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Questions for the Experts


Danoinark

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Rolan or others I spent tonight trying to get a picture of some lightning with my digital Kodak Z720. It seems to be full featured and is 6.5 megs. I think I tried every setting available except manual settings and I came up with nothing. Is there anyway to do this with a digital? Thanks Dano

Glass Has Class

"from the laid back lane in the Arkansas Ozarks"

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From what I hear getting pictures of lightning can be very difficult if not nearly impossible. Probably just have to keep trying. JMO

I would rather be fishin'.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." Benjamin Franklin, 1759

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Dano,

This is very difficult due to the brief period that the lighting is visible. By the time the brian (at least mine) tells my fingers to push the button, then I react and push the button, then the camera shutter opens, the storm has past and the sun is out.

I have taken a few photos of lightening. I a heavy storm period, you can time the flashes and get lucky. Tough, but the only way I can take photos with my $ 100 camera.

Good luck.

" Too many hobbies to work" - "Must work to eat and play"

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Dano, the guys are right, it's pretty tough getting pictures of the light show. I've had my best luck setting my camera on the "sport" mode. The one that will take pictures, one after the other, as long as you hold the button down. In doing this the guessing game gets a bit easier. Try to anticipate and hit the button. Or, once a flash goes off, hit the button and hope another comes along pretty quick. the one draw back is that it drains your memory pretty fast. But, you can delete the blank pictures just about as fast as you get them.

John

Born to Fish, Forced to Work

KSMEDIC.COM

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probably best w/ a tripod and turn the flash off as it's only effective for about 10 or so feet. You might read the manual and see it says anything about fireworks. You probably just have to guess and set it to be open for as long as possible. The tripod will keep you from jiggling w/ a slow aperture. It's possible that I just made all of that up, so if Roland says differently, listen to him.

“Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” Henry David Thoreau

Visit my web site @ webfreeman.com for information on freelance web design.

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Dano:

Trying to take a picture of lightening using normal picture taking modes won't work. You can't trip the shutter fast enough to catch the speed of the lightening flash.

This would be very easy if using an older film camera that readily provides for time exposures. You'll have to review your users manual to understand the capabilities of your camera for this use.

What you need to do is find a method that will keep the shutter open for a few seconds.

Best method is to use a manual time-exposure. You must use a tripod for this technique and the sky should be fairly dark. Point the camera in the direction wanted and hold down the shutter button for several seconds. (The camera shutter remains open when the shutter button is pressed down.)

WebFreeman suggested a fireworks setting and that should work.

Don't use the flash setting as it will not help at all.

Good luck and let us know about your results.

Rolan

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Thanks gents for the suggestions and comments. I do have that fireworks setting on this camera. Rolan I can set the camera for manual settings but agreed I will have to read the manual to see the capabilities.

Dano

Glass Has Class

"from the laid back lane in the Arkansas Ozarks"

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Dano, assuming your digital camera has the option (in manual mode) of opening the shutter and leaving it open

indefinately...

As mentioned previous, set the camera on a tripod, pointed in the direction you have seen recent lightning activity,

select a high f-stop, then put a black cloth over the lens (or camera if it is small). Then (with the small f-stop opening) you have more time to leave the cloth off the lens when you anticipate activity.

Depending on the ambiant light in the area, I have left the cloth off for 30 seconds or more at a time.

Will take some experimentation to avoid the "noise" expressed in low light digital exposure.

I have successfully used this technique many times.

B)

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Can you do a movie, and then pick frames? I haven't used that feature on mine, but the wife ran a short take of some kids and you could pick individual frames?

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

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Wayne:

I can't help you on this as i haven't used a movie mode. Someone did say this was possible. I would be concerned about the quality of the picture because of the rapidly moving frames.

Suggest you send an email to the camera manufacturer and ask them.

Let us know what you learn.

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