Home / News / Tagged: lightning photography

The Essential Guide to Cityscape Lightning Photography

The Essential Guide to Cityscape Lightning Photography

Lightning photography is the most challenging photography genre for photographers. Lightning is unpredictable, and you don’t know when and where it will strike. It happens for a fraction of seconds, and before you can click the shutter, it disappears. In this article, we will overcome all the challenges in lightning cityscape photography. So, shall we start?

Gears you required:

Let’s talk about the gears you require for this photography. First, you need a camera. Any DSLR or mirrorless camera will work. If you have a full-frame camera, it would be better because it gives better results in low light conditions. A wide-angle lens is the second requirement because lightning bolts are enormous, and we also want to capture city buildings. Any wide-angle lens you have will work fine.

[blognewsletter]

The third requirement is a tripod because lightning photography needs lots of time, and we can’t hold the camera for such a long time. It should be sturdy as there may be heavy winds during the storm, and a light tripod can fall and damage your expensive gears.

And lastly, you need a lightning trigger. A lightning trigger is a camera remote that clicks the lightning pictures automatically. MIOPS Smart is the best camera remote to capture lightning. It has a laser mode that detects lightning and clicks the image at the right moment. You have almost zero chances of missing the shot with this lightning trigger.

gears required for lightning photography

Some of you may be thinking that why can’t we use the sound mode of the camera remote to capture lightning. The reason behind it is that the speed of sound is much slower than the speed of light, and by using the sound mode, you will always miss the shot. If you’ve noticed, when the lightning strikes, you hear the thunder after one or two seconds of the light flash.

Other than these, don’t forget to take something to protect your camera and other gear. Lightning cityscape photography will require lots of time so bring some snacks, hot coffee, and water.

Location and Timing:

We need to find some locations with an open sky and beautiful high-rise buildings in the foreground. If you live in a city where you don’t have high-rise buildings, you may use mountains or trees as foreground elements. It’s not advisable to take pictures of the only sky with lightning. It’ll not look very interesting.

lightning photography tips

Find three or four locations in different directions, so no matter from which direction the storm is coming, you’ll always have a place to click the picture with the interesting foreground.

After location, we need to know about the weather, so you can be there well in time when an opportunity comes. Nowadays, many apps are available for weather forecasts and storm alerts. Use them to know about the weather in advance and plan accordingly.

Camera and trigger settings:

Okay, let’s talk about the camera and trigger settings. Mount your camera on the tripod and set the frame. Now focus on the buildings and put it again on manual focus settings. We are using a wide-angle lens, so we’ll get a deeper depth of field, and the sky will be in focus automatically.

We will control exposure for lightning using aperture and exposure for buildings using shutter speed. Light strikes for milliseconds, so shutter speed will not affect its exposure. First, set the ISO to 200, aperture to f/5.6, and shutter speed to 1/125. Now attach MIOPS Smart to your camera, set it to “Lightning” mode with 2-5% sensitivity.

cityscape lightning photography

Now, wait for lightning to strike. When it happens, MIOPS Smart will automatically click the picture. Check that picture, and if lightning looks dark, increase the ISO to 200 or set the aperture to f/4 (wide open to enter more light). If it’s overexposed, set ISO or aperture accordingly. Keep the aperture between the f/4 to f/11 range.

Now take another shot of lightning, and if it’s perfect, it’s time to set the exposure for buildings. Look in the viewfinder or back screen and half-press the shutter button. The camera will major the exposure for buildings and tell you if it’s underexposed or overexposed. If it’s under, lower the shutter speed to 1/60 or 1/30 and if it’s over, increase the shutter speed.

[smart]

Now take a shoot and see if the buildings are exposed correctly. If exposure is proper, you are all set. Now sit back, relax and enjoy the fantastic weather with hot coffee. Whenever the lightning strikes, MIOPS Smart will take the picture automatically. You may change the frame after 5-6 good shots.

Capture multiple lightning in one shot:

Okay, let’s talk about taking some incredible pictures. You can take multiple lightning strikes in a single shot. You need to lower the ISO to 100 or 50 (if your camera allows), set the aperture to very narrow, like f/16 or f/18, and shutter speed to 1 second or more. Our primary goal here is to open the shutter as long as possible.

