Step by step instructions for Lightning Photography: Helpful Tips for Nailing the Shot


Lightning Photography is a stunning subject to attempt to click. Amazing. Unusual. Satisfying. I’ve been archiving the long arm of Zeus for over two decades and still love it. First utilizing transparencies and negatives, at that point advanced. There are numerous approaches to be innovative with regard to capturing lightning.

Lightning can happen during any season, much winter. Truth be told, winter tempests can create lightning and thundersnow, so don’t quit shooting since it’s cold outside – grasp it!

To help with this, I’ve incorporated my top tips for catching lightning on camera, from seeing how to shoot various sorts to the rigging you need in the field.

Lightning Photography

Image credit Pixabay

Various types of Lightning

As far as I can tell, there are four unmistakable methods for ordering lightning important to photography: type, force, example, and shading.

TYPE: Cloud-to-ground, cloud-to-cloud, and intra-cloud lightning are the three sorts of lightning I witness and shoot generally every now and again. Cloud-to-ground jolt dives from the rainstorm generally striking something underneath it. A cloud-to-cloud jolt wriggles over the sky and regularly doesn’t strike anything. An intra-cloud jolt happens inside a cloud and is typically difficult to see aside from the burst-like blaze it makes. A few tempests produce different flashes every second.

The sort of lightning happening will enable me to choose what focal point to utilize. On the off chance that it’s a cloud-to-ground jolt, I will probably utilize a NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G to catch a scene shot. On the off chance that it’s few cloud-to-cloud jolts overhead, I may utilize a NIKKOR 14mm f/2.8D ED and point straight up. On the off chance that the tempest is creating intra-cloud lightning with nothing else of enthusiasm around it, I may utilize a NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II or a NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II focal point to focus in on the cloud.

Lightning Photography tutorial


The force of a lightning jolt is particularly imperative to photography. Exactly how splendid I envision a jolt to encourage me to set an appropriate introduction, from ISO to screen speed. As a tempest draws near, I really examine it for a couple of minutes before consistently snapping a casing. How frequently is the lightning striking? Is the forward or fifth jolt, for the most part, the most brilliant? Shooting with a DSLR enables you to quickly survey each picture on the camera’s LCD and tweak your settings until you get the shot that you need.

Lightning Photography

Example: One of my preferred lightning goals is to catch a solitary, clean, cloud-to-ground jolt. I like the obvious effortlessness. When attempting to make a compelling artwork picture, this sort of jolt works best as I would like to think.


Shading: Lightning can strike in an assortment of hues. The most well-known shade of lightning is white, however, lightning can really seem red, yellow, green, even blue or purple. The shade ordinarily relies upon gases, synthetic concoctions, and contaminations in the air, just as the real temperature of the lightning jolt. Clear white lightning is generally normal. Orange or ruddy hued lightning can happen if there’s a huge centralization of residue or contamination noticeable all around. Hailstones in a tempest can cause lightning to show up a purplish shading, now and then even blue. Sodium vapor lights in a city can likewise impact the shade of lightning, giving it a somewhat blue-green appearance.

Lightning cuts through a red hot red sky during an extreme rainstorm at dusk. The bizarre shading was brought about by residue particles noticeable all around. Dry spell conditions and high breezes added to the marvels.

The Best Time to Shoot Lightning Photography

Clearly, we need a rainstorm, yet not all tempests happen during the evening. I like taking shots at various occasions of the day. It’s genuinely regular to catch lightning after dull, yet what about a jolt during the day, at dusk or even nightfall? Taking shots now and again other than simply pitch dark will help carry shading and style to your picture.

Lightning Photography tutorial

Picking Gear

I prescribe you begin by utilizing a DSLR. Purchase the most reduced clamor creating camera you can bear. The Nikon D810 and D3S are two of my top picks. On a strict spending plan or simply beginning? I like the D3400.

