Shooting Lightning


Shooting lightning is quite hard to achieve. This is because of the fast speed of light. Here are a few tips that I can share to you when you want to try your hand at shooting lighting.

This is a very hard thing to achieve because of the light’s speed. Night makes things even harder. Finding a lightning storm is easy during summer in certain zones and countries. Light travels very fast from the sky to the ground , so you need a very fast exposure time and anticipate where the lightning will strike. Keep in mind that lightning never strikes twice in the same place.

You need:

  • a camera loaded with film (of course)
  • a tripod (optional if you trust your hands)

As soon as the lightning storm begins grab a camera ,set the exposure you use for daylight and try to catch a photo of a lightning. During night it’s best to use a tripod on a steady flat surface. Long exposure is needed too. Think about it – lightning at night… Beautiful!

Your exposure times for a 100 ISO film should be:

  • f 2.8 – 1 second
  • f 4 -2 seconds
  • f 5.6 – 4 seconds
  • f 8 – 6 seconds and so on…

Good luck! Keep in mind: Always stay in a safe environment when you are trying to shoot lightnings since they are very dangerous. There’s no need to risk you life to take a great photo!

written by pvalyk on 2011-11-29 #gear #tutorials #art #tutorial #shoot #tipster #storm #lightnings


  1. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    Nice tip. Nice pics.

  2. novakmisi
    novakmisi ·

    cool shoots !!

  3. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    Very nice!

  4. feelux
    feelux ·


  5. admmmm
    admmmm ·

    Just to let you know, lightning can and indeed does strike the same place more than once. Other than that, cool article

  6. joshuakimchi
    joshuakimchi ·

    Lightning rods seem like a pretty safe bet to me.

  7. nicx
    nicx ·

    Wow what beautiful images!!!

  8. jeffr
    jeffr ·

    Very cool

  9. ihave2pillows
    ihave2pillows ·


  10. mariaratfingers
    mariaratfingers ·

    wow did you take those photos?? they're excellent! i've tried to photograph lightning a fiew times, this is the closest i got so far: i will keep trying now that i have the tips on speed though, thanks! :)

  11. amedejulie
    amedejulie ·

    oh thanks! you have great photos !

  12. wontonowisdom
    wontonowisdom ·


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