You may use an ND filter for this. ND filter or neutral-density filter is made of dark glass that reduces the light entering the camera without changing the colors. With an ND filter, you can open the shutter for a longer time. Let’s say, with camera settings and the help of an ND filter, your shutter speed comes to five seconds. All the lightning bolts will be captured in a single shot during this period.

multiple lightning strikes in one picture

If you don’t have an ND filter, you have another option too. You can take multiple shots of lightning and merge them in post-processing too. Just remember that camera should not move during these multiple shots.

multiple lightning strikes in one picture

Be Safe:

Safety is a significant concern in lightning photography because lightning can be very dangerous or even deadly. Before you go shooting, google safety tips for lightning and follow them strictly. We can’t risk our life for some pictures, so always shoot from inside your car or a building. Your expensive equipment will also be safe from water when you shoot from inside.

Most of the tips and tricks we are talking about in this article will also work for cityscape photography, so you can take beautiful cityscape photographs too when the weather is clear. So be prepared, wait for the next storm, and click some beautiful pictures. All the best.

Blog Credits

Ramakant Sharda is an author, iOS App publisher, passionate photographer and a MIOPS Ambassador based in the beautiful “Pink City” of India, known as Jaipur. His work has been published in various magazines, newspapers, and blogs. He has published three Coffee Table Books, he writes about photography and also teaches photography in his workshops. Check out his website http://ClickManic.com to see the masterpieces created by him or download his free app for iPhone and iPad “30 Days to an Ace Photographer“.

[star star="5"]

[faq q1="which gears do photographers need for lightning photography?" a1="Let’s talk about the gears you require for this photography. First, you need a camera. Any DSLR or mirrorless camera will work." q2="how to shoot multiple lightning strikes in one picture?" a2="You can take multiple lightning strikes in a single shot. You need to lower the ISO to 100 or 50" q3="what should be the camera settings for lightning photography?" a3="Mount your camera on the tripod and set the frame. Now focus on the buildings and put it again on manual focus settings."]

10 Top Tips for Photographing Lightning

10 Top Tips for Photographing Lightning

Everything you need to know to photograph lightning!

Lightning photography is astoundingly beautiful but it takes precise camera control, expert meteorological tracking skills, and perseverance. It doesn’t require any specialist equipment beyond a camera and lens, but to get the best out of your experience it’s best to use a remote trigger or a lightning trigger such as the MIOPS Smart+. 

Camera settings can be tricky to master, especially for beginners, but again devices like the MIOPS Smart+ remote trigger has a lightning-specific mode for capturing lightning easily, perfect for beginners or pros alike. So let’s take a look at our ten top tips for the best lightning photography.

[blognewsletter]

1. Use a Sturdy Tripod

The key to successful and sharp photographs of lightning is to keep the camera steady during exposures. Sure, you can place the camera on the ground or a wall, anything that will keep the camera still enough during the image-taking process, but this is far from ideal when it comes to composing good photos.

Ideally, you’ll use a tripod instead. But not just any tripod will do. You must make sure that the tripod (and the tripod head that sits atop it) can hold up the payload of your camera and lens setup. To do this, add up the weight of your camera and lens (including any memory cards and batteries) and then search for a tripod that accommodates that weight. For those on a budget, aluminum tripods offer good value for money whilst remaining lightweight. However, those that can afford it should look to carbon fiber models that are extremely lightweight and sturdy in equal measure.

useful tips for lightning photography

Tripod heads come in a range of different types from three-way, to pan-and-tilt, and even gimbals, each have their own specific usage. However, lightning photography is much like landscape photography because we capture the land around the lightning strikes as much as the strikes themselves. Therefore, it’s advised to use a ball-head. Ball-heads can rotate 360 degrees and allow for all kinds of camera orientations. They make it simple to level horizons easily on uneven ground and switch between horizontal and vertical orientations quickly without having to release the footplate from the screw thread underneath the camera body.

2. Choose the Right Lens

There’s no ‘lightning lens’ perfect for capturing those strikes, but some lenses will give greater advantages than others. A key feature to look for is a wide maximum aperture. This allows the greatest amount of light onto the image sensor and therefore keeps shutter speeds (or ISO sensitivity) lower whilst maintaining good exposures.

Image stabilization is largely unimportant for lightning photography because you should be using a tripod to keep the camera still. And there’s no sweet spot when it comes to focal length either. Wide-angle lenses can help with capturing a wide field of view, useful if your storm system is happening all around you, but mid to telephoto lenses are also useful for distant captures.

