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St. Louis Storm - How To

Published June 30th, 2011

If I go too long without taking and posting a decent photo, it's all I think about. Last June this was the case when I heard of an incoming storm. As soon as I got off work I ran home and grabbed my camera bag and headed downtown (St. Louis) to the arch grounds to wait for the storm.

I took some sample shots while I was waiting and got my positioning/framing established. Then, just waited. Finally the clouds began rolling in and I set things up for the final photo.

I positioned my D700 on my tripod, on the steps of the arch so that only half of it was in frame. In this instance, the independent action of the tripod legs really helped to position my camera on the steps both safely and effectively. I set the exposure to 25 seconds @ f/22 to maximize both my chances of catching a lightning strike and in order to maximize my depth of field. My ISO was set to 200 to minimize noise. I used a Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 lens and a remote trigger to fire the camera from where I was standing approximately 30 feet away from the camera.

Within about a minute of this photo the storm was on top of me (as you can see from the bottom left-hand corner) and I grabbed my gear and hauled it back to the car. I didn't really know what I had until I got home but was pleased with the results. I was lucky that the lightning struck where it did, when it did, and not to mention that I, myself, didn't get struck...



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Alan Robertson  about 4 years ago

thanks for the is a magnificent image....