The benefit to starting photo editing of a night’s work at 12 midnight is the rare chance to see and shoot an epic thunder and lightning show that illuminated Seattle’s sky late Friday night/early Saturday morning. Beginning shortly after midnight, I could see the lightning streaks bolt through the sky out of the corner of my eye as I was working in PhotoShop. Finally, my creative urge took over, and I figured I’d better take advantage of the show, plus my fortuitous view of the Space Needle from my living room. I grabbed my Canon 5D Mark III, since it was a better low-light performer than my Canon 6D, and 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, and loaded the camera up on a tripod, and went outside on my balcony. Unfortunately, my first tripod of choice was a cheap plastic model that would do in a pinch, but ultimately wasn’t ideal for nighttime shooting. After snapping several shots, all of which captured some form of lightning, I bolted for my car to retrieve my trusty Benro tripod–a much better deal. By the time I got my gear set up on the Benro and had it positioned in my ideal composition, the lightning died down significantly. It was to the point where I caught about 50 long exposure frames in a row of the same scene (the one below), all sans lightning. Oh well.
At least those first 4 shots I grabbed (embedded below) turned out decently with some fixing in PhotoShop. They got some pretty decent (ok, more than decent!) likes and shares on Facebook and a mention in the Seattle P.I. Not bad for my first shot at capturing lightning!
Want to know how to shoot lightning? I wrote a little piece on how I got these shots over on my blog.