3. Tracking the Weather

Probably the most important part of photographing lightning, other than having the camera with you, is being able to find lightning in the first place. Using local weather forecasts are important as are online forecasts such as accuweather.com. Don’t just look at the top result displaying sun, cloud, or rain though, dig deeper and track weather systems via satellite data which shows the movement of storms. 

There are also storm-specific Facebook groups, and Twitter accounts that track local and national storm systems. Try a quick search online to find a group or account that covers your area. There are various apps that track storm systems such as My Lightning Tracker & Alerts which help when tracking storms in real-time. For those without access to a smart device though, websites like LightningMaps.org allow for storm tracking, too.

4. Best Lightning Locations

There’s no getting around it. To get lightning photographs consistently you’ll have to head to where the lightning is. Certain geographic locations are better for this than others. According to Accuweather, some of the cities with the highest lightning densities in the U.S. include Green River, WY, Rock Springs, WY, and Dickinson, ND.

For those in Europe you may want to head to northern Italy and nearby countries like Slovenia, and Croatia. And just as the location is important, so is the time of year you visit. Summer storms are more likely to bring thunderous storms because of the increased heat which allows cloud systems to build bigger than in colder seasons.

best locations for lightning photography

Real lightning photography buffs travel to find the best storms, but it’s likely that there will be a storm local to you at some point during the year. The best thing to do is to keep an eye out using weather forecasts, storm alert apps as aforementioned and speak to those who like to track and chase storms themselves to get the best results.

5. Which Camera Mode Should You Use for Lightning Photography?

Compact cameras, bridge cameras, and some entry-level DSLRs have various shooting modes to allow beginner photographers to take images before they learn all the ins and outs of the camera’s settings. Sometimes this includes a lightning capture mode, which sets camera settings automatically without user input. These can get good results, but manually dialling in settings is the best option.

Set the camera to manual mode, open the aperture as wide as possible and set the ISO sensitivity between 400 - 1200 depending on the light levels (night-time lightning photography can be some of the most stunning, so higher ISO sensitivities are required). Set the shutter speed to between 1-5 seconds (or longer depending on light levels) and take a sequence of images over the period of several minutes or hours. Within one of these images you should have at least one clear shot of lightning.

To make this easier, you can rely on the MIOPS Smart+ camera trigger to automatically capture some of the best lightning photography. The Smart+ device works as a lightning trigger by detecting lightning and instantly triggering your camera so that you always capture lightning strikes without all the additional missed shots.

6. Use a Remote Shutter Release

Pressing the shutter button when capturing long exposures of lightning can introduce vibrations to the camera and leave your images blurry. So to avoid this you should use a remote shutter release. If using a remote shutter release it pays to get one that also doubles as an intervalometer which can automatically take consecutive images in order to reproduce the shooting method described in point five above. 

However, since the MIOPS Smart+ camera trigger can automatically detect lightning and trigger the camera immediately, we’d argue that this is a better option than an external shutter release. The Smart+ device can also be used to capture bursting balloons, timelapses, it can be triggered by sound, has laser mode, and camera control can be operated via the MIOPS app on a smartphone.

[smart]

7. Focusing in Low Light

When shooting lightning in the daytime autofocus takes care of getting photos perfectly sharp, but as soon as the sun goes down and the sky gets dark, things get tricky. Autofocus stops working and starts hunting because it doesn’t have enough visual information to grab on to. That’s where you’ll have to engage manual focus on the camera body or lens.

Start by engaging the rear screen (or the electronic viewfinder, if your camera has one) and zoom in to a distant street light or a star in the sky. Alternatively, set the lens’ focus to infinity and fine-tune it (infinity markers generally don’t yield the best results).

8. Staying Safe

Photographing lightning is tremendous fun, but it’s a dangerous business. If you’re chasing storms in a car make sure you stay in the vehicle when near them and keep the windows rolled up. There are plenty of storm-chasing companies and plenty of storm-photography businesses that offer workshops who have good equipment, knowledge of getting near storms safely, and have other safety protocols in place to keep you safe.

how to do lightning photography

9. Shooting Sequential Photos

If you don’t have the MIOPS Smart+ camera trigger and are using the first shooting technique described in point five then use the camera’s internal intervalometer to continually take multiple photos in sequence without repressing the shutter release button. This will give you several photos with lightning strikes in some shots. But how do you put these together to create a single, impressive photograph? Let’s take a look.

