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Andy K

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Hi, just a quick intro, my name is Andy (no! really?), I have been a 'hobbyist' photographer for close on thirty years. In that time I have managed to become in no way an expert!

I use several different cameras all 35mm format. A couple of old Zenit SLRs, a more recent Praktica SLR, a couple of Olympus compacts (an XA2 and a mju zoom) and my first camera an old Zorki 4K rangefinder which is still giving sterling service after all these years! I like to experiment with photographs, ie attempting to photograph lightning (never yet managed it!) or long exposures of clouds crossing the moon. I also like landscape, architectural and plain old documentary photography. Lets be honest, I just like taking photographs!

I am relatively new to the internet (only been online for 10 months) and in that time I have been a member of a couple of other 'photography' forums. However, I have recently become disillusioned with the prevalance of digital 'photography' and digital manipulation. I don't know how well this will be percieved on APUG but my aversion to digital also extends to the use of Photoshop and similar programs. (you should see the seven(!) pages of protest and personal attacks against me on one particular forum when I said I didn't like photoshop!) I guess my view is, how do you learn to take photographs, how do you learn from mistakes, if you have Photoshop and its' ilk to fix things all the time?

I prefer photos which were achieved using a camera, film and the developing process.

Anyhow, thats me, and thats my view of photography. Hope I'm not too extreme in my views for you all! It took me a long time to find an analogue photography forum, I really don't want to rock the boat here!
 

BWGirl

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Hi Andy!

I'm from Wisconsin, US. One year they had a great tourism slogan that I think fits perfectly here so I will *modify* it to fit...

"Welcome to APUG! You're among friends!"

Wow with all those cameras! I hope you do not lug all of them around with you! haha You know I think there's someone on this list who has taken some phenomenal shots of lightning. He took them over a mining area. I'll let you know if I remember who it is!

Jeanette
 

papagene

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Andy,
Welcome aboard. [:smile:]
Your views on digital photography are like preaching to the choir here. That is why we are all here. We share your love for the tradition, skill, craft and final product, the photograph, tangible and beautiful.
gene
 
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Andy K

Andy K

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Thanks for the welcome folks!

Any info on lightning photography would be gratefully recieved! I figure it's easy enough to shoot lightning at night as you can use the B setting and hope the camera is pointing the right way. However, shooting lightning in daylight is another matter entirely!

Who knows, I may finally after all these years get really adventurous and set up my own b+w darkroom too!

Having seen the quality of photograph in the various galleries here, I must admit joining is somewhat daunting! I hope I can do the site justice!
 

Leon

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hello from just over the estuary in Kent ... good to have you here
 

roy

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Welcome. I hope you enjoy this forum.
 

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Andy K said:
However, shooting lightning in daylight is another matter entirely!

Whoo! First of all, I'd use a camera with a really fast winder. I'd probably prefer to have a huge magazine as well, so I could put one whole 30m roll of film in it. Then sit and wait for a whopping great storm :wink: . I guess you would ideally like the "landscape" to be about one to two stops underexposed to emphasise the lightning. That normally means shurt shutter times, which reduces the chance of actually catching the lightning. Human reflexes aren't exactly lightning fast... Or you could use long shutter times, which means small aperture, slow film and probably a couple of ND filters. I don't know if lightning is bright enough to show up clearly on top of a 1-minute exposure, but that's where I'd start. Unless I were shooting movie, of course...


Anyway: Welcome to APUG, and I hope you'll enjoy us here :tongue:
 

glbeas

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Lightning is bright enough to show up at any f stop you use. I think the best way to do lightning is time exposures, so a small aperture is used. I usually check the timing of the bursts and if it is close to regular in that area of the sky (and it often is) I use that as a basis for when to start the exposure. Fer' instance I see an approximate 30 second space between bursts I'll count twenty seconds then open the shutter. Close when you see enough light in the sky to suit you.
 
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Andy K

Andy K

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Thanks for the tips people. I will use them on my next attempt. :smile: I was also thinking I would shoot using B+W with a red filter to help slow down the shutter speed.

I have some 25 and 50ASA film on order. I have wet weather gear in the back of the car, plastic bag, tape and tripod ready for the camera. I have a hilltop with a ruined castle ready (I figure that is my best locale for lightning shots as the lightning would be more likely to strike the castle than it would me!)...

now, if anyone has a tip for conjuring up a doozy of a storm... ;-)
 

Graeme Hird

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Andy,

I must disagree with those who are suggesting a small apperture and long exposure during daylight hours. I've done that a few times and always been disappointed with the results.

