50 on the higher end Canon DSLRs). This produces the cleanest images (higher ISO = more noise).

If the clouds are moving quickly, I'll reduce my maximum shutter speed to about 5 seconds (I use bulb mode of course, but I count in my head how long the shutter has been open). This reduces the chances of blurring or ghosting of clouds in your shot. Sometimes the ghosting can actually add drama to the photo, but yeah .. I like things to be "as they are" in the photo, rather than something unrealistic.

If there's a lot of in-cloud (CC) lightning, I increase the aperture (7.1, probably no higher than 11, too dark). This lets me have longer exposures without over-exposing the shots.

If the lightning is quite distant, or I'm at minimum aperture (lens dependent, usually around f/3.5-4.0), and the lightning isn't coming out in the shots bright enough, I'll up the ISO to 200, 250, or 320. Generally I try to avoid ISOs above this since they get a bit noisy (they're still good, but I like the absolute minimum noise level [Wink] )

In summary .. fixed white balance (daylight usually), and I'll modify ISO, aperture and shutter speed as variables to get photos with minimum blurring or ghosting, plus aiming for optimum exposure (not too bright, not too dark).

Hope that helps [Smile]


edit: it's probably also worth mentioning that higher apertures (bigger numbers, say f/13) give you a greater depth of field. That is, more objects around the area of focus will actually be in focus. You can test this out by putting your camera on a tripod, going out into the garden, taking a shot at f/2.8 (or whatever the lowest your lens does), then taking that same shot all the way up to f/22 or higher (f/32 on some lenses). Doing this really demonstrates the effect aperture has. It's this reason why I don't just use the minimum aperture on my lenses for taking photos (especially weather photos, portaits on the other hand actually benefit from the narrow depth of field - gives great background blur).

------

Some other good points I've seen in this thread cover focus and the use of a tripod.

Tripod is essential, unless you're a surgeon, then you might be able to hold your camera still enough! wink

Focus is very tricky. I wish it was as simple as setting the lens to "infinity" focus. The reason why it isn't as simple as that, is a lot of lenses I've seen have a range of "infinity" focuses. This is to compensate for changes in atmospheric conditions (temperature, humidity etc), as far as I'm aware. Having objects at a distance is a great help, simply set the lens to auto focus, half press your shutter button, let the camera auto focus on the distant object, release the button, then flick the lens to manual focus. Out in the bush you might have to use the moon .. or manually set it and hope for the best smile

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#649751 - 12/10/2007 21:31 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Zacy-G Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/08/2006
Posts: 848
Loc: Redcliffe, Queensland
cheers lem laugh

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#649752 - 14/12/2007 14:42 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Dawgggg Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 25/03/2007
Posts: 23724
Loc: Townsville
thanks for puttin all ur info on here people, im gettin a S5700 ( fuji film ) for xmas and this thread is awesome to learn how to control all the features!
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#649753 - 27/03/2008 15:42 Re: Settings for Lightning Photography.
Shayne Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 26/01/2006
Posts: 5816
Loc: Cedar Grove SEQ
<======gives self an uppercut...sometimes a little revision does wonders..., i know what i was doing wrong last night...lmao...hopefully i get a shot at round two tonite..
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