10. Compositing Sequential Images Together

An image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Serif Affinity Photo can layer several photos and blend them together to create a single composite shot of several lightning strikes. In Photoshop go to File>Scripts>Load files into stack. Then select all lightning photos and click OK. When the photos have all opened, select the top layer and change the blending mode to multiply. Right-click on the layer and choose copy layer style, then shift-click on all the other layers except the bottom-most layer. Then right-click on these layers and choose paste layer style. All the lightning shots should now appear atop one another in a composite.

Blog Credit: Jason Parnell-Brookes

Jason Parnell-Brookes is an Internationally award-winning photographer, educator and writer. He won Gold in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014. Jason is a qualified teacher, Masters graduate and works with many high profile international clients. Further information can be found in his website www.jasonpb.com.

[star star="8"]

[faq q1="what do you need for lightning photography?" a1="The key to successful and sharp photographs of lightning is to keep the camera steady during exposures." q2="what kind of techniques should photographers use for lightning photography?" a2="When shooting lightning in the daytime autofocus takes care of getting photos perfectly sharp, but as soon as the sun goes down and the sky gets dark, things get tricky. " q3="how can photographers tracks strikes for lightning photography?" a3="Probably the most important part of photographing lightning, other than having the camera with you, is being able to find lightning in the first place"]

Master Tips to Take Lightning Photos

Master Tips to Take Lightning Photos

Photography has allowed us to be able to capture and share the images of so many natural and man-made phenomena in the world. Through photography we have been able to show beautiful places, events, and things that are happening at one point in the globe to someone on the opposite side. Our capability to capture, document, and interpret the beautiful things also fueled our curiosity and drove us into learning more about the world that we live in. 

[blognewsletter]

Perhaps one of the most interesting natural phenomena that happens anywhere in the world are extreme weather conditions. To be more specific, there is nothing more electrifying than images of lightning. (pun intended) However, much like any other marvelous thing, it involves quite a considerable level of difficulty to seek them and actually be successful in capturing them. Lightning and thunderstorms are some of the most dynamic environmental conditions that create such powerful landscape images. With the right preparation, precaution, the right gear, and a good amount of luck, one can successfully photograph the striking split-second phenomena. 

The Challenges of Capturing Lightning

The Challenges of Capturing Lightning

There are various factors at play when going out to shoot thunderstorms with the hope of capturing lighting. For one, lightning storms are quite unpredictable. There are various ways to have a general idea of when and where lightning may strike but amidst that, the odds of actually having your shutter open for that split second event have to be raised. In addition to the relative rarity of lightning striking within your field of view multiple times, factors like rain, wind, and cloud cover make shooting even more challenging. For you to be able to overcome these challenges, preparation is key and behind it is understanding the science behind the involved elements.  

Why lightning strikes and where it happens are perhaps the most important things to understand to be able to photograph them better. In the simplest sense, the movement of air and water molecules in the sky causes a build-up of an electrical gradient in the clouds. Lightning happens when an electrically charged cloud expels this electricity to achieve a more neutral state. The electricity either travels towards another  adjacent cloud or onto the ground. With winds of greater velocity such as during a storm, the build-up of the electrical gradient happens at a much faster and repetitive rate and such is the reason why lightning happens more often during a storm. During a storm, your location relative to the storm itself plays such a big role. Your distance from the storm affects your safety and the presence of heavy rain and/or cloud cover hinders visibility. 

Another crucial step to overcome the challenges of the unpredictability of lightning is generally knowing where and when they are happening. With the idea of where a storm will hit, one can prepare by seeking a good and safe vantage point. This is best done using various lightning monitoring and lightning tracker apps. Once you find a specific area nearby with consecutive lightning strikes happening, there is more likelihood of being able to successfully capture them. 

Safety When Photographing Lightning

Safety When Photographing Lightning

The most absolute way to avoid lightning is to stay away from any exposed open space altogether. However, that also absolutely hinders you from being able to photograph it. The next best thing is to photograph the storm from a distance. Through this you are able to stay outside to shoot as long as you can without significant risk of getting struck. If the storm is moving towards your direction you will have significant time to get to safety. If within significant proximity from the storm, there are a number of situations to avoid. The most obvious is to avoid shooting from or near any body of water. Experts say that it is also best to avoid overhanging cliffs, lone trees, and any singular tall structure. 

