Posted by: Terry Mayer
in Terry's Blog on August 24, 2009
I should do a whole photo story on photographs I take out the back door of the house. The lightening photo that I posted a few posts ago was shot a few steps out the back door. For this one, I never left our kitchen.
This is a weather vein along our fence in the back yard around 25 feet from our house. On this night I had gone out running and while I was out, the sky lit up with lightening. It made for an awesome show in the night time twilight. While running, I was trying to think how I could get a photo of the lightning in the sky. Just a photo of the sky wouldn't cut it. I needed something in the foreground.
By the time I got home nothing really came to me. The ideas that I had would require some set up which would take some time. Since it was starting to sprinkle, I gave up on those ideas, but as I went to the kitchen to get a drink I could see the weather vein silhouetted against the lightning. I knew that was what I wanted.
I ran upstairs to get a tripod but couldn't find a head for it. With the storm moving pass fast I had little time. I ran back down to the kitchen, turning off the lights and grabbing my camera on the way. I always keep my 80-200mm lens on the body so I can grab it and go, which I did in this case. I opened the sliding door, stuck the lens out and shut the door enough to hold the lens tight. This is not the best thing to do with a camera but it worked for me at that time and many times you have to improvise and use whatever is at hand. The exposure is a lot like the lightning photo I posted a little while ago. I open up the aperture to let as much light in as possible, get focused in on something in the foreground (or sometimes the background) and hold the shutter open until the lighting strikes or just open it up when I think it will strike. This works best for me. I know there are other ways to achieve the same result but you have to find what works for you. I do get a lot of all black images but once you get a feel for where the lighting is and how the camera reacts it gets easier. I am not sure what my exposure is on this image but the ISO was 800 and f-stop was set at 2.8 . I do have more from the backdoor but will post them at future dates.