Lightning Photography

We had a pretty awesome storm about a week ago. One of those thunderstorms with tons of lightning but not a damaging wind storm. There was a brief period of very small hail though which had me panicked a bit since I bought a new car in the last few months. Anything for the shot though right (as long as the car is fine).

See the full gallery here.

Lightning Photography, Minnesota, Lightning Trigger Photo, Thunderstorm

The lightning was dancing all across the sky.

First I’ll just remind you that lightning is always dangerous. Most of the lightning was actually a long ways in the distance. There wasn’t any thunder till the last few shots but that isn’t a guarantee the next strike won’t be at your location. I was actually using a window mount in my car. You should read the National Lightning Safety Institutes comments on what is/isn’t safe related to vehicles being struck by lightning.

Cloud to ground strike.

As mentioned I was using a window mount. If doing so you may want to turn the engine off to minimize vibrations to the camera. I was also using a Lightning Bug Trigger trigger by MK Controls. This senses infrared light an instant before the lightning strike and triggers the camera. Worked pretty well after increasing the sensitivity. I’d also suggest using manual mode on your camera. Underexposing by two stops (-2EV) seemed to work really well. Most of the lightning wasn’t blown out and with the flash from the bolt it exposed the foreground. You’ll need to adjust for time of day and ambient light at your location however.

Lightning Photography, Lightning bolts, Minnesota, Thunderstorm

An epic battle in the sky.

This last photo is a composite of three different strikes. I used Topaz ReStyle and Lightroom to make this hot/cold edit. A little different flare to it anyway.

Again be careful out there and check out the gallery for a few more shots.

2 thoughts on “Lightning Photography

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