Along with the lightning storm comes a significant chance of rain so it is also best to pack rain gear for both yourself and your camera gear. With significant rainfall comes an added risk of getting struck by lightning due to the attraction of electricity to water and even then, of course it is very likely that your camera gear will not stand the heavy rain for very long. 

Essential Equipment for Photographing Lightning

Essential Equipment for Photographing Lightning

Any camera can capture lightning. Lightning in this sense is just a very bright light source. However, the difficulty arises in the fact that it happens very quickly. The goal of gearing up for photographing lightning is increasing your chances of being able to catch it in frame while your sensor is open. This is why it is most advantageous to be using a camera that has full manual functions. Cameras with bigger sensors such as a full frame or medium format camera would also have an edge in keeping the images clean and detailed especially when working with a dim foreground. 

The requirement for lenses varies entirely on how far you are from the storm. If you are shooting from within the general area of the storm it would be best to be using a wide angle lens with your camera pointing further up (assuming there isn’t any significant rainfall). Shooting outside the general area of the storm (around 2-4 kilometers away) would be most successful with a standard zoom lens. This includes lenses that are commonly at 24-70mm or 24-105mm and yes, that also includes your kit lens. Any farther away from that you would need a longer telephoto lens if the lightning strikes are not covered by rain or any clouds at this distance. 

[smart]

Perhaps the most non-negotiable piece of equipment would be a sturdy and heavy duty tripod. Shooting a storm would mean having to withstand significant winds and considering the necessary exposure settings, even the slightest shake of the camera would ruin what could have been a nice dramatic image. There is no exact measure of how heavy the tripod should be just as long as it wouldn’t shake when being blown by the wind. An added way to secure this would be to hang a heavy object such as a sandbag onto the center column of your tripod to keep it steady. 

Lastly, the most helpful tool that you can have for such a challenging photographic task is a smart camera trigger. Camera triggers range from as simple as a remote, while some of the most advanced triggers also feature intelligent sensors to help you automate your shooting process. The MIOPS Smart+ Camera Trigger is an app-controlled device that serves as your best companion for shooting lightning photography. It features many automated triggering modes such as a remote timer for specifically controlled long exposures, interval shooting for timelapse, as well as a sound and laser motion trigger. Of course the most perfect feature of the MIOPS Smart+ for this workflow is a lightning sensor that detects strong flashes of light in front of the camera and triggers the camera to shoot as it happens. 

How to Capture Split-Second Lightning

How to Capture Split-Second Lightning

As said way too many times in the earlier parts of this tutorial, lightning happens very quickly in an unpredictable manner. To manually try and wait for lightning to strike and then press the shutter button would be like trying to catch a fly in a hurricane. That is why instead, the more effective method is to do consecutive long exposures with hopes that the lightning strike would happen while the shutter is open. To do this, the most basic way is to shoot in interval mode using a built in interval timer or through an intervalometer trigger. This would lead to hundreds of images with the majority of them probably with no lightning at all. To cut down that number of wasted exposures, using a lightning trigger would lead to getting only images with actual lightning strikes on them.

Settings for Shooting Lightning Photography 

Exposure settings vary depending on the time of day and the presence of other light sources in the frame. Typically, it would be futile to try to capture lightning during daytime because the sky wouldn’t give the strikes much contrast. Instead, lightning photography can happen during twilight and of course, during the night. 

Shooting at twilight would mean shorter exposure times. This also applies to situations wherein there are a lot of artificial lights in the direction that you are shooting. A range of about 4 to 8 seconds should be good enough to capture the lightning and give the background enough luminosity. This also avoids the possibility of other light sources (even those less bright than the lightning strike) to cancel it out. 

Lightning photography at night allows for the possibility of longer exposures. This would essentially give more room to doing exposures to also brighten up the foreground depending on how many lightning strikes happen within the exposure time. When shooting in an area away from any major cities, long exposures of over 30 seconds can capture multiple lightning strikes in a single exposure but in otherwise bright locations, shorter exposure times lead to multiple images that need to be stacked to achieve the same effect. 

