The most important thing to keep in mind when photographing lightning is your safety. Never take any chances when lightning is nearby, and always photograph from the inside of a building or an automobile. If you approach lightning safely here are some tips.

Suggested equipment:
• A sturdy tripod
• A cable release
• A lens that will provide a wide angle (increasing your chance of getting a lightning strike in the frame.)
• A lens cleaner (any dust or dirt will show up in your photos)

Look for isolated storm cells or the storms that are just in front of a cold front so anticipating the weather patterns will get ahead. Consider the composition and even have some places or areas that tend to get storm regularly in mind, include something of interest in the photo besides just the lightning. Use your tripod and cable release for the longer shutter speeds that will improve your chances of catching a strike.

For a little help with your lightning images check out the Lightning Trigger which trips your shutter when it detects lightning. The Lightning Trigger releases the shutter when it’s activated by Lightning. You just have to have the camera set and the image composed and let the Lightning Trigger do the work. Lightning Trigger’s website suggests camera settings to help you get the image you want. When considering the $329 price tag, don’t forget you will need the camera specific cable that will cost up to $30 depending on camera brand.

—Melissa Macatee
Contributing Blogger