Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lightning Crashes

The first evening we were in Lexington, Kentucky, my husband went out and visited with other Masonic friends staying at the hotel. I took that opportunity to go out on the balcony of our hotel room and practice taking pictures of lightning. Now, have you ever tried to take pictures of lightning? Not an easy thing. First you have to figure out just what setting to put your camera on. Auto with flash? No good. Nighttime with no flash? Not much better. Ah ha, I’ve got it! Fireworks! Now, just where do I point the camera? And just when do I take the picture?

The storms have moved on, so it's relatively safe to go out and take pictures of the lightning.

Lightning is a difficult photographic subject as it is unpredictable both in location and timing. I solved this problem by simply clicking the shutter button as often as I could. The camera must also be held as steady as possible. Ideally, one would have a camera tripod handy. As I didn't, I used the balcony railing to keep the camera steady.

After uploading the pictures to my computer I was left with many duds, which were summarily deleted. Then I had to contend with the pictures that contained bright white blobs.

I used Microsoft’s standard photo software where I played around with the exposure settings, changing both the brightness and contrast settings until the bolt of lightning could be seen.

Still working on it...

A little closer...

And there we have it.

You can even come up with different versions of the same lightning strike, simply by changing the brightness and contrast on the photograph.


I have to say that I now have a much greater appreciation for those wonderful photographs of lightning that are out there.

1 comment:

Rosie Hawthorne said...


And no. Never flash, dear.