Posted on Leave a comment

Chasing Storms: Photographing a Monsoon and Dramatic Lightning

Chasing Storms: Photographing a Monsoon and Dramatic Lightning

Photographer Michael Shainblum has shared the behind-the-scenes footage of capturing picturesque monsoon formations as well as a powerful and dramatic lightning storm, all shot on a Sony 16-35mm f/4 lens.

Shainblum, a landscape, timelapse and aerial photographer based in San Francisco, California, is already familiar with photographing unpredictable and at times dangerous weather conditions that nature provides. It’s not something he recommends for beginners to try solo and has previously shared advice for others who are keen to attempt storm chasing.

This time, Shainblum starts out by photographing a dried-out lake bed — also known as playa — on a sunny day, joined by his friend, photographer, and fellow storm chaser, Nick Page. The dry weather conditions created a pattern on the ground, made out of crack formations. In an anticipation of a storm that was to come later on, Shainblum captures a few test shots and makes sure to shoot several images of the scene to stack later on.

He says that it is a good practice to take a few extra frames with different focus points — to avoid regretting not having those additional images during post-processing — in the scene, especially if the foreground has so much character. This also includes getting all corners tack-sharp.

Chasing Storms: Photographing a Monsoon and Dramatic Lightning 1

As the sun starts to go down and the light illuminates the clouds, it can become overwhelming to decide what to shoot and how to shoot it because there are so many options. The key is to decide and stick with that decision. One of those options is a panorama — as seen above — which, in Shainblum’s case, provides about 180-degrees of view and took 18 wide-angle photos to create. Shainblum also shot two rows of horizontal shots which further adds the impression of vastness in the final shot.

Storm clouds give photographers a diverse range of colors and textures to play with, Shainblum says. To make the most of the given scene, he shoots timelapses and still images, without forgetting to simply enjoy and witness the beautiful view, especially as the sunset brings dramatic sky formations.

Chasing Storms: Photographing a Monsoon and Dramatic Lightning 2

As the sun goes down and the storm advances, Shainblum ensured that his camera was set up for a timelapse so as not to miss an important shot when the lightning starts. He says that it is important to monitor the storm and the direction it is heading in to ensure safety, which is why Shainblum and Page have previously recommended photographers to join a storm photography community or find someone who has experience in reading storms.

Chasing Storms: Photographing a Monsoon and Dramatic Lightning 3

The night concludes with a strong rainfall, which prompts them to find a different vantage point. However, it’s well worth the wait and extra effort because they are able to capture dramatic lightning strikes.

Chasing Storms: Photographing a Monsoon and Dramatic Lightning 4

More landscape videos like these can be found on Shainblum’s YouTube channel, with his photography portfolio available on his website and Instagram.


Image credits: All images by Michael Shainblum and used with permission.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Photograph and Create Time-Lapses of Lightning

How to Photograph and Create Time-Lapses of Lightning

Lightning can be a fantastic way to add a bit of drama to a landscape image, though it takes some technique to capture those fleeting moments. This fantastic video tutorial will show you how to photograph and create time-lapses of lightning.

Coming to you from Brent Hall, this great video tutorial will show you how to photograph and create time-lapses of lightning. Most storms occur in the afternoon and move from southwest to northeast, so you will want to consider your position. If you want a darker, moodier look, you will want to be ahead of the storm to get the sun behind it, while if you want a brighter look, you will want to be behind the storm to allow the sun to light the clouds and landscape. All that being said, remember that lightning is highly dangerous, and you should exercise due caution at all times, including avoiding standing in an open field or under an isolated, tall object. Also, keep in mind that other hazards include heavy rain and flooding, hail, high winds, and occasional tornadoes. I like to set my camera on a tripod and use a remote release while I sit in the safety of my car. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Hall. 

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

Selfie Comes With a Lightning Bolt and Hospitalization

Selfie Comes With a Lightning Bolt and Hospitalization


Selfie Comes With a Lightning Bolt and Hospitalization 5

It’s the kind of selfie that you really wouldn’t want to take, but it has to be said that the resulting photo (below) is rather extraordinary.