Given the conditions for shutter speed, the settings for ISO and aperture remain similar to principles applied in shooting landscape images. A lower ISO is desired for less noise on the images, and a relatively small aperture for having as much of the frame in focus. With shutter speed kept as a priority the two other parameters are relatively flexible. 

Another PRO tip to follow is to focus manually. Most lenses and cameras have relatively slower focusing in the dark. The short fractions of a second that the camera focuses could mean missing a lightning strike. By using manual focus for lightning photography, that delay is skipped, the risk of missing is lessened, and focus is assured.

Post Processing Lightning Photographs

There is a wide range of possibilities when it comes to post processing a lightning image. In a near-perfect condition where all details were captured in a single exposure then post production will probably only require contrast and color adjustments. For shooting scenarios that give multiple lightning strikes in frame within different individual exposures, stacking would be a very effective method. Stacking exposures means putting together multiple images with the same angle and composition. This method combines all your desired lightning strikes into a single and more dramatic image. 

Another method is by creating multiple image composites. This method combines lightning images with landscape photographs taken from other locations taken at a different time. Through this, the lightning photographs drastically enhance a night time landscape image by giving a dramatic luminous element. 

Blog Credit: Nicco Valenzuela

Nicco started his photographic journey in 2007 practicing the craft as a hobby. Currently, he shoots for various local and international architectural firms and construction companies. Out of his love for sharing his knowledge, Nicco began writing about photography and various pieces of gear. 

[star star="91"]

[faq q1="how to do Post Processing  of Lightning Photographs?" a1="There is a wide range of possibilities when it comes to post processing a lightning image." q2="How to Capture Split-Second Lightning?" a2="As said way too many times in the earlier parts of this tutorial, lightning happens very quickly in an unpredictable manner." q3="what is the Essential Equipment for Photographing Lightning?" a3="Any camera can capture lightning. Lightning in this sense is just a very bright light source."]

The Best Tips for Shooting the Most Creative High Speed Photographs

Smart+ captures a colorful balloon while popping

How fast are you?

You know how to compose, use the light, and operate your camera.  You’re handy with a flash.  You consider yourself a pretty good photographer.  But how fast are you?  When the difference between getting and missing the shot is measured in milliseconds, are your reflexes and trigger finger up to the task?

High-speed photography is capturing the moments that happen in a fraction of time which you can’t see with the naked eye, like a bursting balloon or a splash of water.

[blognewsletter]

Recommended camera and lens

Of course, you need a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, if you have any other camera that has manual controls, it will also work fine. Next is the lens and just like the camera, any could work. For instance, you can use a 100mm macro lens for close-up shots like liquid sculptures and a 24-70mm zoom for balloon shots. The only lens requirement is that the focal length should be long enough so that you have sufficient distance between your camera and the subject, to keep your gear safe from colors and water splashes.

a water drop captured with high speed photography techniques at a river inside a forest

Lighting

Next, you need flashes, it could be one for simple shots or you can add multiple for a more complex composition. The next requirement is a tripod because you need to do lots of work simultaneously, so it’s better that the camera is fixed on the tripod. You also need a shutter release cable or remote to release the shutter. For instance, the MIOPS Smart Trigger has multiple modes for sound, laser, lightning triggering as well as Time Lapse and HDR modes.

Triggering the camera

When you're ready to start shooting even faster-moving objects or find that the “fast hands and timing luck method” isn't sufficient to capture your moving object, you may want to look into a shutter trigger.  Some of these use sound to trigger the shutter and flash, others may use laser beams so that when the beam is broken by the moving object, the shutter and flash are triggered. 

use MIOPS Smart+to capture high speed photographs with sound or laser modes

Using MIOPS Smart Trigger

Sound and Laser modes are a great alternative for getting those high-speed photography shots that portrait and product photographers dream about.

[smart]

Laser Mode

The MIOPS Smart+ has a photocell on the front panel, which is utilized for a number of things, including the laser triggering function. The available parameters are straightforward and are pretty much self-explanatory. Once your preferences are set, a press of the start key and you’re good to go. There are three parameters available:

  • Threshold – This is the sensitivity to the laser. If set too high, it can cause false triggering. Too low a setting can cause failure to trigger.
  • Delay – Allows you to delay the shutter release after the initial trigger event. Delays are specified in milliseconds (0-999)
  • Frames – How many images you want to be taken once the laser has been interrupted.

