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Thread: Landscape - Lightning

  1. #1
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    Default Landscape - Lightning

    Hi guys,

    Need some advice here. I was trying to capture some night scene pictures with lightning. It seems my settings are not correct. Please provide some advice on some of the settings to capture such scene.

    Here's some information:
    Lens: 50mm F/1.8 D
    Focal Length: 50mm
    Exposure Mode: Shutter Priority
    Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
    1.60 sec - F/2.5
    Exposure Comp.: -0.3 EV
    Sensitivity: ISO 200
    Optimize Image: Direct Print
    White Balance: Auto
    AF Mode: AF-A
    Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached
    Auto Flash Comp: 0 EV
    Color Mode: Mode Ia (sRGB)
    Tone Comp.: Auto
    Hue Adjustment: +3
    Saturation: Normal
    Sharpening: Medium high
    Image Comment:
    Long Exposure NR: Off



    Did nothing to the original picture except resizing it using Photoshop.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Landscape - Lightning

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldrick
    Hi guys,

    Need some advice here. I was trying to capture some night scene pictures with lightning. It seems my settings are not correct. Please provide some advice on some of the settings to capture such scene.
    Thanks.
    what makes you think your settings are not correct?

    in this scene, I would meter for the ambient light using a small apterure (F16 or F22)
    this is so that I can get a long exposure. After which I would use the "black card technique" to "catch" more lightning bolts for a more dramatic shot.

    something like shooting fireworks

  3. #3

    Default Re: Landscape - Lightning

    Aldrick,

    This shot looks good to me The only other thing is maybe you can try to use a telephoto lens to zoom in to the blots of lightning for a more drama effect.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Landscape - Lightning

    You can take a look at this thread: http://forum.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=159546

    And I agree with ortega that it is very similar in fireworks approach, only thing is... there is no definate timing or location for the lightning to appear. You probably get better results by stepping down your aperture & using longer shutter exposure -- use manual mode.

    In your case, the buildings in the foreground is drawing viewers' attention away from your main subject -- the lightning bolts in the background. And if you are using a smaller aperture & longer exposure, you can use a telezoom lens to zoom in on the action, instead of taking it all in using your 50mm prime.

    Just my 2 cents.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Landscape - Lightning

    Quote Originally Posted by ortega
    what makes you think your settings are not correct?

    in this scene, I would meter for the ambient light using a small apterure (F16 or F22)
    this is so that I can get a long exposure. After which I would use the "black card technique" to "catch" more lightning bolts for a more dramatic shot.

    something like shooting fireworks
    Thanks. Why I feel somewhere is not correct is because when I zoom the picture with to its actual size, the picture seems to have noise and the image looks blur. It should be sharp enough as I am using the AF 50mm f/1.8D.

    Perhaps I should adjust the aperture whereby I go to manual mode rather than just shutter-priority.

    What's the "black card technique about"?

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    Default Re: Landscape - Lightning

    Quote Originally Posted by philshots
    Aldrick,

    This shot looks good to me The only other thing is maybe you can try to use a telephoto lens to zoom in to the blots of lightning for a more drama effect.
    Thanks.

    But I only have one set of lens which is the AF 50mm f/1.8D. Also, I have thought of focusing on one area, but then the lightning very 'naughty'. Always strike here and there but not on the spot I am focusing on. Hence, I change my spot to shoot wide angle.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Landscape - Lightning

    Quote Originally Posted by panic
    You can take a look at this thread: http://forum.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=159546

    And I agree with ortega that it is very similar in fireworks approach, only thing is... there is no definate timing or location for the lightning to appear. You probably get better results by stepping down your aperture & using longer shutter exposure -- use manual mode.

    In your case, the buildings in the foreground is drawing viewers' attention away from your main subject -- the lightning bolts in the background. And if you are using a smaller aperture & longer exposure, you can use a telezoom lens to zoom in on the action, instead of taking it all in using your 50mm prime.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Thanks! Nice information provided.

  8. #8
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Landscape - Lightning

    long exposures with a digital camer always give you more noise. Cannot be helped
    you might want to turn on noise reduction or do it via software.

    find out about hyperfocal distance and use that instead of AF.

    Aperture Priority is what I would use as well. to control dept of field and to get a long shutter speed.

    "Black card technique" do a search on shooting fireworks

  9. #9

    Default Re: Landscape - Lightning

    Agree that longer exposure would introduce noise -- best to keep it under 30 seconds. Anything longer would be noisy & could also be too bright (overexposing the pix) if a lot of lightning flashes happen within that time interval.

    And depending on what is in your background, DOF may/may not matter much. Personally, I would go manual mode for exposure settings & use manual focusing (set to infinity).

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    Default Re: Landscape - Lightning

    Quote Originally Posted by panic
    Agree that longer exposure would introduce noise -- best to keep it under 30 seconds. Anything longer would be noisy & could also be too bright (overexposing the pix) if a lot of lightning flashes happen within that time interval.

    And depending on what is in your background, DOF may/may not matter much. Personally, I would go manual mode for exposure settings & use manual focusing (set to infinity).
    How to set to infinity...?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Landscape - Lightning

    Change your focusing mode on your camera to Manual Focus, then you should be able to turn the focusing ring on the lens to where the infinity symbol (you do know what it looks like right? ) is indicated.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Landscape - Lightning

    wow u must be real lucky to be firing to catch the lightning with Aperture Priority.

    my comments will be like the rest - the buildings spoil the compostion - your lightnings are terrific but the pic setting is bad.

    you need to better compose the picture, and technically you set to infinity, use small paerture (high f-number), set shutter to bulb, use a cardboard to cover the lens, taking it away when lightning flash, and cover up after lightning, etc etc

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