Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Photography mission possible: daytime lightning shot

This successful daytime lightning photo was taken in the parking lot of J.C. Penney in the Melbourne Square mall.

I've always wondered how difficult it is to get a photo of lightning during the daylight hours.

I have plenty of night shots, taken with a lengthy shutter speed in order to catch whatever bolts strike within the frame. But during the day, a lengthy shutter speed would overexpose the photo.

So how do those photogs do it?

I'm too much of a male to consult a manual or guide book, so I set out to devise my own approach. And the only solution, I thought, was to use the rapid-fire technique, depressing the camera trigger, snapping shot after shot until lightning struck within the frame.

I tried that during a thunderstorm last night over a parking lot at the Melbourne Square mall. It was before sunset, so it was still quite bright, but storm clouds had darkened the sky a bit.

I pointed my camera toward an area that seemed to be getting the most strikes. And I snapped at will.

I can get only about 2 1/2 frames per second on my Nikon D40. But on the 65th shot, lightning struck. And I caught it.

So it's really not that difficult.

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