I fought off disappointment recently when I went to photograph lightning for the first time. Instead I had to settle for some airplane shots.
The background: Lightning season is here in Tampa. Many of the thunderstorms happen in the afternoon, while it’s still bright out. That makes it difficult if not impossible to get the long exposures that help increase your chances of capturing a lightning bolt. Even using a small aperture (f/22), 1/2 second shutter speed and ISO 100 didn’t work because the skies were very overexposed. The lightning bolts were lost in a mass of white.
I had never tried lightning photography before, so I learned that I will need to purchase a neutral density filter to shoot lightning in the daytime.
I decided to turn my attention to the world around me, instead of focusing on the lightning I wasn’t able to capture. After the storms cleared up, planes resumed their departures from the airport. Here’s a shot I think turned out pretty well: