Getting Back to It

After months away and being in the back country in several places I am getting back to working on the sites and posting new images.

The First gallery is from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park area.  I left a few days prior to the fire. I had friends there that I tried to get back to but was not allowed to help. That was frustrating. Finally heard from them about a week later.

Photographing Lightning

First thing  to understand is that going out into a storm to photograph any part of it can be dangerous. Lightning is particularly dangerous. It has not set pattern nor does it care if you are what you think is a save distance away.

With that said let’s get to the actual techniques. Notice I said techniques. There is more than one way to photograph lightning. For the beginner the easiest to to try to stay in a shelter or under a roof and shoot out from it. I strongly suggest a tripod as very few good shots of lightning have been done by a quick finger. I personally have never seen one or did it except by accident one time when I was photographing the clouds.

Whatever camera you decide to use I hope it has a bulb setting or at least a shutter time of 20 seconds or more. A cable release is an excellent thing to use if your camera takes one.  Some of the new cameras do not but some have the ability to use an electronic release. You will need to check your camera manual for that information.

The first image is of a spectacular lightning show that was all one group. It was a center strike with others going out in various direction almost in a circular pattern. The color is because it was right after the dark had started to settle. The properties on this shot: Nikon D700, 24mm Nikon, F/20, 20 second exposure using a cable release and a tripod.  I had the cable release locked and the camera set to shoot 20 second exposures.


The next image is one that took three sets of lightning to get. Again the same camera and lens with a tripod and cable release. It was different day. _DSC9909a-2

The images was shot at F/20, 20s exposure ISO 400. Both shot on Manual with the lens focused at infinity using the back button focus method. It is not necessary to do that. You can focus the lens even using AF then just shot off the auto focus on the lens and it will stay focused where you set it.


This image shot in just north of Denver Colorado was shot trying to get the reflection in the water. It was shot with a Nikon D700, Nikon 50mm, 30s exposure.

As you can see the common thread is for the exposure to be long enough for lightning to appear but not long enough for the images to turn out way overexposed. That is where you the photographer comes into play. I have hundreds of lightning shots that all look different. The higher the exposure or ISO the brighter the lightning will be. That is not always a good thing. If you are close and it is a strong bolt of lightning it can blow out the streak to be almost unusable. You can also play around by shaking or moving the tripod to get effects like this image. Notice the second line of trees about the ones on the lake. You will also note they do not match the bottoms. There is also not duplication of the lightning

_DSC9650The last image shows lightening of two different colors. Lightning does come in different light wave lengths. It is not rare but one very seldom actually notices. However the camera does notice. 1-_DSC6314a

This shot was taken off my sister’s covered porch. The others were taken out in the open during storms.

It was shot with the D700, 50mm lens, 16s exposure, F/22 and ISO 800 with a Nikon cable release and a Manfrotto tripod.

I hope you get out and enjoy the world of storm photography. It is very rewarding but you must understand that it can be dangerous. Things fly in the air with the high winds. You need to know how to set up your equipment to avoid it being damaged or blown over by high wind. One tip, always have a leg of the tripod pointing the same way the camera lens does. It will help keep the tripod from being blown over. I always make sure the legs are well spread apart and solid on the ground. My tripod has spikes on the leg bottoms under the rubber feet. When wind is involved or just dirt I always expose the spikes to help hold the tripod solid.

Good Luck and have fun.


This site and are being prepared to be reworked.  New images will be added and the idea of retail sales has been put on the table. The sites will be updated to reflect the way the sites are visited. Studio 1 Magazine is a separate legal entity from me and this site. It has its own rules and policies. I am currently looking into having someone else handle that site.

The chat rooms will be added back. See new page in the page list for future articles and comments including the next articles under consideration and general notes about the site and its future

The galleries on both sites will require registration to view the full galleries. Articles will be a short summary with registration a requirement for full articles. The lessons will be open for all to see without registrations.  Your comments, concerns and input are welcome. Privacy, usage and copyright policies are also being reviewed.

The inquires concerning copyright cases will not be addressed on this site. See for further information as it will be addressed there when appropriate.

With that said most information of all kinds will be posted as it becomes available.

Comments on sales of prints via sell media or e-commerce are welcome as both are being looked into at this time. A pricing matrix has yet to be addressed.  Prints are not licenses so there will have to be some work on both to complete the matrix. Please use the Contact/Comments page for your responses.

UPDATE: You may experience different looking themes as we try new ones for the site. The looks may be very strange as some will not work with the current theme to show a preview. They will require a complete install to preview. Articles and images may not appear. This will be a short lived item on each theme tested. The current goal is to test a theme for a couple of days and then change to a new one with several in line to be tested.

March 17, 2016

Interesting:  Seems my phone number has been put into a system that puts it out for public record which is no big deal as I have posted it on the magazine site before. It is interesting that a person named Dowd is using it. The record shows he lives in the Denver metro area. I have his full name and street address. Interesting since the company I went to get something I bought from them fixed could not find me or my purchase until I handed them a copy of the invoice and then it got interesting. I had been deleted out of the system that uses the phone number to track customers. Funny it happened during a time as was not in Colorado or at one of their stores across the nation.

The idea of reviewing movies that I did a while back has been brought up again. Thanks but I am not sure I want to do that. I will say I have seen some really good ones and some real stinkers. I seen one this week that I liked because of a fresh look. It was called RISEN. Nicely done well photographed and an interesting take of the story. If I do go back and review some movies and my opinion of them it will be on the Studio 1 Magazine site not here. It would be back in the place the originals were done as a page not as an article.