Lightning in Johnson Canyon

This week we had a marvelous electrical storm to the west of our house. It was far enough away to make Junie Moon the Dog happy, but near enough for some nice photos. Since it was night, I used the same settings that I use for star photography. I put my Nikon D7000 on the tripod, with an 10-70mm lens. I set it for manual exposure, and set the shutter for a 30 second exposure, and turned on long exposure noise reduction. I hooked up my PClix, a marvelous device for taking photos at set intervals. Then I just let it click away.

With a 30 second exposure, sometimes you catch more than one bolt. These two were a couple of seconds apart, but got combined in the shot.

I like the way the lightning lights up the rain that is falling. This is another with two different bolts.

nickp wrote on Fri, 10/11/2013 - 12:02:

Those are great pictures, i wish it was dark enough for me to see stars and lighting like that!!

Tater101 wrote on Thu, 10/10/2013 - 16:44:

That is definitely God's handiwork! He does a awesome job! Better than anyone or anything else!

vahomeschoolers wrote on Sun, 09/29/2013 - 17:56:

Fantastic pictures! These are great.
-- Ellissa

rkrampf wrote on Wed, 10/02/2013 - 02:17:


brevard wrote on Fri, 09/20/2013 - 12:41:

coolchizz happy scientist

maahirali wrote on Fri, 09/20/2013 - 11:51:

sooooooooo pretty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hillsboroughmiddle wrote on Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:26:

that is creppy

pkashani wrote on Mon, 09/16/2013 - 15:29:

These pictures are stunning!

budgysmom wrote on Mon, 08/26/2013 - 15:18:

Wow. That was amazing. I wish my camera was that good to use. It's a Kodak digital camera, very cheap, but still pretty good. Anyways, we live in a wooded area, so it's hard to catch good shots of lightning. Now, tornadoes, on the other hand... I want to become a meteorologist someday. Any suggestions on websites or good books to read about weather phenomenon?

JBass82 wrote on Mon, 08/19/2013 - 23:51:

I love lightning pictures...spectacular and awe-inspiring displays of raw power and the sheer majesty of nature. Digital cameras have certainly advanced the technology of taking lightning pictures, but for me there's nothing like holding the shutter open on an old film camera for a few minutes on a pitch black night and getting three of four strikes on one exposure. Too bad you can't tell the quality of your picture instantaneously like you can with digital. =) Oh well, there's always a trade off somewhere...

rkrampf wrote on Tue, 08/20/2013 - 00:50:

Yes, digital does make a difference. It let me tweak the settings as I went along. Still, you are right about the thrill of film. I still remember the excitement of developing negatives and seeing if you actually caught what you wanted.

JBass82 wrote on Wed, 08/21/2013 - 00:59:

Thank you for the reply. I'm curious long did it take you to tweak the settings until you found something you were happy with (pun intended)? And further, what settings did you start out with & why?

rkrampf wrote on Wed, 08/21/2013 - 18:23:

It took 5 photos before I was happy with the result. I used manual focus, so 3 of the 5 shots were getting the focus where I wanted it. I used f4.5, and was satisfied with that. I started with a high ISO, but lowered that to 400 ISO to reduce the grain.

elenaames wrote on Mon, 08/19/2013 - 11:38:

WOW!! those are the best shots of lightning that I have ever seen! you should put all those pictures on Google, their that good!

Tater101 wrote on Sun, 10/20/2013 - 18:47:

You are right he does need to. Those are perfect pictures!