The Null Device

Atmospheric phenomena

A moderately successful attempt to photograph last night's rather impressive thunderstorm (digital camera, long exposure):

And, in contrast, tonight's sunset, over Brunswick St.:

There are 5 comments on "Atmospheric phenomena":

Posted by: richard http://mechanicalcat.net/richard/log Wed Dec 3 23:04:23 2003

Don't suppose anyone snarfed a copy of the BoM's radar image from during the storms? I was settling Abbey at the time, so no chance for me to take photos or grab remote sensing imagery :(

Posted by: toby http:// Wed Dec 3 23:44:04 2003

If you're going to do this, you should meter off black sky, and then underexpose by 3-4 stops (= divide the shutter speed by 8 or 16). That way you'll get a sky that actually looks like night. You'll want to have either bulb mode, exposure compensation, or manual exposure mode on your digital camera.

I think choosing a narrow aperture is also going to be worthwhile, because it'll be easier to get a long exposure & thus have a better chance of capturing (>1) lightning strikes.

The other thing you could do is try using this:

http://www.robert-barrett.com/photo/exposure_calculator.html

The Kodak professional photoguide also has pretty much all the information you could need. I had a couple of really good books on exposure in the UK, but I left them there.

If you experiment, and get good results, please say how you got them; I'd be very interested to know. Night photography is a real pain in the behind.

Posted by: richard http://mechanicalcat.net/richard/log Thu Dec 4 00:19:26 2003

And of course the neat part about using a digital camera for all this is the immediate feedback on whether you exposed correctly or not :)

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Thu Dec 4 04:27:18 2003

I set my camera to ISO 50, and tried various long exposures (5s to 15s); this may have been one of the shorter ones. Though I didn't use manual aperture control; next time I'll remember to do so.

Posted by: Ben http://forum.carderplanet.com Thu Dec 4 05:55:19 2003

The age has some rather nice reader pics of the storm:

http://www.theage.com.au/photogallery/2003/12/03/1070351628230.html



And thanks for all the letters, cards and calls of concern, I didn't get flooded by about an inch (and thanks to a myseriously-opened Telstra pit which swallowed a lot of water). The cafe next door wasn't so lucky, their front is basically a screen door over a street-level floor, so they had filthy water all through the place and out the kitchen at the back too.

Still, it's better than those poor wretches in Station St!