Thunder on Notre dame – how to shoot lightning

Sometimes, you have to practice very hard to get a picture you like, and sometimes… well it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time ūüėÄ

That particular day I hadn’t planed to shoot anything, but I happened to have my camera with¬†me. The plan was to join several of my friends visiting Paris and have a few drinks on the quays. It’s always nice out there during warm evenings, people gather, drink, chat, play music and so on…

As the light of the day just started dimming, those really dark clouds covered the city. The red light you see in the background here comes from a tour boat, they tend to blind you or ruin your cityscape (a lot) but sometimes it ends up giving an interesting mood to your picture. DSC_4418-1

Lightning began to strike here and there, and we were expecting a good old rain-poor but luckily nothing came, we could stay and enjoy the show. I like this atmosphere a lot, you can feel electricity in the air and the sky look so powerful.

As the storm was closing in, I grabbed two accessories from my bag¬†: a table tripod and a remote control. After framing and setting my camera (100 ISO, 2s Exposures, ~f/8), I just left it¬†in place, and started hitting the remote’s button. Doing so I could enjoy the company of my friends while taking pictures.

Soon the sky was almost filled with lightning, hundreds of strikes fell down in an hour or so, some of them were really impressive. I took around 150 pictures to catch the one I wanted.

When this one struck¬†I knew my shutter was opened, and I was so thrilled, I quickly grabbed my camera¬†to see the picture on the screen ūüôā DSC_4525-1

Then the storm slowly started fading away, letting us see the last sunlights of the day (or blue hour). DSC_4529-1

It was truly an amazing night, and the lesson I took from this is : if you want to shoot good things, try to have a camera with you most of the time. If you enjoy shooting as much as I do, it wont get in the way of how you enjoy the moment, it will only make it better.

After that it started raining huge hailstones (golf ball sized)¬†ūüôā
I was very lucky with those few pictures.

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