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Lightning Photography

geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Lightning Photography

According to all reports, we are due a thunderstorm or two in the South of Scotland tonight. I remember being in a hotel in Paris on a school trip when I was 14 and hanging out on an iron balcony trying to get photos of the lightning with a 110 camera. Imagine my disappointment when I had been home for 3 weeks and the film came back from Boots with a whole series of pictures of an orange street lamp in the darkness.
Thankfully, technology has come on in leaps and bounds and I am here this evening with a rather flash digital video camera on a tripod. I'll be able to review the tape and card immediately and won't have to pay for any developing.
I don't have a top floor iron balcony to lean on this time but with hindsight and some life experience I now realise that this is actually a benefit .... unless I wanted to capture something really spectacular.
Right, bring on the thunderstorm.
14 REPLIES
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Lightning Photography

Thunderstorms FTW.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Lightning Photography

o e  fried Geewizz on a steel balcony in high voltage.
you have to use  a long exposer and wait for the flash then close the shutter
geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Lightning Photography

Quote from: pierre_pierre

you have to use  a long exposer



... in a Mac with a hard drive?
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Lightning Photography

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Lightning Photography

why use flash at all?  wouldn't it work better without?  i speak from a position of complete ignorance here.
geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Lightning Photography

Quote from: artificer
why use flash at all?

Ask Mother Nature.
Quote
wouldn't it work better without?

Thunder without lightning is a damp squib. 
Quote
i speak from a position of complete ignorance here.

Let's compare membership badges.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Lightning Photography

what?  i'll show you mine if you show me yours?  by golly.  haven't done that since i was a little kid.
would someone explain why flash is necessary?  i'd really like to know.
geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Lightning Photography

Who said flash is necessary?
If you are referring to pierre-pierre's post then I think he was referring to the flash of the lightning.
At least, I hope he was. If not then we are back to dirty old macs.
madjbright
Grafter
Posts: 184
Registered: 09-06-2007

Re: Lightning Photography

Is all of the discussions about flash related to:
Quote from: geewizz
... a rather flash digital video camera ...

I think the word flash here is related to the fact that the camera has all sorts of gizmos rather than the fact the flash photography will be used, particularly as it is a video camera.
geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Lightning Photography

Indeed. I used flash as an adjective which should be patently obvious because it is used immediately after the word "rather". A camera either has a flash or it doesn't so describing it as "rather flash" has nothing to do with the existence of a flash unit.
Just to muddy any waters that are now running clear, the camera doesn't have a flash but it does have a shoe onto which a flash unit could be mounted. Although it is a video camera, it does have the facility to take still pictures onto a flash card. That's not a card that illuminates the subject, it's a form of memory card. Still frames can be captured from the digital tape too.
Any questions?
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,364
Thanks: 15
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Lightning Photography


Some of the best cameras for this are some of the cheaper Canon A series, I have an A550.
With some hacked firmware, there are many tricks that can be done ... http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK
SW.
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3Mb FTTC
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Lightning Photography

trust me to get it all arsey versey.
thank you geewizz.
when the next storm comes along i shall take my 'rather flash dig-it-all' camera, with its flash card and, without using flash, attempt to get a pic of lightning.
N/A

Re: Lightning Photography

'Bulb' setting and a remote control FTW!
Although the thunderstorm didn't get to our parts till 3.00am, and at that time I wasn't particularly well motivated to get my camera and tripod out. Also don't live in the best place to get views of thunderstorms, so would've had to go for a drive too.
Perhaps next time. Wink
geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Lightning Photography

I'm glad I didn't wait up too long last night. I was awoken this morning by torrential rain on the window in my bedroom. The clock told me it was ten to six and the alarm was set for 6.30, so I just got up. I went downstairs and looked up the satellite pictures to see where the rain was coming from, heading to, and how long it would take to clear. It turned out that those thunderstorms I had been on about were actually just clearing Leeds on the 5.00am picture on their way northwards.
I didn't hear any thunder but I did end up sitting in my van from 8 until 10 waiting for the rain to slacken so I could get on with my work. I've got great clients on this job and they brought me a mug of coffee and a chocolate biscuit to relieve the frustration. There may have been something wrong with the chocolate because I have experienced nothing but rumbling thunder since I got home this afternoon.
Ooops! Pardon me.