How to photograph lightning

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

Get the right camera: To take photos of lightning you need to have the right camera and the right accessories. A digital SLR is recommended, along with a wide angled lens. The reason you need a digital SLR is because it lets you more easily change the camera’s focus, aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings on the fly; it will also let you use bulb mode. Bulb mode is essential for lightning photography as it allows you to hold the shutter open for as long as you need, rather than being limited by a set time. Without bulb mode, you will have to use the slowest shutter time in your camera, which can vary from eight seconds to 60 seconds. Compact cameras without manual settings are not useful for lightning shots. The shots you see in the upcoming slides were taken with a Nikon D80 digital SLR and a Nikkor 18-135mm lens.

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