The bizarre incident occurred when siblings Rachel, Isobel, and Andrew Jobson decided to take a break while out cycling during a recent ride through southwest London. While resting beneath a tree, a heavy storm suddenly kicked off.

According to a BBC report, while they waited for the rain to stop, Isobel decided to take a selfie. But in the very same moment that she pressed the shutter, a bolt of lightning struck, knocking all three of them to the ground and leaving them with burns that resulted in a trip to the hospital.

Selfie-taking siblings capture hellish moment they were struck by lightning https://t.co/BiuQBI9bXd pic.twitter.com/VxHzySVXU4

— New York Post (@nypost) July 15, 2021

Isobel told the BBC that no sooner had she pressed the shutter on her phone, she was suddenly “on the ground and couldn’t hear anything apart from this high-pitched buzzing,” adding, “My whole right arm was numb and I couldn’t move it.”

Rachel said she suffered burns on her thigh and stomach and for a while couldn’t feel her arm. “We were taking the picture with our phone and then the next thing, I was on the ground,” she said. “I felt disjointed. My sister and I were screaming.”

All three were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and released a short while later.

The trio ended up with an astonishing selfie, but they could so easily have lost their lives in the incident.

According to official data, in the U.S., for example, an average of 40 people a year die from lightning strikes, though at the time of writing there have been no reports of lightning-related fatalities in the country in 2021.

If you fancy photographing lightning (from a safe distance) rather than being struck by it, check out this handy Digital Trends guide telling you all you need to know.

Editors’ Recommendations




Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

Selfie Comes With a Lightning Bolt and Hospitalization

Selfie Comes With a Lightning Bolt and Hospitalization

A lightning strike.
Shav Bird/Creative Commons

It’s the kind of selfie that you really wouldn’t want to take, but it has to be said that the resulting photo (below) is rather extraordinary.

The bizarre incident occurred when siblings Rachel, Isobel, and Andrew Jobson decided to take a break while out cycling during a recent ride through south-west London, U.K. While resting beneath a tree, a heavy storm suddenly kicked off.

According to a BBC report, while they waited for the rain to stop, Isobel decided to take a selfie. But in the very same moment that she pressed the shutter, a bolt of lightning struck, knocking all three of them to the ground and leaving them with burns that resulted in a trip to hospital.

Selfie-taking siblings capture hellish moment they were struck by lightning https://t.co/BiuQBI9bXd pic.twitter.com/VxHzySVXU4

— New York Post (@nypost) July 15, 2021

Isobel told the BBC that no sooner had she pressed the shutter on her phone, she was suddenly “on the ground and couldn’t hear anything apart from this high-pitched buzzing,” adding, “My whole right arm was numb and I couldn’t move it.”

Rachel said she suffered burns on her thigh and stomach and for a while couldn’t feel her arm. “We were taking the picture with our phone and then the next thing, I was on the ground,” she said. “I felt disjointed. My sister and I were screaming.”

All three were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and released a short while later.

The trio ended up with an astonishing selfie, but they could so easily have lost their lives in the incident.

According to official data, in the U.S., for example, an average of 40 people a year die from lightning strikes, though at the time of writing there have been no reports of lightning-related fatalities in the country in 2021.

If you fancy photographing lightning (from a safe distance) rather than being struck by it, check out this handy Digital Trends guide telling you all you need to know.

Editors’ Recommendations




Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

Teens Snap Selfie At Exact Moment They’re Struck by Lightning

Teens Snap Selfie At Exact Moment They’re Struck by Lightning

Teens Snap Selfie At Exact Moment They’re Struck by Lightning 6

Three teens posed to take a selfie together when lightning struck the trio. That exact moment was captured on camera.

Originally reported by the BBC, Rachel, Isobel, and Andrew Jobson were out for a bike ride when they paused under a tree near Hampton Court Palace in South London earlier this week. The three had stopped to both get out of the rain and allow Rachel, the eldest, to quickly use a nearby bathroom. When she emerged, the three siblings posed under a tree for a photo together before the heavens seemed to open above them.

