I've been photographing aircraft for about 4 years now, and I've uploaded about 45 photos onto A.net here. I'm also pretty prolific in High School sports photography since I am my schools head photographer for the yearbook, but thats about as diverse as my photography experience gets.
But last night, a storm rolled through Phoenix. I stood outside and watched a good lightning show for about 30 minutes before I decided to whip out my Canon D60 and see if I could be quick enough to catch some lightning. I spent about 2 hours outside trying to pick a section of sky and wait...wait...wait...and try to hit that shutter as fast as possible to grab that split second of lightning. After 2 hours I ended up taking about 90-100 photos, and I ended up with a grand total of 2 photos with lightning actually on them. Since its digital, I just cleaned off the card and no harm done.
But then the storm was pretty much dying down, and the sun was going down past the horizon making a nice little streak of sunset at the horizon behind the cloud deck when I decided to press my luck one last time. I sat down, framed the sky above the sunset, focused it, and waited, and waited, and waited. But then it started to look like there hadnt been any lightning for about 2-3 minutes. I figured it was too late, the storm had dissipated, and decided I would head back inside. But just as I was thinking that through, a huge flash of lightning went off right smack dab in the center of the frame above the sunset. I rattled off about 3 shots realy quick, and realized that was a perfect bolt of lightning in exactly the perfect spot. I just hoped I hadn't screwed it up and pulled the trigger too late, like I had been doing all evening. Then I checked the previews on the back of the body, and this is what I had captured:
I was extremely happy about this. It was dead center where I was hoping it would show up, and I actually hit the shutter at the right time. By far the best photo I have taken in a long time.
But now I've gotten to thinking that I really quite enjoy this lightning photography. I've always liked storms, and I've always liked photography, so why not mix the two?
So now Im here to ask if theres anyone else on these forums that is a little more veteran than I on the task of shooting lightning. I'd really like to know your opinions on my photo, and what you think I should do next time in the effort to make it even better. Should I think about getting any special equipment, or is there any technique I should use that would make this a bit easier?
Any advice from any of you experienced lightning/weather/storm photographers would help me out in this new genre of photography I seem to have discovered for myself.
Thanks a ton.