Thursday, June 03, 2004

I got the lightning horses

Mark M. Hancock / © The Dallas Morning News

Horse statues appear to contemplate the lightning strikes near the intersection of Plano Parkway and Windhaven Parkway in The Colony on Wednesday, June 2, 2004.

I got some lightning behind the horses I discussed yesterday. It's not as much as I had hoped for, but "ya can’t always get what ya want." I got what I needed before the last edition ran off the press.

It ran in inside in B&W. It was too late for other placements. I’m hoping it makes the cover of the Denton/Lewisville section as well to get some color and space. I know as it has no chance in clip competition as a B&W image.

Drivers must have thought I was crazy shaking my fists and yelling at the sky when I finally got a burst where I wanted it. I was pleased.

Lightning is like fireworks. It's all about the foreground. Anyone with a tripod can shoot a 30 second exposure of a skyline and get a few bursts of lightning or fireworks by the end of a roll of film. However, if the foreground is interesting, then the dead areas of the frame can be filled with the extra element of light.
By choosing the right foreground element and stopping down far enough to have depth of field without diminishing the light too much (f/8 is good), the whole frame becomes useful. Then it’s like fishing.

Since July 4th is approaching, those wanting to try out this idea could give it a go. There are three big advantages to fireworks over lightning:
1) You know where the fireworks will hit
2) Fireworks have far more color variation
3) Death is less probable

If you decide to incorporate a foreground element with firework or lightning shots, consider metering the foreground element(s) about a stop under required light. This draws attention to the lights and make the image more moody. It also covers any miscalculations when the light from the sky adds to the foreground element light. If shooting digitally, season to taste.

Enough for now,

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