As one of the most spectacular weather events on earth, capturing a lightning strike is the highlight of many amateur photographer's careers.
Whether you love catching the mood of the landscape or are a humble storm chaser in the making, we’ve put together five tips for photographing the elusive thunderbolt of electricity as it makes its way from the atmosphere down to the earth's surface.
People don’t say “as fast as lightning” for no reason. When lightning strikes you have a fraction of a second to get the shot.
Follow our top tips below to help you photograph the prefect lightning bolt photo, that you'll be able to transfer onto canvas and create a stunning canvas print that would give any room impact!
Pay close attention to the forecast
Thunderstorms are most likely to occur in the UK during the hot and humid summer months, which means you’ve a little time to get ready for lightning season. Sites such as WunderMap (http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/)can help you track potential hot spots, so you can get there in plenty of time and not miss the action! Of course, as ever, we always urge you to put safety first while you’re out and about.
Patience is a virtue
Nature and wildlife photographers will already know that taking the perfect picture can be very much a trial and error process, and that being patient is an absolute must! You can't expect to get the perfect shot on your first sitting, so just sit tight.
Practising with different filters and shutter speeds is a great way to prepare for that all-important shot when the black clouds come rolling in.
Set your frame
Preparation prevents poor pictures - fact! So, getting to your location nice and early, and setting up your tripod as quickly as possible, means you're in a better position to be ready and waiting when the first bolt touches earth.
Getting a balanced ratio between clouds and horizon is paramount. So is ensuring that your angles are straight. Try to capture some foreground to give your photo depth; such as trees or buildings. The more textures in your shot, the more interesting it will look on canvas (create yours here). That said, you may want to single out the strike for a powerful mood-setting canvas print.
Look and listen
It may sound obvious, but you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled and try to remain as silent as possible. This could help you to hear the thunder from whichever direction the storm is coming from, allowing you to use your senses to decide where to point your camera.
Opening your shutter speed for the maximum time possible - i.e. 60 seconds on many digital SLRs - means that your lightning flash will be captured on camera if it strikes within the minute from you pressing the button. This might mean that you're sifting through 99.9 per cent of your photos to find the one that captured the extreme weather event but it also allows you to have a slower reflex reaction time.
Now that you've captured the perfect lightning bolt photograph, why not immortalise it on a beautiful photo canvas print from the market leaders Parrot Print Canvas!