Maximise Lens Time 01-Setting Expectations

December 24, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


This shot was caught right at the end of the storm.  It was hurried, I got lucky with timing.  I had missed the best part of the storm...

The Electric CrownFork lightning over Erdek Bay, Turkey

f/8 - 8secs - 15mm - ISO1600

Photographing lightning has, and still is, on my photography bucket list.  I got this OK image but I am not happy with it!  I need to try again.  I used the technique of a long exposure and a black cloth.  Press the shutter release and if a flash happens during the exposure, cover the lens to block all other light.  I understand that this makes the lightning stand out more.  This flash was almost the last of the storm.  Flashes had become intermittent and the duration between flashes was becoming longer and longer.  I had actually given up hope.  It had been a great storm over the sea, so, together with the headland and islands, it made for quite a nice composition.  If I had caught it.

The image was taken much earlier.  It's a composite of 6 or 7 images made while the storm was approaching. 

All at seaA composite image of distance flashes over Erdek Bay, Turkey

All images were at f/16 - 2 secs - 24mm - ISO800.

As you see, the storm was well out at sea.  Between the images that make up this composite, and the main image above, I had to leave.

I could have remained down on the rocks of the harbour wall watching the storm come closer and being more and more active...but I had to leave.  Dinner!  Yes, dinner!  Not a celebration, but just an evening meal.  I could have cancelled...but plans had been made.  From the restaurant I could see the lightning becoming more and more dramatic.  I sat chewing slowly, thinking about what could have been...

Here then is the tip to help enthusiasts maximise their limited time behind the lens...

Have a plan B in case the fantastic happens!

Sounds simple and logical, but I didn't have one.  The family were expecting to eat at a set time, so I couldn't keep them waiting.  The opportunity was missed.  I had checked the weather, I knew a storm was possible.  My folks (and in-folks) are all great people that understand my desire for my hobby...I could have warned the family that I may not be able to join them until later, or to at least, start without me.  Or a Plan C to use a restaurant that had a clear view of the storm, two birds one stone.

By not preparing for the possible, the opportunity was missed.  

Ah well...I am sure there will be another storm.  I'll be ready next time!!!

Do you have any tips about how to balance normal life and the camera?  Have you had a similar experience?

Please share your comments!


Best wishes, a Merry Christmas and a very happy 2018!

The Frustrated Photog.



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