Lightning Over Oslo

Lightning Over OsloClick image for high res version.

Anyone who has tried to photograph lightning knows it can be quite tricky. Last night we had a big lightning storm over Oslo, and tricky it got: As the amateur I am - a good half hour was spent just watching the inferno - before it finally dawned on me (!) that I probably should get my new DLSR camera out and try capture some of this spectacular lightning show. Eh..!

I need a ref

After getting the camera on the tripod I started snapping away, just wanting to capture a first lightning for a reference shot. I needed a starting point for some camera adjustments. However, I didn't manage to capture a single lightning, so - after analyzing my utter cluelessness - I turned the exposure up to 10 seconds, adjusted the aperture to 10 and the ISO to 800 (just following my happy-go-lucky feeling of course). Still no luck, not one lightning! I mean - there were lightning bolts going off all over the place, but they all came in between my shots.

(un)Lucky Strike

Suddenly, a huge lightning went off straight in front of my viewfinder - and I got it! It struck down near the Tryvann Lake located in the hillsides just outside Oslo. Actually, the lightning started directly above where I was sitting, and then moved accross the sky befor it hit down at Tryvann. It was clearly the biggest lightning of the night, and also the biggest I've seen in real life.

I continued to shoot with my camera, but no more luck. Later, when I got the image up in Photoshop, it became pretty clear that it was a little bit over exposed and washed out. Now, if I only had gotten that first reference shot...

Here is an overview of all the shots in the lightning serie, shot over a period of an hour. As you can see from the five shots leading up to the lightning, I adjusted the aperture down, then back up again. I wasn't confident on how much light I needed for a big lightning bolt. I wish I had kept it down.


Lightning Storm over Oslo - full serie