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Old 07-21-2008, 14:59   #1
gruntmedik
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Storm a comin

Last night we had a round of thunderstorms come through. I took my wifes Rebel XT out on the deck to try my hand at getting some lightning shots, as there was some spectacular lightning. This is the best of my attempt.

It sure is a lot harder than it seems to get cool pics.

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Old 07-21-2008, 15:31   #2
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Nice shot!
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Old 07-21-2008, 16:10   #3
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Thanks. If anyone has any tips, or settings that may help for these kind of shots, I'm all ears.
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Old 07-21-2008, 19:29   #4
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I could probably use the ground level at the bottom to help me better understand the scope of the storm when compared to the sizes of the houses or other known objects below.
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Old 07-21-2008, 19:59   #5
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Wow, Deke. Not bad at all. Damn good for a first try.

Finally, I have a chance to tell you what I know and help you instead of you trying to help me.

First thing is get that camera off auto exposure settings. You will get the best results shooting manual. Also, shooting RAW so you have some latitude fixing exposure and white balance later. You can shoot RAW+JPEG until you are comfy with RAW.

Remember, when you are shooting in one of the auto modes, the camera is shooting what it wants. When you move to Av, Tv or M, you are telling the camera what you want. It is going to be almost impossible to get good shots of lightening, fireworks, or anything along this line using the auto settings.

Play with program (P) mode at first if you haven't used manual settings before. You can use it to see how changing one setting will effect the others. The camera automatically will pick the correct f/stop and shutter speed for you to properly expose a shot. What it doesn't know is maybe you are shooting a portrait so you also want to blur the background. To do that, you have to open up that lens so you go to a lower f/stop. Well, since that lets more light in and will blow (overexpose) the face, it will adjust to a faster shutter speed to get back to the correct exposure. Or maybe you are shooting a waterfall and want the water to blur to show motion. You need a long shutter speed for that. When you choose it, the camera will adjust the f/stop to keep the image exposed correctly. Once you get the hang of how f/stops, shutter speeds and ISO works, you can go to manual and have total control of your shots.

OK, the camera used ISO 1600. That is why the shot is grainy. That comes from the high ISO almost any time you have noise like that. For some shots it adds but a lot of people don't want it. A lot of times it depends on the shot but here is when you don't want it. You want the sky to have as little noise as possible so if you have to clean it up you won't lose the details.

Bump that ISO to 100, maybe 200 but not past 400. I would go with 100 at first and work from there. You want to do a loooooooooong exposure to get the lightening so 100 will be fine. If you aren't getting it, move to 200 -or- open the lens a little. Don't try both at first unless you are way off.

Use a really high f/stop. I would start with a stop or two from the highest. You can open up if you need to. Since you aren't wanting the surroundings, it should be fine. You will still get the clouds and flashes, I think.

What kind of remote are you using? Are you using one? I would just open the shutter and leave it open until after the flash. Basically, the same way you shoot fireworks. Remember, you are shooting the lightening and it is plenty light there. Also, like you shoot the moon. It's full straight up noon on there.

I have never tried lightening. Where we live there aren't any good views unless you get out in the yard and that ain't a' happenin' no matter what. I want to try it from up on top of the mountain looking down some time.
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Old 07-21-2008, 20:40   #6
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Thanks Jen. I've got some reading to do now.

I had the camera on a tripod, and was using the timer to trigger the shot. There were one or two shots that would have been pretty good, if the timer wasn't counting down.

I realized the ISO was 1600 when I went to download the pics.

This is the lens I was using. http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...ModelDetailAct
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Old 07-21-2008, 20:43   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyhobo View Post
I could probably use the ground level at the bottom to help me better understand the scope of the storm when compared to the sizes of the houses or other known objects below.
I thought about that, but I don't think I could've had the ground in view, in relation to where the majority of the light show was taking place. I was on our elevated deck with the walk-out basement below.
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Old 07-21-2008, 21:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gruntmedik View Post
Thanks Jen. I've got some reading to do now.

I had the camera on a tripod, and was using the timer to trigger the shot. There were one or two shots that would have been pretty good, if the timer wasn't counting down.

I realized the ISO was 1600 when I went to download the pics.

This is the lens I was using. http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...ModelDetailAct
Do you like that lens? I kinda want a wide angle but I think I have bought enough lenses this past six months....

Yeah, get a remote. Forget the timer for this stuff.
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Old 07-21-2008, 21:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misskitty5077 View Post
Do you like that lens? I kinda want a wide angle but I think I have bought enough lenses this past six months....

Yeah, get a remote. Forget the timer for this stuff.
The camera belongs to my wife. About a month and a half ago, we bought that lens, and http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...2&modelid=7311 for her. She wanted a lens to shoot our daughters volleyball games with.

So far, we/she really like them both. The wide angle is neat, and can give some interesting perspective. She took a pic of our helicopter, and while the whole heli was in the frame, there was some distortion of the image. Kinda cool.
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Old 07-22-2008, 18:19   #10
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I have that same 85. At least one other member here has it--he ordered his when I ordered mine. We both love it.

The USM spoiled me. Fast.
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Old 07-23-2008, 16:22   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gruntmedik View Post
It sure is a lot harder than it seems to get cool pics.

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Maybe not as hard as you think. That's a great shot!
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Old 07-24-2008, 00:04   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadMansLife View Post
Maybe not as hard as you think. That's a great shot!
Thanks. It only took 66 shots to get one.

What I wish, is that they had a DSLR that had a memory, so to speak. Much like our cardiac monitors, when we hit the record button, it will print a strip, starting with the 4 seconds prior to us pushing the button. That would have allowed me to get some spectacular shots. Now, whether they looked good or not, that's a different story.
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Old 07-24-2008, 19:13   #13
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Thanks. It only took 66 shots to get one.


I have taken at least 1500 of the same subject. I have yet to capture what I am "seeing" while looking at it. Some day I might nail it by pure luck.... Nah.
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Old 07-24-2008, 23:14   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misskitty5077 View Post


I have taken at least 1500 of the same subject. I have yet to capture what I am "seeing" while looking at it. Some day I might nail it by pure luck.... Nah.
What is it?
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Old 07-25-2008, 17:06   #15
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An old rusty lock on an iron gate in a graveyard.
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Old 07-25-2008, 19:44   #16
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You aren't trying to capture pics of ghosts with the lock, are you?


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Old 07-26-2008, 16:48   #17
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You just gave me an idea!

Nah, I just love wandering around looking for/at old stones and stumbled upon this lock doing exactly that. I also love old locks and iron works, so I find some in graveyards quite often.

I don't have pics hosted now but the last graveyard I went to....well, it has really become quite famous for bad reasons. A long time ago, a man near here murdered his family (the only exception is one son who was ironically gone to purchase more ammo) one Christmas. The family was buried in a "mass grave" of sorts. The baby was buried in the mother's arms while everybody else was in their own coffins. I think it was five or six children plus the parents....

Standing there looking at that grave...there are a whole lot of secrets buried there.
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