Just as during the evening, an aperture of around f5.6 or f8 (with 100 iso film) is needed to capture the lightning as a bright flash. A smaller aperture may be used if the lightning is REALLY close, but you shouldn't aim to be that close anyway, for safety reasons.

I have tried often to capture lightning during the day, with little success due to my lack of lightning reflexes. My one successful day (see http://www.goldeneyephoto.com/Evolution/index.html) came about because the lightning was strobing several times over a second on each strike.

I recommend setting your camera to f5.6 or f8 and exposure times of 1/8s or 1/15s and hope your reflexes and the type of lightning work for you. You might also fork out for one of those lightning triggers that opens the shutter for you (saving about 0.3 seconds of delay). Captures are rare and often disappointing, but you will work that out for yourself with time. The best shots are always after the sun has set, when you can use the right aperture and a long exposure time.

Now, to conjour up a storm, plan a wedding for the day and place that you want to photograph ......

Graeme
 
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Andy K

Andy K

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Thank you for the advice Graeme. Those are some truly stunning photographs. I love the Australian landscape, it is so wonderfully photogenic. I visited Australia in the late eighties and my only regret is I only took a compact snapshot camera. The thinking being to save on luggage weight as at the time the only other camera I had was my Zorki, not a lightweight! What a fool I was! This I realised once I was walking around Uluru and the Olgas!

As for the lightning I think I'll hedge my bets and experiment with all the various methods suggested here. Thanks again for your tip!

And also hello Sparx and thanks for the welcome!
 

Graeme Hird

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Hi Andy,

Feel free to ignore my advice - it's worth what you paid for it.

When it comes time to analyse why your shots aren't working with long exposures and small apertures, think about how the exposure of lightning on the film is reliant solely on the aperture. The exposure is essentially instantaneous, so the exposure value on the film relies on the aperture and the film speed (a bit like flash photography). Trying to cheat the laws of physics is a mug's game, and you can't get bright lightning through a small aperture - no matter how long your shutter is open for.

Anyway, have fun burning film. It's the best way to learn. Stay safe ....

Cheers,
Graeme
 
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Andy K

Andy K

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Hmmm, perhaps there is a misunderstanding here. I meant I will try all the methods suggested in this thread including yours Graeme. I'm a suck it and see kind of person, so I'll try every method to find which I am happiest with! Having seen your results, that is probably the first I will try. When we finally get a good storm that is!

Andy
 

Graeme Hird

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My apologies Andy - it's a failing of mine to sometimes go in too hard when it's not warrented. I did that here. Sorry.

I was thinking last night about how better to get my point across (without being confrontational) and came up with the comparison between night shots of lightning and those from daylight hours. The lightning doesn't get brighter during the day compared to at night, so you need to use the same apertures as those you would choose at night. Thus if you want to get the base exposure correct (ie that for ambient light) you'll need to use a short exposure time.

In any case, do have fun trying out different methods. Lightning photography is anything but boring when you're out there making the images. Good luck with it.

Cheers,
Graeme
 
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Andy K

Andy K

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No worries Graeme! And thanks!
 

Leon

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hey, Andy - was last night stormy enough for you? I'm not sure if anyone was mad enough to have been out in that!
 
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Andy K

Andy K

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Hi Leon, we only caught the edge of it here in Southend. We had a couple of lightning strikes, (one so close I thought my windows were going to come in!) but not enough for me to photograph, by the time I was walking out the door it was over!
Hopefully it'll get worse today, although looking out the window at these clear blue skies I'm not so sure!
It is one of the peculiarities of living in Southend. Because we are on the Estuary we have some kind of 'micro-climate' and always seem to escape the worst of the weather in summer. In winter it is reversed and we get snow when the rest of the county is dry!
Still, fingers crossed eh? :smile:

And Fintan, thanks for the link, very informative!


Andy.
 
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Leon

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Andy K said:
Hopefully it'll get worse today, although looking out the window at these clear blue skies I'm not so sure!

I love photography ... when else can you hear us Englanders saying such things about the weather??? :smile:
 

Annemarieke

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When I'm staying with my friends in Scotland, we always say it is too nice to do any good photography. What we want is 'interesting' weather!

Ah, photography is so lovely...

Better watch yourself guys, when going out in lightning. Only a few days ago, my brother (a vet) had to go and pronounce a cow that got struck by lightning.Bit scary, that.
 
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Andy K

Andy K

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It's a good thing I'm not a cow then, eh? :wink:

Seriously, I have a couple of vantage points planned, both of which have high structures which are more likely to take a strike than me!

Andy.
 

Leon

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well Andy - your wish was granted ... we are all flooded out here in Ramsgate
 
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