Photographing The Weather

PHOTOGRAPHING THE WEATHER - Lightning photography
PHOTOGRAPHING THE WEATHER – Lightning photography is a fun project. Read on to learn more.

Lightning Websites

  1. Blitzortung – Is an easy to read map. It is editable. It does not play through a timeline so you can watch the direction of the storm. But I will say it is very, very useful for setting up eg: which direction to set the camera up for lightning photography.
  2. Lightningmaps – Is the same but different to Blitzortung. In fact it is almost identical because they are brother/sister websites. I am trying to give you as many options as possible. This is an option and a good one quite editable and gives a range of information.
  3. Ilmatieteen Laitos – FMI the Finnish weather service. The 1 hour service and predictions gives a “feel” of the direction the weather is moving. The part i like is the regionalised 15 minute predictions. This has certainly helped me see cells moving.
    Ilmatieteen laitos and the 15m south15m Finland
  4. Sataako – A scrolling weather map with no predictions. I used this for the above photo along with Blitzortung. This is a great tool for Finnish storm chasers who are photographing the weather.
    Sataako kohta? –

I am making a small series of pages for tracking lightning and photographing the weather.
More to follow but I hope these few pages help out some friends – or you the internet keyboard warrior who successfully found this page.

Lovisa – Helsinki – Tampere – Jyvaskyla

Stay safe while being out storm chasing and honing your lightning photography skills

Photographing the weather

Photographing the weather is easy. I am not a storm chaser yet but after some recent success I might give it a try.
You need the right equipment and a method.

Lightning Photography

Method 1
Click and hope. Not the best method and to be honest I tried this on a few mild storms. Out of 100 photos I got maybe 2 or 3 shots. When you consider a digital camera has a life span based on shots taken. This is not a good route to take.

Method 2
Timer. Taking a photo every few seconds. Unless you are having a big storm this is not the wisest method of lightning photography. The main advantage is you can be away from the camera and work out where you can move your camera to next.

Method 3
Lightning trigger or similar. I bought a Pluto Trigger (Pluto). There are triggers specifically for photographing lightning. I bought the Pluto because it has a lot of functionality for fun projects. I will go in to this method on a new page so i can give you more information. I use the 3 burst shooting mode, because I only get mild storms. I usually get something in the first shot not so much in the other 2. A much better success rate.

Lightning Maps Guide

How I use the lightning maps. I have put on the location pages. This is not rocket science but what works for me.

Photographing the weather - How to use the lightning maps
Photographing the weather – How to use the lightning maps

First I resize the maps til I can see a current storm that looks like it is moving in my direction. On the left you can see the word CAPE. I then scroll through these options til I find a rough shape match for the storm. It varies but when I made this CAPE was the best match. On the right you have the “burger” menu. I change this from 120 minutes down to 50 minutes. This sort of shows you a better intensity and movement of the storm.
Then I hope it heads my way. Or if i have an opportunity I can drive to a good sky location

I hope this guide helps you chase or / and photograph a storm. I will be adding to this document as I find and add more useful tools.