Old 07-16-2012, 04:24 PM   #1
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Default Rain/Thunderstorms

Going to visit a friend in MA this week.

Tuesday looks good for weather, Wednesday is calling for thunderstorms.

I've often wanted to shoot in rail/thunder/bad weather, but I thought it would be good to see if anyone had any tips.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:37 PM   #2
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I have limited experience, but keeping the lens free of water drops is a pain. Got a nice big lens hood?
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:05 PM   #3
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I have limited experience, but keeping the lens free of water drops is a pain. Got a nice big lens hood?
Get one like this, Although it was custom made if I recall
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:17 PM   #4
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...but keeping the lens free of water drops is a pain.
In rain, I cheat as much as I can. Roll down passenger side window, shoot from driver's seat. When I had the Jeep Cherokee, I'd open the back and sit in the truck area. The hatchback was a great "umbrella."
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:27 PM   #5
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Luck is what you need the most, you can get some awesome shots in thunderstorms but half the shots will probably be worthy of only the trashcan. Be very conscious of your settings as there is alot more variability in lighting conditions and what works well for one shot may be totally over/under exposed for another, I use P (for Professional) mode on days where the light is changing alot to avoid that.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:34 PM   #6
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:44 PM   #7
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:35 PM   #8
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expose for the sky, and keep your ISO as low as feasible so you can extract clean detail out of the shadows when shooting RAW. For lightning at night, it's more luck than skill. I vary between 1-10 seconds @ f8, ISO 100. Some flashes will be too bright, some will be too dark regardless of what you do.

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Old 07-17-2012, 12:59 AM   #9
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Its extremely difficult to get a picture of lightning as it is, add a moving object you don't want blurred and your about as likely to be struck by it as get the shot.
I have found that to have any chance of any sort of non frozen foul weather shot with a train you either need massive artificial lighting or be catching a thunderstorm moving in behind the train while the train itself is still well enough lit for a shutter speed that won't blur the train to bits.
While low ISO would be hugely helpful for detail, I don't think you can keep the shutter speed high enough that way to get the shot unless you use a really wide aperture with a super fast lens and shoot from a distance so you can actually get the whole thing in focus.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:56 AM   #10
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Use a tripod, have a medium sized hand towel to keep over your camera, and get one of those large umbrellas from the golfing pro shop.

Oh, and a ski jacket, or rain coat for you.

Taken by a friend - not of me.

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Old 07-17-2012, 05:28 AM   #11
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Please see post #3. Oh wait...and my avatar, too.

No...YOU are welcome.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:31 AM   #12
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Greg, if you're planning on standing in the rain to shoot, I suggest getting some 2 gallon ziplock baggies. Cut a hole in the bottom of the bag just barely big enough to fit around the end of your lens. Then, pull the bag over the end of the lens so it wraps tight around the lens hood threads. Then, screw the lens hood on which will hold the plastic bag in place. A 2 gallon bag easily holds my 5D w/grip and 100-400 lens inside, so if you have something smaller than that, you'll have plenty of room inside the bag to keep it dry.

It's a cheap water-resistant alternative to spending big $$$ for a "real" waterproof covering.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:33 PM   #13
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A very high F stop will give you the best depth of field allowing for more detail in capturing the rain drops as will a high shutter speed, though you may prefer a slow shutter speed to capture the blur of drops which also gives you an image free of raindrop clutter. You could do a search on RP under "rain, raining, storm, lighting, ect" and view the EXIF (from those kind enough to share) and get an idea of look you are after).

As for lightning - bring LOTS of memory cards. A long duration exposure will give you the time necessary to capture a bolt of lightning but will also dilute your results as the ambient lighting and sheet lightning may take priority. Instead, try a higher ISO and many short exposures in rapid succession.

And of course, cover your camera - many cheap covers are available at your local camera shop, or online. As they get more pricier, you get features making it much less a hassle to use. For instance, instead of drawstrings, you get velcro, or better yet, a rubberized stretch fit end to fit over your lens. I'd bring a rubber band and use it for any that do not properly seal or stay snug. Most have a spot to put the view finder through the protection which also secures the protection to the camera. A long lens hood goes a long way in keeping rain off the lens, as suggested.

Good luck!

/Mitch
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:39 PM   #14
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Mitch, see post #12.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:52 PM   #15
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Mitch, see post #12.
Interesting idea - I didn't read deep into the details.

I'd have thought the threads would be too fine to allow a baggie or plastic film to be inserted between. I'll have to give that a whirl.

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