How to photograph lightning and thunderbolts ?

How to photograph lightning and thunderbolts ?

How to click or take photos of lightning and thunderbolts ?

Lightning is one of the most beautiful and dangerous phenomenon of nature, that’s why s every photographer wants to have thunderbolt shots in his photo collection. We have already seen some extra ordinary photos of lightening on many websites like national geographic, 500px, 1x, pixoto, betterphoto etc.,.

A beginner always wonder how to click and try to click thunderbolts. So keep that in mind here are some of very essential tips on “How to photograph lightening”.

Stability : Since we have to use slow shutter speeds or long exposure we need a stable surface for our camera. YOU CANT CLICK LIGHTENING PROPERLY WITH A HANDHELD CAMERA. There is no better alternative than a good tripod. Although depending on the situation sometimes we have to use other supports like a table, stool, a boundary wall, bean bag or anything that provides stability.


Long Exposure (Slow Shutter speed ) : Lightening is always lightening fast ;), you can’t get a good lightening shot just by releasing the shutter when you see a strike. So you have to set your camera to a longer exposure i.e. 30 second or in bulb mode in order to keep your shutter open for a longer duration.

Photo Credit : Alexander Dyachuk on 500px

Focusing : It’s best to use manual focus when shooting in lightning situations.  Mainly because the view will probably be at night (but not always) with a fair amount of darkness.  Rather than allow your camera to hunt around for something to focus on with each new shot, get a good manual focus on the sky and leave it there.

Photo Credit : by Srdjan V on 500px

4. Manual Shutter/Aperture Too – As the lighting strike will be really far so you don’t need to be worried about your subject being out of focus in Shallow Aperture unless you want something in the foreground in focus. Not that only you need to shoot in full manual and set aperture and shutter speed manually.

5. Patience– Yes you read it right ! Patience is the most important gear here. You have to spend lot of time in anticipation, sometimes you will miss a great strike for some reason. So all you need is to sit there and enjoy nature’s great show and try to capture it beautiful.

Photo Credit : Striking Singapore by willfire on 500px

6. Safety First– Lightning can be lethal for you and rains can be lethal for your camera. So place yourself at a safe and dry location and don’t risk your life and equipment.

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