“The picture of us at the moment the lightning strike happened was at 17:05,” Isobel, 23 and a PhD student told the BBC. “I took a picture of us smiling and we then wanted a sad picture in the rain. All of a sudden I was on the ground and couldn’t hear anything apart from this high-pitched buzzing. My whole right arm was numb and I couldn’t move it.”

“We were taking the picture with our phone and then the next thing, I was on the ground. I felt disjointed. My sister and I were screaming,” Rachel said. “I got burnt on my thigh and stomach and it’s left lightning-like marks behind on me and my sister. I couldn’t feel my arm.”

The three were helped to their feet by passers-by. The three then waited at the H at Moseley Lock Cafe before paramedics arrived and took them to St. George’s Hospital in Tooting. The three said that while all of them sustained some injury, Andrew was more stunned by the incident than physically harmed.

His sisters, on the other hand, had it a bit worse. Doctors believe it is possible that a titanium plate that Isobel had implanted in her arm following a cycling accident the previous year may have been the reason lightning struck them.

“My sister’s arm was very hot, because of the plate,” Rachel said. “Everyone was amazed at what had happened to us.”

Luckily, the three teens appear to be recovering fine, with Rachel feeling only a bit light-headed and her sister Isobel’s wrist is sore — it could have been much worse.

About 240,000 incidents that involve lightning strikes were reported globally in a report from 2008, although more recent information on that number is absent. According to the BBC, about 30 to 60 people are struck by lightning each year in the United Kingdom, with an average of three deaths. Even rarer, then, are photos that happen to be captured at the exact moment lightning strikes the photographer.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

How I Chase and Photograph Storms and Lightning Strikes

How I Chase and Photograph Storms and Lightning Strikes

How I Chase and Photograph Storms and Lightning Strikes 7

As someone who loves to seek out and photograph unique weather events, I’m always excited to see a thunderstorm brewing over New York City, and of course my home, the Jersey Shore! There’s always something exciting to look forward to while you’re out storm chasing, including rainbows, storm clouds, fog, and of course, lightning!

When I head out to shoot thunderstorms, I have a lot to think about — current weather conditions, camera gear, extra accessories, shelter, safety, and more. Let’s explore what equipment, concerns, and shooting techniques are needed for photographing stormy weather!

Planning

Probably the most crucial and trickiest part of shooting storms is planning. I usually look 24 hours in advance to see if there’s anything brewing in the forecast, but things can change quickly. In the past, I’ve seen a 100% chance of thunderstorms turn into a 40% chance by the following day. So, I get up-to-the-minute information with the weather apps I mentioned earlier.

If I see a huge cell coming towards my desired location, I’ll head out early in hopes that the storm will land right where I want it to be. It’s always best to arrive early to secure parking and a shooting location, and to have sufficient time to set up.

Shelter and Safety First

It’s vital to choose a proper location of where you’re going to capture your images. I always make sure that I place myself in the doorway of a building, an open window, in a car, under a wooden gazebo, or somewhere similar to keep myself from getting struck by lightning. Yes, we all want that once-in-a-lifetime image, but we need to take proper precautions while on storm chasing adventures.

On July 22, I was able to witness an incredible storm over New York City. I was very sad to read that two individuals were struck by lightning and admitted to the hospital in critical condition. Remember, no place outdoors is 100% safe from lightning, so when in doubt, stay indoors, and never set up under trees or metal-framed structures like tents and canopies in an open area.

How I Chase and Photograph Storms and Lightning Strikes 9
Lightning Strike on the Spire of the Empire State Building. Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art on Nikon D850 + Pluto Trigger + Aurora Aperture 6 Stop ND – 3s, f/3.5, ISO 64

Gear

Camera: Any interchangeable lens camera will do, but one with a weather-sealed body and a high megapixel count (I usually shoot with a Nikon D850) will help in the inclement weather and give you extra detail to work with in low light.

Lenses: I usually pack my “Holy Trinity” of Sigma lenses: the 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM ART, 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM IF ART, and 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports. These are my go-to lenses for capturing lightning. They are all weather-sealed, and the image quality is excellent.

Sturdy Tripod and Ball Head: It’s very important for every photographer to have a sturdy tripod, especially while shooting storms since long exposures are necessary. I use the Robus RC-5558 tripod and an RRS BH-55 ball head.

