Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I love lightning.

As a kid thunder scared the heck out of me, but I've always thought lightning was cool.     it's hard to be a storm chaser in the city, but I do enjoy taking photos of lightning.

Recently a good storm moved through Boston.    Good meaning the lightning cell went around the city, letting Bostonians take photographs while staying dry and relatively safe while doing so.  This cell was supposed to head out to sea, but changed course - so I only knew it was in town when I saw a flash outside my window.     I went to the back porch and saw the lightning was front and center.

Then the mad dash to find the camera, cable release, and tripod.


The big problem I've found with DSLR's is the slow speed of the cable releases.   (At least on my D80 and D750).   You press the cable release and it can take a half second for the shutter to activate.   So you can't 'press the button when you see a flash'.

When I end up doing is continuously taking long shutter exposures.   You get a lot of photos to throw away,   some OK, and an occasional gem.


They do have sensors that will open the shutter when lightning happens (like an IR detector), but I don't catch photographable lightning enough to justify the cost.    Even if you don't get any good bolts, you can get some really dramatic sky as shown above.

But every once in a while - you get the photograph.


Yes, both bolt centers were captures at the same time - this is not Photoshopped.   (But I do want to get in and photoshop out that branch hanging down form the porch above me).

Does anyone else take lightning photos?   Any tips and tricks you'd like to share??

See all the shorts form that night in this Flickr album.