Distant Thunder

Posted by Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 25 April 2018 in Landscape & Rural.


I went out to one of the local beaches last Saturday hoping to photograph a beautiful sunset. Instead I ended up photographing a storm with lightning and thunder that was passing just off the coast of Perth. It was one of my very first attempts to capture lightning. It was certainly a learning experience for me.

The clouds moved in very quickly that evening. About an hour before there was barely a cloud in the sky. Couple of things I have learned about evening/night photography are to find a composition early and set up the camera before shooting. Foreground composition and focus are especially important. It is hard to see anything later on so you are kind of guessing what your composition will be and it is also hard to focus in the darkness.

For this photo, I was able to find a suitable composition and then it was just a matter of waiting for the storm to get a bit closer. I do not have a lightning trigger so I was shooting 30 second to one minute exposures, hoping to catch a bit of lightning in the process. I managed to get a decent lightning strike on two or three of occasions and this is one them.

I liked the way that the lightning illuminated the cloud and rain falling around it. I think the foreground works well enough too with interesting rock formations surrounded by the sea, which was nicely smoothed out by the long exposure. It was actually very dark when I was taking this shot. Hence, I had to bump up the ISO a little bit to compensate for the darkness and also so that I could keep reasonable depth of field at f/8.

This was an unexpected little bonus in terms of photography. Storms and lighting have been on my 'to do' list for a long time and at least I got a small taste of it last weekend. This only makes me more determined to look out for similar opportunities in the future.

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© DarkElf Photography


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
30 seconds
ISO 800
24 mm


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