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  • Lightning

    Posted by Jonathan on September 9th, 2012 (All posts by )

    Cloud-to-ground lightning strikes the southern side of Biscayne Bay during a nocturnal thunderstorm in Miami, Florida. Rickenbacker Causeway is visible in the foreground. (© 2012 Jonathan Gewirtz /



    5 Responses to “Lightning”

    1. Robert Schwartz Says:


      How did you do it, i.e. camera, lens, settings.

    2. Mike_K Says:

      We just had a flash flood warning in Orange County with a clear blue sky. Hmmm.

    3. Jonathan Says:

      5D2, 70-200/4mm lens @ 70mm, 71 seconds @ f8, ISO 160, noise reduction OFF

      Robert, this is very easy. You do this on a night when there are multiple thunderstorms and frequent lightning in the mid-to-far distance. Be somewhere with a good view. Use a tripod and manual camera settings. Experiment to find settings that yield good exposure with the shutter open for at least 30 seconds. Make sure that in-camera noise reduction is OFF, so that the camera won’t lock up after every exposure and you will be able to crank out one exposure after another. You want your camera’s shutter to be open most of the time while there is lightning. Then point the camera in the direction of the lightning, focus on something distant, and start making exposures. If you take enough pictures you will catch some of the lightning.

    4. Jonathan Says:

      Michael, perhaps it was the local Democratic committee practicing for election day?

    5. Bill Brandt Says:

      It is so rare in my part of CA to get lightning. Pretty common in the Sierras. The other morning I am walking the dog at 05:30 – I see Lightning off in the distance – illuminating some clouds, and above me were the stars.

      It seemed to be a magical moment in time.