Lighting Epiphany

Hello everyone! So. . . I had a complete epiphany the other evening and I thought I would share it with everyone. I recently shared these images of lightning I captured the other evening on my social medial pages and instantly I had questions of "How do you do that?!?" "What were your settings?!?" "How many images did you have to take to get lucky enough to catch that?!?" "You shot those handheld?". . . I am one of those people who not only loves questions (I tend to ask a lot of them myself), I simply adore sharing tips and tricks just as much, so here is the "hows" of what I did. . . 

Does this image look familiar to anyone?!? Yep, this is how my evening started. . . Not exactly a show stopper.

I have spent so much time trying to be patience and camping out, counting seconds between lightning strikes and firing in burst mode just praying that I would get lucky enough to grab something worth keeping when the lightning actually struck. . . such a hit and miss way to shoot but lightning has always been on my bucket list so I had just continues this endless cycle of trying and hoping luck would be on my side.

Try after patiently endless try I would sit and just hope my cat like reflexes would come into play and gain me the shot I was so dying for but they all ended up the same. You ask how many picture I took? 364. . . YEP, 364 images total. 300 of those image looked a lot like the two I just posted. 300 burst shots of poo. THAN it hit me like a "bolt of lightning" COMPLETELY out of nowhere. . . I was approaching this situation 100% backwards!!!!

Rather than trying to catch the light when it was happening (and hoping I was fast enough) I need to CAPTURE the light!!! The secret that had been eluding me?!?

BULB MODE!!

So I switched the camera to bulb mode. . . steadied myself (all the images where handheld). . . compressed my shutter and just waited for the lighting to strike. As soon as it did I closed the shutter. . . that is it!!! 64 awesome images of lighting. Rather than rapid firing when I saw the first hint of light I left the shutter open until the light had stopped. WHY HADN'T I THOUGHT OF THIS EARLIER?!?

When you shoot in the dark it doesn't really matter how long you leave that shutter open because is it going to be underexposed. . . it is darkness. So it doesn't really matter how long I record the darkness because just like OCF (off camera flash) the only thing that really matters is what happens the instant the light IS THERE. 

This might be already out there in the world somewhere (I am positive it is because I couldn't possibly be the only one to ever think of it) BUT I am jazzed non the less.

 

I hope this helps some of my fellow lightning chasers out there finally get those elusive shots or inspires you to grab your camera the next time a storm rolls in. 

Canon 6D - Sigma 35mm Art - F16 - infinity focus - 1.9 secs - SOOC

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xoxo Kristey