Clovis supercell spider lightning

On 4 June 2003 we followed a storm into the night that had given us a real scare earlier. After many attempts I was jumping for joy to have caught this shot on ...
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On 4 June 2003 we followed a storm into the night that had given us a real scare earlier. After many attempts I was jumping for joy to have caught this shot on my humble canon s40 ha ha.
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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken in New Mexico, outside of Clovis in the grass beside a highway. The thunderstorm I believe was to our south and it was producing a spectacular lightning show in the empty desert.
It was a late evening thunderstorm, we had encountered this storm earlier in the day while storm chasing and got caught in a horrendous inflow of dust below it. We had to stop the car because we could not even see the road in front. I caught this on very bad video, can be seen here: It was was a crazy situation because we could not move the car and we were under a storm that the weather radio was saying had a tornado in it. We managed to get ahead of it though and after getting some food in Clovis we continued to follow the storm as it produced this great nocturnal light show.
Not really, it was dark.
This was taken using a Canon S40 on a tripod.
I was desperate to get a picture of some of the lightning on this storm. I am not sure how many pictures I took with the humble S40 before I got this shot but there were many black pictures. There were a couple of other OK pictures but this was the best with the spider lightning coming in on the left.
There is absolutely no post-processing on this picture. Ah I tell a lie, it was cropped but that is it.
In my camera bag
Nowadays I have a Ricoh GR and a Sony NEX-6 with a big zoom and a gorilla pod. Back when this picture was taken I had a Canon S40 and a cheap tripod.
An activity which is a lot of fun (at times) is storm chasing. But if you are storm chasing you need to persuade the others sometimes to continue after dark to see the lightning. Wait for a storm to pass and it should be somewhat safer to take lightning pictures as the storm moves away. Lightning is dangerous, if possible work out a remote system so you can stay in the car, which is totally safe. Exposure lengths of 1 to 10 seconds perhaps, I'm not really an expert but the main thing is to persist, take many pictures, keep going, just do quick checks, particularly make sure your focus is good. Keep it on manual focus depending on your camera, focus on something that is lit up in the distance or just set to infinity if you have that option.

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