Striking Photograph by Allan Sanford

Lightning  allan-001
Don't know about you, but we have always had absolutely no ability at photographing a lightning strike.

Not so, apparently, with Allan Sanford last weekend. (Thanks, Allan!)

One thought on “Striking Photograph by Allan Sanford

  1. Roy

    I find that hardest part is finding a storm with somewhat consistent strikes.
    This is my technique … and it works best at night.
    – Wide angle lens (20-40mm) pointed in the right direction.
    – Consider framing elements (trees and other such nonsense to make it interesting).
    – Camera on a tripod and locked down.
    – Manual focus in the distance on something near where the lightning is going to strike – not quite infinity, but close. You can always go with the hyperfocal distance when in doubt.
    – Turn off AF.
    – Manual mode.
    – Aperture – f/8 or f/11 to get some depth – no higher or the image softens due to diffraction on a crop body. You can go to f/16 on full frame.
    – Shutter – Bulb.
    – ISO – 400 (adjust this to change the exposure if needed).
    – White Balance – Tungsten gives a better blue color to the sky (or use a filter to blue it up). Shooting RAW is a better method.
    Open the shutter and hold … close it after you get a flash of lightning … reopen it again immediately. Lather, rinse, repeat.
    This took about 10 minutes to get … around 40 shots. I made a slight adjustment to the white balance (to remove the pollution ridden red sky we have up here), a slight crop and normal sharpening.
    It requires a bit of luck to get the framing just right … but if you’ve got an active storm with consistent strikes, you’ll be surprised that it’s not too hard to get a decent shot.
    I’ve had lightning strike within 100 feet of me … you don’t want to experience that. Stay safe – good luck.


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