Last night I tried to catch some lightning. It was my first try in a few months and did not produce my best work. I find lightning fascinating and quite a challenge to photograph. Being in the right place at the right time almost always involves a car ride. Trying to find a good open view free from power lines and other obstructions I dislike takes some doing around here. I can either chase a storm from behind (safer) or get in front of it an wait. Last night I chased and found a good spot in Larue County, east of Sonora.
Last year I purchased a Strike Finder, from Ubertronix for about $100. It was a good purchase and has yielded some good shots. It picks up the leading ultraviolet edge a of lighting strike and triggers the camera shutter. I used the Strike Finder with my D90 and pointed in the direction of some cloud to ground lighting a few miles away. I only brought one tripod, so I set it on a fence post :). I didn't get anything spectacular, largely due to being a bit too far away, but also a little unlucky with some good strikes just out of frame. Mornings and evenings near dusk and dawn are my favorite times and that involves keeping up with changing light conditions and constantly changing the settings on my camera. I used my D610 on my tripod with a 1.5 second shutter speed to catch some lighting the old fashioned way. In the other direction from the cloud to ground strikes was some consistent spider lighting from another storm that was weakening and had also produced mammatocumulus clouds (bubble clouds). I really should have used the Strike Finder with this set up, as I think would have got something a better.
Another storm was approaching from behind me, but still pretty far off. I turned to see a brilliant iridescent cloud had formed over top of the approaching thunderhead. One of the shots also shows the edge of the mammatocumulus clouds. The different clouds at different levels at sunset made for some gorgeous clouds that would have been hard form even some good lightning to match. Here are a few shots.