Please critique these lightning photos!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by LoneWolf121188, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. LoneWolf121188 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    #1
    Took some shots in my backyard of the thunderstorm last night...all are ISO 100, 30 seconds, with a 16mm fisheye at f/2.8. Some Photoshopping afterwards.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks, everyone!
     
  2. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Location:
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    #2
    The third photo is amazing. It is very powerful! BOOOOM! :eek:
     
  3. LoneWolf121188 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    #3
    You think so? I think compositionally, it's very...awkward. idk, it kinda looks like some multi-legged beast about to fall over or something...
     
  4. ksz macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #4
    Another vote for the 3rd photo. It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, as if an alien spaceship is hovering in that bright spot. This is the first time I've seen a picture of a cluster of lightning bolts, all of them vertical, and all of them emanating from a common bright source.

    Here's some critique:

    1. First, these are good shots. You were in the right place at the right time.

    2. I don't think fisheye is the best lens choice. I know you wanted to cover a large area because you never know where the next bolt is going to come from. However, 24mm (FF equivalent) might have been sufficient. It would have produced less barrel distortion.

    3. Straighten the horizon, particularly in shots 1 and 3.

    4. Because lightning is the subject and is already bright, I would suggest darkening the whole image gradually until the foreground and clouds are dimmer. Photo 1 has darker background and clouds, which adds to the visual excitement. Photos 2, 3, and 4 are overexposed.

    5. The photos seems slightly blurry. Gradually apply a sharpening filter, but be careful never to over-sharpen.

    6. In Photo 1 there is a little baby lightning bolt on the far right. Crop it out to focus on the main bolt.

    7. Photo 2 is centered between two strikes: a very interesting "bridge" or letter-H on the left and high-altitude horizontal strikes on the right. However, the left pillar of the bridge is cut off a little above the ground. That's a shame. If both pillars were fully in view and centered in the frame, it would have been wonderful.

    Finally, it's good to see people giving the P button a rest and doing some manual or Bulb exposures.
     
  5. benlangdon macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #5
    sorry but "p button"?

    i think there should be more clouds, there intense. like photo's 2 and 4

    just wondering,
    how did you figure out where to point?
    and how many pic's did you take all together.

    it would be awesome to just set up a bunch of camera's in a circle so they could be stitched together (at least part of it), and of course all be operated by one control ;)
     
  6. ksz macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #6
    I thought about editing the post and changing it to "P mode", but I figured everyone is smart enough to know what I meant.
     
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #7
    i too like the 3rd one, looks like a greater power coming from above!!

    i also like the 2nd and 4th one, they contrast perfectly :)

    great job
     
  8. benlangdon macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #8
    w/e, i don't know anything about camera's.
    ya i just saw the thread on the "new posts"

    o and to answer the op's question.
    i think the light is good for the clouds in all except the first.
    but the scenery could be a bit darker.
    i think that house light is ... distracting?
     
  9. ksz macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #9
    ^^^ It's sometimes hard to distinguish sarcasm from sincerity in an online forum. Anyway, P mode is fully-automatic or Programmed mode in which the camera selects shutter speed and aperture, often based on various algorithms programmed into its firmware. Nikon DSLRs split the scene into just over 1000 segments and compare the segments against an internal database to determine the best shutter speed and aperture. In addition to shutter speed and aperture, many cameras also choose ISO automatically.

    Here's a shot I found on Google that has been nicely sharpened. It's a 10 second exposure with the Toronto CN Tower off to the right. One of the bolts is striking the tower.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Chappers macrumors 68020

    Chappers

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Location:
    At home
    #10
    Hope you don't mind I tweaked a couple of yours to give them a slightly darker mood. Sharpened them a bit, adjusted contrast, temperature etc all in iPhoto as its quick and easy.

    I particularly like your 3rd picture - the first one I've reposted here - play with them a bit or if you love them as they are ...... well keep them as they are.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. LoneWolf121188 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    #11
    Thank you for all the feedback! I actually cropped most of the photos a bit to get better composition. Interesting what everyone was saying about darkening the foreground...I actually lightened it a bit to give it more detail. Specifically, in Lightroom: Recovery: 70, Fill Light: 63, Blacks: 8, Brightness: +6, Contrast: +100, Clarity: +100, Vibrance: +4. For the tone curve, I cut the highlights completely (-100) and moved the highlight slider all the way to the left. I'll admit though, it was a lot of trial and error...here's the untouched (except JPEG -> RAW conversion) original, if anyone's curious.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Chappers macrumors 68020

    Chappers

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Location:
    At home
    #12
    I just love the clouds on this - untouched - yep the lightning is over exposed - I'd tone that down a bit but otherwise I love it.
     

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