How to photograph lightning

The equipment and settings you need to capture nature's own light show.

Give yourself a chance: The long shutter time (bulb mode) is required because you don’t know when the lightning will strike. Depending on whether there are light sources already in the picture (street lights, for example), this will affect the aperture that you choose. If the scene is mostly black, leaving the shutter open for ages won’t lead to an overly bright image. This shot was taken with an advanced compact camera (the Panasonic DMC-FZ20) with an ISO speed of 100, an aperture of f/5.6, and a shutter speed of six seconds. It took many attempts to finally capture a bolt with such a short shutter time and many opportunities were missed in between shots.

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