May 23 2012 lightning


I went out Wednesday night and tried for some lightning shots.  I took this in Spring Lake Park, MN

Nikon D5000 with a Nikkor 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5G ED lens shot at F/8 and a 20 second shutter speed.  ISO 200.  Focal length: 18mm


The 20 second exposure was too bright, so I was able to correct that (-2.0) thanks to shooting in RAW/NEF.  That allowed the image to look more like it did when I saw it.  I was at this spot for over 90 minutes and took over 200 images, and got one.  That is very common for lightning photography (at least that’s the way it works for me).  This shot benefited from another aspect of the digital age; no film.  Had this been years ago, it would have required 6 rolls of 36 exposure slide film that would have cost me about $140 in both film and processing.  That’s a LOT of money for 1 shot!


image © Scott Woelm – May 2012