Lightning Photos: How'd I Do That?

Taking lightning photos is actually easy.  Unless you have super human lightning fast reflexes (no pun intended) it is almost impossible to catch a lightning strike by just point and shooting.
Here is what you need:
-A camera that you can set the shutter for a long exposure, Using the manual setting is good, one that has a Bulb setting is better.
-A tripod is a must!  Don't have a tripod, grab a bag of dried beans and find a solid surface.  Place your beans on the surface and then place your camera on the beans.
-If you have a remote for your camera, use it.
-A safe place- keep in mind your tripod is probably made out of metal so you are a good target if standing in an open field
My equipment for these photos
Canon 5D Mark II, Tamaron f2/8 24-70mm, Manfrotto tripod
Camera settings:
Shutter was set at 30 seconds, I could not find my remote, or I would of used the Bulb setting.  For those unfamiliar with the bulb setting, as long as you hold the shutter release button down, your shutter remains open.  Holding the button down with your hand for a long period of time will cause camera shake.
Since I was not using a remote I also set the camera timer for a 2 second delay, or else when I removed my hand after hitting the shutter button it was also cause camera shake.
ISO was set at 200, Since the shutter is open for such a long time, you are letting in alot of light.
Apeture was set at f/11
I use white balance on sunny, as I like the purple color I get.  If you want it redder changed it to cloudy.
I took these within a ten minute time period, one downfall of using the 30 second shutter setting vs the bulb setting is everytime the 30 second was over and the shutter closed  a perfect bolt of lightning covered the sky- Murphy;s Law I guess.  Since I was not able to use the bulb setting, in the last photo I combined some of the photos in Photoshop, just to see what it would look like- did this very quickly and it is not a very good photoshop example

For my safety, I set up on my back porch, which gave me cover and a good wind block. Wind can cause camera shake if your tripod isn't steady enough.
 Always consider your safety first.  

Want to learn more on photography, be sure to sign up for lessons.  Your vaction is just aound the corner- WOW your friends and create great memories with great photos!