Microfiber Cloths: These are essential for wiping down your gear! In most cases, there will be windy conditions, and rain will certainly wet the front element of your lens and your camera body, so you will need to wipe it down in between shots. I love my Sigma lenses for this type of weather because of the excellent weather sealing.

Emergency Rain Cover: I use a rain cover on my camera body and my lens when it’s very windy, but if you don’t have one, don’t panic! A lot of cameras these days are weather-sealed, as well as Sigma Art and Sports lenses. Iʼve had all of my Art and Sports lenses in inclement weather and everything turned out fine.

Extra Batteries: I always pack extra batteries while shooting storms. I spend all of my time in live view mode and it can quickly drain your battery! Temperature can also play a role on your battery life, so it’s always a good idea to bring extras.

How I Chase and Photograph Storms and Lightning Strikes 11
Lightning Strikes Over the Jersey Shore. Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art on Nikon D850 – 3s, f/5, ISO 640

Weather Apps

My choice of apps includes The Weather Channel, Radar Scope, Accuweather, and Weather Underground. There will be times when there’s no lightning at all, however, you might see some interesting fog and clouds that make it worth your trip! Don’t forget to charge your phone as you will need it for weather updates and possibly for activating your lightning trigger.

Settings

I always keep a close eye on the storm to get an idea of what settings I will need. You will need to change your settings as the sky gets darker. I usually use an Aurora Aperture ND Filter or NISI Filters so I’m able to control the lighting during the morning or afternoon hours. My shutter speed can range anywhere from 2 seconds – 15 seconds. I like to shoot shorter exposures because it can get windy and those 60mph winds will cause motion blur if your shutter speed is too long! If you’re going to shoot longer exposures of up to 30 seconds, I highly recommend that you have a very sturdy tripod and ball head.

Here are some quick settings tips:

  • Turn off optical stabilization / image stabilization on both your lens and camera body (if applicable).
  • Focus on your target using autofocus or manual focus. If you choose autofocus, just use AF once to acquire focus, and switch to MF to keep it from changing. It’s very important to check your focus every few minutes. It can get windy or you might accidentally move your focus ring and not even realize it.
  • Keep your ISO as low as possible so you can recover more shadows of your final image.
  • Shoot in manual exposure mode so you have complete control of all your settings.
  • Shoot in both RAW and JPEG (RAW file for editing, JPEG for a backup or quick social posts from your location).
How I Chase and Photograph Storms and Lightning Strikes 13
A Lightning Strike Crosses Over The Freedom Tower. Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports on Nikon D850 – 2.5s, f/6.3, ISO 64

Capturing Lightning

If you really want a dramatic lightning shot, you need to increase your odds as much as possible. The first thing I do is set up two camera bodies to shoot in two different directions. I’ll start out with the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art on one camera body, and the Sigma 70-200mm DG OS HSM Sports on the other. Both of these lenses give me the peace of mind that I rely on for shooting storms due to the high quality of materials that are used for weather sealing.

Another way of boosting your chances is by using a lightning trigger. I’ve been using a Pluto Trigger — which can be controlled with your smartphone — for capturing lightning during the daytime hours.

How I Chase and Photograph Storms and Lightning Strikes 15
A Very Intense Lightning Strike on The Freedom Tower. Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art on Nikon D850 + Pluto Trigger – 3s, f/11, ISO 64
How I Chase and Photograph Storms and Lightning Strikes 17
A Close Up Strike Over The Freedom Tower. Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports on Nikon D850 – 2.5s, f/6.3, ISO 64

While you might not capture any spectacular shots of lightning your first time out, keep trying and eventually you’ll start having more and more success. With quality gear, careful planning, a safe location, and plenty of patience, you’ll find that storm photography is a fun, challenging, and rewarding hobby that can really get you noticed!


Full disclosure: I also write blog posts for the official Sigma blog.


About the author: Mike Carroll is a landscape photographer who has a passion for moon photography, astrophotography, concert photography, long exposures and cityscapes. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his website and Instagram. An extended version of his article was also published here.

Source link