Lightning is the most unpredictable natural phenomenon which is extremely impressive but very hard to catch at the same time. It appears out of nowhere for a flash of an instant, lights the world in a breath-taking manner and disappear in the darkness again. If you learn to shoot the lightning properly, these photos will become the real masterpieces.
There are three major types of lightning – cloud-to-ground, cloud-to-cloud and intra-cloud lightning. You never know which type you are going to catch, but the most common one is cloud-to-ground lightning.
First of all, you should take into account the technical parameters of your camera. Use stable surface – the best one is tripod, of course, but any solid object will do, in fact. As you will have to take photos in the darkness, it is better to use manual focus, or your camera may decide that there is something more interesting than dark sky. Use also long shutter times in order to be able to catch the lightning. The lens you use should be really fast. The best option is 14-24 mm f/2.8.
It is obvious, that your attention should be focused on the sky, but if you capture some objects situated on the land as well it will make your photo more interesting. Shooting the lightning striking near the house will give the audience the impression of the size and power of this wonderful natural phenomenon.
When taking photos you should be also aware of weather conditions. Note that it is better if there is no rain between you and lightning, otherwise, the picture may appear blurred. If you are in the eye of the storm, shoot from some shelter in order to remain dry.
Your task is to capt8ure as big piece of the sky illuminated by the lightning as possible, so wide angle option is your helper and nearly best friend in this mission. It will give your photos additional depth as well.
You have better chances to receive a great shot if you capture the lightning which is ahead of the storm, as the atmosphere is not moist yet and the image will be clear.
Finally, taking photos of the lightning requires great patience. So, if you want to become a Keeper of Lightning you should develop this feature. You have to practice a lot and spend long hours waiting and then the lightning will strike the imagination of your audience.