Lightning Photography in India – Tips and Tricks

Equipment needed:

  1. A Camera
  2. A Sturdy Tripod
  3. A Camera Rain Cover
  4. A Rain Coat/Umbrella
  5. A Wide angle lens
  6. A Timer/remote/strike finder
  7. A Chair to sit and relax and enjoy the lightning

Before you begin happily clicking 100’s of pictures, start with these basic camera settings. Aperture F5.6 (for nearby lightning) or F8.0 for strikes which are far far away.

Set the White Balance to 3500-4000K for a cooler look to pictures. Mount the camera on your tripod, set your composition and set the manual focus, depending on where the strikes are happening.

Keep an ISO of 100/200 and a shutter speed of 20-30s. Set the intervalometer and shoot. Or shoot with a remote timer with instinct. A device like the strike finder could be extremely helpful in getting most of the shots and not missing any. IF you wish to learn what a strike finder is get in touch with me, I can teach you and show you a demo of that device. The Strike finder will help you get more accuracy in your shots and improve your lightning photography. An intervalometer or a remote trigger will help you in chilling while you do your lightning photography.

Lightning strikes are totally unpredictable but once you start observing, there is a pattern. The charge on any cloud is very high initially and the frequency of lightning strikes is high which reduces later on. Out of the entire chunk of clouds, some clouds hold more charge which you can spot. Point your camera towards such heavily charged clouds and your chances of getting a good photograph of lightning will be higher. However, as Murphy’s law would have it, as soon as you pack up, you will spot the best lightning strikes in the sky.

The first time, you might not get things right, but if you keep these tips and settings handy, the second time or the third time you will start getting amazing shots. Always remember to enjoy the show while you are at your “lightning photography”.

Lightning and thundershowers in India start Mid-May to Mid-June, and that is the time we will see most of the thunderstorms, so this is the time to get your gear out now and start shooting some lightning bolts.

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