The Easiest Method for Photography of lightning strikes step by step

In this article, we will talk in a simple and easy way about photographing lightning strikes, which we usually see in the form of lightning, or we may see thunderbolts striking the ground or high areas. We will talk about technology, equipment, method, settings, and tips for getting out in a professional lightning photography.

First: equipment

In photographing lightning strikes, we need two things:

  1. – A digital camera (regardless of lens type)
  2. A Tripod

Shooting method:

In the midst of a rainstorm, go ahead and locate the place where the lightning strikes are frequent. Place the camera on the tripod and point it to that area. We will list the settings needed to photograph lightning in order:


The focus will be in manual mode, and we will focus on a luminous building about 600 meters or more away, or use the infinite fox in the lenses (similar to the number 8 but upside down).

Photography of lightning strikes


It is preferred that the ISO value does not exceed the value of 800,


We need a narrow aperture, i.e. with a high number, and in our case we usually use approximately 5.6 (we do not need insulation here).

Photography of lightning strikes

Shutter speed

We’ll be using a shutter speed of 30 seconds, and you might be wondering why so long ?!

Here the secret lies in the method of photography

Photography of lightning strikes

Let’s Begin

Let’s shoot on slow shuttering with a two-second timer setting so that no vibration is visible, then we press the shutter button, then wait, holding our hands, the lens cap or any cardboard that is black and doesn’t let in light.

Does it sound strange up to here?

When we press the shutter button, we are in standby mode, and as soon as we see the lightning bolt, we rush to cover the lens and set the time

(Remaining 30 seconds) passes and the lens is completely closed.

Why do we do this?

When we shoot at a slow shutter speed, any light or flash that occurs during a certain part of time will not usually appear in the image, and the camera will completely ignore it, nor as if something happened!

But when we detected the lightning bolt and covered the lens, the last light that entered the sensor was the apparent light from the thunderbolt, so the solution to the camera not to ignore this light that occurred within a short period of time is to cover it immediately after the flash.


  1. White Balance is important. If we choose fluorescent, clouds and lightning will appear in purple.
  2. It is preferable to shoot in RAW format so that the white balance and the lighting are adjusted freely.
  3. A group of cards must be provided with the photographers and a black card is one of these cards, a dark black card that does not allow light to pass through.
  4. Photographs from inside the house and do not go outside, even if the camera and lens are covered with a special rain cover (to ensure safety from lightning strikes, especially in open areas).
  5. When covering the lens, cover it quickly, but be careful not to shake the camera.
  6. In order to come out with a wonderful scene, try to make some elements in the picture, which means not to make the image only thunderbolt.
  7. You must try again and again, you are not satisfied with one image. Repeat the ball several times, and you are not afraid of cropping while modifying the programs.
  8. A lightning bolt hit this tree, causing it to explode in one of the American regions. The pieces were thrown 50 feet away from the trunk, which is why you must seek shelter away from trees or any of the high poles during thunderstorms.

And we photographed White Balance (Florascent), so the whole image would appear from the color of the thunderbolt, but photographing it in RAW format allows us to adjust the white balance for each area as you see in the picture.

An example of photographing lightning strikes in cities

Anyone who owns a camera can shoot a photo similar to this, or even more professional