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Used my uncle's neutral density filter for the first time in my life. Now I know what I want for my next birthday present!...
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Used my uncle's neutral density filter for the first time in my life. Now I know what I want for my next birthday present!
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Magnificent Capture
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Behind The Lens

Location
I took this photo from my porch when we had a severe thunderstorm. I used a neutral density filter to freeze the lightning in place. It was rainy, cold, and dark, but the reward was more than worth it.
Time
I took it around 10 pm, and it was actually quite terrifying to be caught in the middle of the thunderstorm. The rain pounded around me into the splintering wood. I thought the frail umbrella I was holding above myself and my camera was going to be whisked away into nothingness.
Lighting
Now that I have taken my own lightning shot, I truly appreciate the lighting in it. The darkness surrounding the lightning, the pale light that surrounds the bolt, and the electric red glare from the bolt of lightning itself. It was miraculous to behold in reality, and the image, in my opinion, is not a moment captured of the lightning, but rather a moment created based on the lightning.
Equipment
I used a Canon 5d with a 70-200 mm lens. Combined with the neutral density filter to slow the shutter speed, and the heavy duty Manfrotto tripod to give me absolute stability, I was laughing in the face of a storm.
Inspiration
I always see those lightning shots on google images, where it's so perfectly captured that you feel like you're there in the picture, witnessing the storm. I wanted so badly to achieve the same result, and in the process, I was in the storm.
Editing
Yeah, just a little bit of fiddling here and there in Lightroom, a great post processing software. Some general lighting adjustments for mood and white balance, as well as general cropping.
In my camera bag
A camera- obviously. I usually use a 7d Canon, but when my dad is in a good mood he'll let me use his Canon 5d. I always carry around a monopod, because though it doesn't give as much stability, it is easier to carry around. If I'm doing a professional shoot I'll throw in a flash, lights, umbrella reflectors, and a black backdrop. Oh and don't forget the extra batteries and SD cards!
Feedback
One, ALWAYS use a tripod if you can. Even if you're in broad daylight, it's still so useful to have a tripod. In fact, the only case where you should not use a tripod, is if you are moving around and taking pictures, such as candids at a party. But in this particular case, a tripod saves your life. Also, with lightning, something like a 70-200 lens combined with a camera that does well in low light is an excellent idea. Finally, don't just look at things from a technical point of view. Whether it's in the actual taking of a picture or in the post processing of one, make sure you are creating something, not just capturing something.

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