Purchase the quickest focal point you can bear. The NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, and NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II are my three top choices for shooting lightning. In any case, picking a focal point is emotional. Would you like to zoom in and make a nearby of a solitary lightning jolt or do you utilize a wide-point focal point to catch crisscrossing jolts overhead? The quicker the focal point, 1.4, 1.8 or 2.8, the better for shooting in existing light conditions, yet I have captured lightning utilizing much slower focal points at 4.5 and 5.6

Put resources into a strong tripod, window mount and a remote control-link like the Nikon MC-36 Multi-Function Remote Cord or the Nikon ML-3 Compact Modulite Remote. Buy applications that will give you figures, storm cautions and what number of jolts a tempest is delivering. Wx Alert USA and Radar Scope are my top picks to use on my iPhone. I use WeatherTAP on my work area.

What’s important about shooting lightning with a DSLR is that you can quickly survey your shot on the LCD and after that have a few change alternatives to get the picture you need. Utilizing a DSLR to photo lightning limitlessly improved my prosperity rate.

Lightning Photography

Camera Settings to Get Started with lightning photography

When shooting lightning, I generally set my camera to the manual introduction: 3D Color Matrix Metering and put the white parity on auto. Regardless of whether I’m shooting with a link discharge or remote control, I, for the most part, begin by setting the screen to BULB, the gap to f/5.6, and ISO to 400. The center is manual.

When lightning happens, I close the shade. In the wake of checking on the initial couple of pictures on the LCD, I start making changes. On the off chance that the lightning is more brilliant than foreseen and results in overexposure, I change the ISO to 320 or 250. In the event that the lightning is dimmer than foreseen and results in underexposure, I change the ISO to 640 or 800.

My mystery to sharp lightning pictures is to have the shade open for the briefest conceivable time—except if, obviously, you’re attempting to catch various lightning jolts. The less time your screen is open = keener lightning pictures. One apparatus I utilize that causes me to accomplish this is the Lightning Trigger, a hot shoe-mounted gadget that fittings into the camera’s 10-stick connector port. The lightning trigger makes the shade open exactly when lightning strikes. Be that as it may, despite everything you have to set ISO, shade speed, opening, and white parity. I, for the most part, begin by setting my camera to Shutter Priority at 1/4 second, the ISO at 250, white equalization to auto, and change from that point.

Lightning Photography tutorial

Protecting You and Your Gear

Lightning is one of the most hazardous normal wonders to photo. By and by, I’ve had a few narrow escapes with my hair standing up and remember my good fortune. One basic principle you ought to consistently remember: in the event that you can hear thunder, you’re powerless against being struck by lightning.

In the event that a tempest is delivering a great deal of genuinely close cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, I remain inside my hard-bested vehicle and utilize a window mount, or I rapidly set up my camera on a tripod and afterward work the camera remotely from inside the vehicle.

Before you take a stab at shooting lightning, you should audit National Weather Service lightning wellbeing tips.

In case you’re ever uncertain about what to do, ALWAYS YIELD TO BEING SAFE. The more you find out about the subject, the more secure and increasingly fruitful you’ll be.

A Few More Good Tips on lightning photography

Continuously mood killer the self-adjust. When shooting lightning, you’ll need to utilize manual core interest. Naturally setting your focal point to endlessness won’t generally give you the keenest picture. Search for a far off light and spotlight on it. This will bring about more keen looking jolts. On the off chance that you don’t have a far off light, have a companion stroll in any event 100 feet from the camera with an electric lamp. At that point center around the focal point of the electric lamp.

Attempt to shoot lightning that is in front of the tempest or away from the heaviest precipitation. Dampness, particularly precipitation, can diminish the appearance of a lightning picture, notwithstanding when the center is right.

Lightning Photography tutorial

Continuously make your shot with consideration. Attempt to outline the picture with a couple of conceivably diverting components as could reasonably be expected, for example, electrical cables, traffic, and planes.

learn about High-Speed Photography

A lightning picture caught with tolerance and aptitude, including appropriate presentation, is probably going to have a more grounded effect. Individuals will take a gander at your photograph and state, “Goodness!”

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