Joseph Matthews Lightning Photography site logo
Gallery Images How to photograph lightning About Joseph Matthews

  How to photograph lightning

Lightning, Gateway Arch
Lightning provides a dramtic backdrop for the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.
This photo required six different storms over two years to capture. Persistence is the key.

©1980 Joseph Matthews
Storms that give you great shooting opportunities may not happen often. It may be a year or more before you have a cell in the right place and the right time. But if you have planned, you will be ready and there when it moves through. Be prepared to go on a moments notice

Is the camera gear and fresh film packed and always ready? Tripod and umbrella in the trunk? Your local map marked with notes and in the car? Life insurance paid up?

Once you have hit your position, be prepared to hurry up and wait. You may not get the shot you want the first time. This photo required six different storms over two years to capture. Occasionally you can get the photo the first time, but usually you won't be happy with the results the first time around and will need to fine-tune your planning. Persistence is the key.

Often you will get good cells but nothing near a scouted location. Grab the map and get out in front of that cell. This is more like stalking than planning but it can be fun and will get you practice with the camera and exposure. After all, planning may be key, but luck helps.

< Previous Next >

Home | Gallery | How to photograph lightning | Safety | Bio |

©2002 ParkSites, All Rights Reserved
Please feel free to contact us for commercial use of these photographs.
Site designed and produced by ParkSites