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How to take photos of lightning

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Bennievis
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How to take photos of lightning

Unread post by Bennievis » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:09 pm

Hello all,

I was in the Golden Gate reserve over December and were entertained by the most magnificent display of lightning over the mountains that evening (almost like being at a Pink Floyd Concert 8) )

I mounted my Canon 350D on a tripod and set the shutter to stay open for about 20 seconds, focus on auto (mistake I know). I managed to capture quite a bit of lightning but all horribly out of focus. I was told to set the focus manually on 'infinity' :hmz:

How does one do that? Any other tips will be greatly appreciated as I have always had a thing about :cam: lightning

Thank you!

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Barcud
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Re: How to take photos of lightning

Unread post by Barcud » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:21 pm

Hi Bennievis,

To set your lens to infinity, look in the window (new lenses) or on the lens body (older lenses) that gives you the distance you are focussing at and set the infinity symbol (looks like two elongated zeros laid side by side) to the marker.

Good luck with the lightning pics.

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: How to take photos of lightning

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:46 pm

First you need to change to manual focus, either on the camera or on the lens
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Sprocky
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Re: How to take photos of lightning

Unread post by Sprocky » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:27 am

I agree with setting your focus to infinity, but there is a better position. It is called hyperfocal distance. Modern lenses don't show this but old ones do. It is a bit of a long description so the best would be to google it. This would also help you select the correct aperture, but be careful not to use too big an aperture to prevent total over exposure of the lightning bolt and area around it.

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Bennievis
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Re: How to take photos of lightning

Unread post by Bennievis » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:40 am

Thank you Barcud, josh and Sprocky, nice to know clever people!

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DuQues
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Re: How to take photos of lightning

Unread post by DuQues » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:15 pm

Here is the formula, and some handy charts.
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Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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Re: How to take photos of lightning

Unread post by Sprocky » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:54 pm

Those are awesome charts, thanks DuQues. :thumbs_up:


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