11 Tips for Capturing that Perfect Storm
There’s nothing in nature more beautiful than a thunderstorm, so being able to capture it with a Canon camera is an amazing feat. Sadly, not many photographers know how to do it right. Just taking a picture of a storm isn’t enough – you must also capture the magic and beauty of the storm.
To get you started, here are eleven tips:
1. Watch The Weather Channel Ahead Of Time
Know what you’re getting yourself into! Severe weather can be dangerous. A photo isn’t worth getting yourself killed over. If the weather channel warns of extreme weather, be careful. Go to an area you’re familiar with and stay in a safe spot.
2. Keep A Filter On Your Lenses
Filters are easier to replace than lenses. If the wind picks up, it could hurl something at your camera. Have filters on the lens for protection. While you’re at it, keep a polarizing filter on hand. It’ll reduce reflection if you have to shoot through a window.
3. Don’t Forget The Tripod
If you want to get a good photo of lightning at night, it’s good to have a tripod. Weigh it down with something heavy to keep it from being knocked over by the wind. Set the aperture to its highest setting and put your lens on infinite zoom when taking photos at night.
4. You Know You’re Going To Get Wet, Right?
Dress appropriately for the storm! Wear your goulashes and raincoat and set up an umbrella over your gear. Wear some cargo pants with tons of pockets for keeping blank media, lens caps and filters.
5. Full Manual Settings
Automatic settings are not your friend when it comes to taking storm photos. There is usually too much glare. Take a digital photography class to learn how to work your camera. There are also tutorial videos online that show the basics of working a digital camera.
6. Don’t Go Home As Soon As The Storm Ends
You might be able to capture a rainbow when the sun comes back out. The photo opportunities don’t go away as soon as it stops raining.
7. Don’t Forget Macro Photography
Focus on a raindrop. A simple raindrop can make a beautiful picture – especially if it lands on a flower or a leaf. Look for reflections in a drop and turn your macro settings on.
8. Keep The Camera Stabilised
In a storm, the light does all kinds of weird things. It might not be possible for you to take good pictures if the camera isn’t stabilised. The wind will also give you problems – even if you are using a tripod. Hang something like a bag off the tripod to hold it down.
9. Don’t Just Snap, Snap, Snap – Try To Compose Your Shots
It’s easy to get carried away when things are getting exciting. Remember to be patient. Consider what will make a good picture. How are you going to compose your shots? What will make an interesting foreground? What elements are you going to include in your image?
10. Aim For Lightning Whenever You Can
The best time to take pictures of lightning is at night. Set the aperture from mid to high. The ISO should be low. Go with a long shutter speed in the beginning and change it as you go along.
11. Don’t Pack Too Much Equipment
The lighter, the better. You will need the following: camera, standard lens, filters, tripod, and wide angle lens. They should fit in a backpack. You can keep lens cloths in your pockets.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to take better photos of that perfect storm!