A close call for 'that' ultimate pic

Discussion in 'Australia Photography' started by Ze Doc, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. Ze Doc

    Ze Doc Guest

    I think we all know as photographers or amateur photographers, that we are
    always after that perfect shot. You know the one.......the one you'll blow
    up to poster size, maybe sell a copy or at least impress your friends.
    On wednesday I was driving from Armidale (nsw) to glen innes.
    Just before Guyra, I glanced over and saw the absolute perfect shot.
    Sun shining through the clouds onto a multicoloured landscape.Green green
    grass, brown, burgundy's....the colours were all there.
    The clouds above were so puffy and bright white. Darker clouds surrounding
    them. Beautiful.
    A storm was looming with lightning that was over the other side of Guyra.
    Well away from where I was.
    So off I went done this little dirt road for about 200m off the main hwy.
    Pulled up. Put my istd together. Jumped out. Walked behind the car.
    Focussed, looked awesome through the viewfinder. Just about to press the
    shutter and..............................CRACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Lightning had struck the tree no more than 10m behind me!

    Needless to say in approximately 3.2 seconds, I was back in the car, camera
    in the bag,
    car started, seatbelt on and driving up the dirt road...WITHOUT the shot.
    It certainly made my heart skip a beat....or 3!

    Anyone had a dangerous experince getting "that" shot they want to share?
    Ze Doc, Feb 5, 2005
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  2. Ze Doc

    HC Guest

    Missed the shot and no time to change your underwear....LOL!!

    Bummer when you miss a great shot for whatever reason but that will stay
    in your mind for a long time, I'd suspect!!

    HC, Feb 5, 2005
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  3. Ze Doc

    paul Guest

    Thats a worry...hows the ears.

    I worked in a high voltage test lab simulating lightning on large elec stuff
    for years & the stuff still scares the hell out of me. I photograph quite a
    bit (very poorly i might add) of lighning & one thing i have noticed from
    sitting up in a highrise watching storms is that lightning will repeatedly
    hit the exact same spot over & over & over during a storm.

    Dont ever think your safe just because it has hit near where you
    are...another may well be due in a min or so.

    Any 20D owners wish to share their favorite lightning settings ?
    paul, Feb 5, 2005

  4. 100ISO f/8 for night time....that's it!

    Shutter speed depends on conditions.....

    Keep it short ie 5-10 secs and you can catch single strikes without
    additional strikes over-exposing the image.

    Leave it open longer and you can build a brighter exposure that shows cloud
    detail and multiple strikes.

    I generally shoot between 10 and 30 secs and have my hat on hand to cover
    the lens when I think I have built the exposure that I am after.

    Make sure that you use a tripod and focus on some lights in the distance,
    rather than manually setting infinity focus, as the manual lens guides will
    often give you a very soft infinity focus.

    Another tip is to shoot raw, as this makes for easy to add interesting
    colour casts to your image in post.

    Also, if you are shooting on location (rather than from your covered
    verandah or something) a station wagon is really good, as you can setup in
    the back and shoot through the open rear door. I can't stress enough the
    dangers involved in photographing lightning, as strikes can often happen
    many k's in front of the storm front.... this is why a common statement from
    strike survivors is "it came out of nowhere!"
    Russell Stewart, Feb 5, 2005
  5. Let that be a timely warning to you - MEND YOUR WAYS OR ELSE.....

    I shan't warn you again,
    David Springthorpe, Feb 5, 2005
  6. Ze Doc

    kubalister Guest

    God was applying copyright over the landscape scene you were about to
    replicate as a photo. The lightning was merely an enforcement method of
    Digital Rights Management.
    kubalister, Feb 5, 2005
  7. Like many religious fanatics, he's got no objection to brute capitalism.....

    David Springthorpe, Feb 5, 2005
  8. Ze Doc

    Mick Brown Guest

    Another way to do it (and I'm assuming the Canon has this) use the bulb
    setting, leave it open with a black card over it, remove black card when
    lightning hits. This is how I do fireworks.

    Mick Brown
    Mick Brown, Feb 5, 2005
  9. Yes the 20D has Bulb, but the problem is that you need to keep your finger
    on the shutter button.... this can make it a bit awkward. If you buy the
    optional remote release it makes using bulb much easier.

    While your method of removing the card when the action happens would work
    for fireworks (as they tend to hang around a little while), I think you
    would miss a heck of a lot of lighning that way, as lightning is over in a
    flash. (pun intended ;-) )
    Russell Stewart, Feb 6, 2005
  10. Ze Doc

    Pannawonica Guest

    I was working in the middle east / Yemen ..
    We were on the coastal highway between Mokha and Hudaydah ..

    The sun was a huge red globe and the whole sky was in the process of
    colour ever so subtle it was hard to see which colour you were looking at ..
    There was a camel herder with his camels silhouetted against the sun ..
    The stunted trees and large boulders close by filled in a magnificent
    picture ..

    Just couldnt stop we were being chased by the local militia looking for some
    baksheesh !!
    We did have after all , 2 landrovers full of grog ..
    Which was not quite legal in that heathen place ..

    Pannawonica ..
    Pannawonica, Feb 6, 2005
  11. Ze Doc

    Mick Brown Guest

    Yeah sorry I did mean with the release.
    Mick Brown, Feb 6, 2005
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