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Pictures of Lightning Over Taos, New Mexico – My Shot(s) of the Day – June 14, 2013

pictures of lightning


A fairly strong set of thunderstorms moved through Taos yesterday afternoon and into the evening making for a rather awesome display of lightning once the sun went down.  I shot all four of these pictures of lightning between 855pm and 915pm (June 13, 2013)  from the northern end of Millicent Rogers Road.  All pictures look south over the town and into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

This was my first SUCCESSFUL attempt and taking pictures of lightning.  How did I do it?


pictures of lightning

Well, first of all, I’ve been playing with this on and off for about two years.  I’m not swift but I did  get there.

I set up the camera (mine is a Nikon D3000) on the tripod so it would be steady while I was taking pictures that would require the shutter to be open for long periods of time.  To take pictures of lightning you have to find just the right amount of time to leave the shutter open so that you have enough time to capture the lightening strike but not so long that you drown out the picture by letting in too much light.  I spent about ten minutes doing test shots to figure out where I wanted the shutter speed.  I decided on 10 seconds.

pictures of lightning

I also messed around wtih the f stop and eventually landed on f/8. I took the camera off of auto focus and turned the focus ring to the infinity position.  Then I was ready to go.  I fired off several dozen 10 second shots.  A number of them turned out great.  A number of them turned out black or with just the lights of the town.

There is alot more to learn on this.  I need to fiddle with the white balance and the focusing as well as getting the camera into bulb mode for extended exposures.

If the thunder rumbles I’ll be back out there tonight.

pictures of lightning


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