Liquor bottles captured on air while dropping liquid

Sound Mode

The sound function allows triggering of either the flash or the camera, or both. Sometimes it is needed to add a delay to the shutter and it all depends about the camera settings, lighting conditions, and external flashes. Simply point the Smart+ at the sound source and adjust the parameters, which are available in three options:

  • Sensitivity – This is the sensitivity to the sound. Setting too high can cause false triggering. Too low can cause failure to trigger. Having the trigger further away from the source introduces a delay (3 milliseconds per meter) and will need to be compensated for with higher sensitivity.
  • Delay – Allows you to delay the shutter release or flash after the initial trigger event. Delays are specified in milliseconds (0-999)
  • Lock – If set, the MIOPS will trigger once. Particularly useful if using the dark environment and firing the flash mentioned above. In this case, multiple firing can ruin a high-speed image.

For shooting with the sound mode, a good example is to set your camera to about 1.3 to 1 second shutter. Set the MIOPS to sensitivity 90, delay 10ms, then set it to Lock “On” so it only triggers once as any kind of sound can trigger your flash. After pressing start on the MIOPS Mobile App, press your shutter and try hitting an object, such as a plastic bottle of water as a test subject.

A SpaceX rocket captured with Smart+ using sound mode

Once you isolate the sound correctly and find your best camera settings, then it will be time to put the real object that you would want to crash to set the sound trigger. Again, it could be crashing a bottle. Remember that the MIOPS Smart Trigger is not water-resistant, so be careful and avoid getting it wet. You need to shoot in a dark area or turn off all the ambient light because the slow shutter of your camera might expose for the ambient light.

Related Article: How to Use MIOPS Smart+ Laser Mode

About The Author Manuel Delgado:

Manuel Delgado is an award-winning photographer with a specialization in travel and documentary photography. He writes for Contrastly and is a Mentor for NGO Photographers Alliance, having led workshops in Africa with a focus on ethical and humanitarian photography. His work has been exhibited in Europe and the Americas.

Driven by an innate curiosity for his surroundings, Manuel´s process is mainly focused on capturing people in their natural environment; translating through his lens the subtle threads of daily life that are shared across cultures, borders, and races. Depicting people from diverse backgrounds, his work is united by a shared aesthetic that serves to tell each individual’s story. Manuel is currently living in Düsseldorf, Germany. 

Manuel Delgado Instagram Profile

[star star="2"]

[faq q1="how to use Sound Mode in camera trigger?" a1="The sound function allows triggering of either the flash or the camera, or both." q2="how to use laser Mode in camera trigger?" a2="The MIOPS Smart+ has a photocell on the front panel, which is utilized for a number of things, including the laser triggering function." q3="what are the Recommended camera and lens for high-speed photographs?" a3="Of course, you need a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, if you have any other camera that has manual controls, it will also work fine."]

How a Lightning Camera Trigger Helps You Capture Incredible Lightning Photographs

How a Lightning Camera Trigger Helps You Capture Incredible Lightning Photographs

Here’s an informative list of how a lightning camera trigger helps you capture incredible lightning photographs especially if you’re a beginner.

The post How a Lightning Camera Trigger Helps You Capture Incredible Lightning Photographs appeared first on MIOPS.

7 Tips for Choosing a Camera Trigger for Lightning Photography

7 Tips for Choosing a Camera Trigger for Lightning Photography

Here are some of the most practical tips for choosing camera trigger for lightning photography. Choose a camera trigger with a function specifically designed to capture lightning.

The post 7 Tips for Choosing a Camera Trigger for Lightning Photography appeared first on MIOPS.

Lightning Photography: The “Old School” Way vs Lightning Trigger

Lightning Photography: The “Old School” Way vs Lightning Trigger

Have you ever looked at a spectacular lightning photo and wished you could capture something similar? If so, you should know that it isn't as difficult as you might think.

The post Lightning Photography: The “Old School” Way vs Lightning Trigger appeared first on MIOPS.

Useful Tips For Photographing Stunning Lightning Bolts

Three seperate lightning bolts captured above the bridge on a stormy day

How to use MIOPS to take photos of lightning and how to make your lightning photos extraordinary.

The post How to Take the Extraordinary Lightning Photos appeared first on MIOPS.