How to Take Striking Lightning Photos: 5 Tips

Photographer Pierre T. Lambert was recently in Zion National Park in Utah when a thunderstorm suddenly hit the area. While that was a bummer for his trip, it gave him an idea for his newest video: create an easy tutorial on how to photograph lightning.

“Back in the day I struggled so much to get lightning shots,” Lambert says. “I thought it was based on luck, I was trying different methods. It never worked. But then, over time, I figured out a technique and it works every single time.”

So, what’s the technique? Here are Lambert’s five tips for how to take striking lightning photos, which he explains in the video.

#1 Slow shutter speed: 1,2,3,4 seconds or more. Too short, you'll miss the bolt - too long, you'll blow out the picture

#2 Underexpose the image - lightning is very bright - I shot most of those shots at ISO 400, F/8 and 2,5 seconds

#3 Shoot with an intervalometer so you don't have to keep pressing the shutter :-)

#4 Stay safe, don't stay next to your tripod if the storm is close

#5 Enjoy the show!

Watch more of Lambert’s photography tutorials on his YouTube channel. And if you want more tips on how to shoot lighting, watch this video with a tutorial from a professional storm chaser. For how not to do it, here’s a video where a lightning strike nearly hits a photographer.