Video Tips: How to Photograph Lightning

Video Tips: How to Photograph Lightning


Storms and bad weather doesn’t mean you have to stop shooting and go indoors. In fact, sometimes you can get more dramatic images in bad weather. So in this article, we’ve found two video tips to help you learn how to photograph lightning.

Adorama TV – Shooting Lightning

In this video, Mark Wallace gives you the 8 steps he uses to photograph lightning.

Here are the 8 steps Mark recommends:

  1. Set your camera to Manual Mode.
  2. Set your shutter speed to 30 seconds.
  3. Select an aperture of f/10.
  4. Set the ISO to 100.
  5. Shoot in RAW format.
  6. Set your focus on manual mode, and focus just shy of infinity.
  7. Use a wide-angle lens.
  8. Put your camera on a tripod.
  9. BONUS: Use a remote shutter release to trigger the camera.

Lightning Photography Tutorial

Next, photographer Pecos Hank has a great tutorial on photographing lightning.

He covers some of the same tips as the first video, and a few others as well such as the opportunity to also make a time-lapse of your lightning photos.

For other storm photography or chasing tips read:

So get out there and photograph some lightning, but stay safe!

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Darlene Hildebrandt is an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through articles on her site Digital Photo Mentor, online photography classes, and travel tours to exotic places like Morocco and India. To help you at whatever level you're at she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course here. Or get both, no charge!

  • Carolina

    Thank you for this post… I have a question regarding tip #6: Set your focus on manual mode, and focus just shy of infinity. Setting the focus to infinity is easy if you have the focus distance marked on the lens, but my canon kit lens (18-55) or 55mm doesn’t have anything marked on it so how to know if I’m focusing to infinity? Any help is highly appreciated. Regards, Carolina.

  • Von Will

    Assuming you are using your shortest focal length 18 mm so you can capture your widest angle of view and widest aperture (f/3.5?) focus on an object at 150 feet or greater away you will be in hyperfocal distance for your whole focal range from 18-55mm. You can also use an app or online depth of field calculator to help determine infinity for your lens.

  • Von Will
  • Carolina

    Thank you very much! I’ll give it a try.

  • Rob

    With long exposures you better close your viewfinder? 🙂

  • E.L. Bl/Du

    great article ,videos, great timing for these videos. I always learn something valuable from your articles. Thanks.

  • E.L. Bl/Du

    thanks for that question Carolina and thanks Von for the photos and answers. I had the same question, so appreciate it. I think Im outgrowing my kit lens. would this work w. the 50mm fixed or fisheye? Thanks in advance

  • Von Will

    Yes it will, for a fish eye the hyperfocal distances would be even shorter maybe 10 feet with the 50 mm I would try 100 ft. Here is a link to a great DPS articular about finding hyperfocal distance. Happy shooting.

  • Michael Barnes

    my friend always does this as his pentax seems to get light leeking from the viewfinder. never had an issue with my Nikon!

  • E.L. Bl/Du

    awesome answers! Thanks so much 4 the link too. I got my 1st rainbow yesterday! yay…. its so fun learning these things.

  • Januar Samuel

    With long exposures you better close your viewfinder
    Canon MX920 Driver and Canon MX922 Driver

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