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pictures of lightning

edited July 2012 Posted in » Canon T2i Forum
I love to watch lightning storms and would love to learn how to photograph lightning. I have a Rebel T2i and would like to know what settings I should use.


  • edited July 2012
    I would also like to know the answer to this. Thanks.
  • edited July 2012
    Me three!
  • edited August 2012
    I don't know the settings on the T2i because I'm just a beginner too. No doubt the shutter needs to be wide open. :)

    I do know there is a lightning trigger you can get for cameras, which would help out tremendously. This trips the shutter on the first flash of lightning. A typical lightning stroke consists of 8-10 flashes in quick succession. Sometimes the eye sees the flicker and sometimes not.
  • I had posted this answer to a similar question in the forum:

    What I do is switch the dial on the camera to "Tv" mode (shutter priority). ISO I leave at 200. Then, set the exposure time to something around 5 seconds (play with the exposure time yourself). Using an external shutter release (with the camera on a tripod of course), I click away hoping to catch some lightning strikes. I've caught some fantastic ones using this method.

    If you don't have an external shutter release, use the delay feature (set at 2 seconds) so you don't get blurry pictures.
  • edited September 2012
    Ok, I think I cheated then. The T2i records HD video? I record storms at 30 second intervals and then in pse 10 I break the movie into frames and save the frame of the lightning strikes as jpgs. The result is awesome pics of lightning. The next best thing would be to have a crystal ball so you know where the lightning strike will be.
  • edited September 2012
    Whatever works! :) I never thought of using HD video. I'll have to keep that in mind.
  • edited October 2012
    The easiest way for me to capture lightning is to set the camera to M mode and crank the wheel all the way to the left. You will see the shutter speed change as you do this. When you get to the 30", which is the limit on the T2i, turn one more time. This will put the camera into Bulb mode.

    If you point the camera toward the storm then press and hold the shutter button, it will keep the shutter open. When a lightning flash enters the field of view, it will be bright enough for the sensor to capture. Release the shutter button and preview the image. If you're lucky enough, you'll see the lightning in your LCD! You can also use a tripod with a shutter release cable or an intervalometer. This will keep your finger from getting tired!

    Good luck.
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