Clearwater Beach Lightning Photography

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Clearwater Beach Lightning Photography Tips

Lightning is dangerous, but also beautiful. As long as you’re safe, the Florida lightning season can be a beautiful time for Clearwater Beach lightning photography.

Clearwater Beach Lightning Photography Tips

If you are looking to try your hand at capturing some beautiful Clearwater Beach lightning photography shots, here are some tips to help!

The time of year and even the time of day doesn’t really matter. You can capture beautiful lightning photos at any time! However, there is a Clearwater Beach Lightning season. To increase your odds of getting a great lightning photo, you can visit Clearwater Beach when thunderstorms are common.

The Clearwater Beach thunderstorm / lightning season is during the summer when temperatures are hot! It starts in June and lasts until September. Through these months there’s an increase in thunderstorms usually in the afternoon. These storms can come on quickly with a lot of force. They often bring a lot of frequent and strong lightning strikes.

I can’t say this enough. Yes, lightning is beautiful – AND DANGEROUS! Safety comes first! Do not stand outside as the thunderstorm approaches and definitely get off the beach before the storm arrives!

If your goal is to take a lightning photo, think safety first and choose a safe time and location. Before the storm hits, and inside or away from the storm. A great location for Clearwater Beach lightning photography is actually the balcony of a Beachfront Condominium. Mount the camera, cover it from rain. And step indoors. You can set the camera to shoot every few seconds for an extended period of time. Or you can purchase a lightning trigger or pluto trigger to assist with the proper timing of taking the photo when lightning strikes.

If you’re going to be outside, be aware you’re in danger even if you’re away from the storm. But, if you are determined to be outside, be sure to stay far away from the storm and use a telephoto zoom lens for your camera to seem closer than you actually are.

Most summer vacations won’t be traveling with large DSLR cameras and full gear bag, they’ll just have their smartphone. You can still get some great lightning photos on smartphones as well!

Clearwater Beach lightning photography tips for smartphone users

  • Keep safety in mind!
  • Put the phone on a stable surface, tripod or Gorillapod.
  • Disable sounds / notifications (put in airplane mode) to stop calls and texts from shaking your phone while taking photos.
  • Disable Flash.
  • ISO – Set sensitivity low.
  • Shutter Speed – set to a couple of seconds.
  • Focus – Set on a distant area and lock the focus.
  • White balance can be adjusted for the proper coloring. Take a few shots and experiment with these settings to find the one you like.
  • Timer – Set a timer if you can to take photos every few seconds.

Experiment with these settings and find what works best for you. Take a lot of photos and choose your favorites after. After the storms over, review your photos and edit your favorites. You can use apps such as Instagram, VSCO and even Adobe Lightroom right on your phone!

Stay safe and have fun!

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