Photo for the Night – Lightning Over Venice

You know how I’m always encouraging pushing yourself to the limit? You know, get out of your comfort zone. Endure a little discomfort. That sort of thing. Well, tonight’s image is a perfect example of this. In fact, this may have been most difficult photo experience I’ve ever endured.

First, this is Venice, so right off the bat I had to endure being in a crappy location. You know, terrible food, wine, and culture. That sort of thing. Then to get to the shooting vantage point, I had to ride a ferry across the canal, walk into a Hilton hotel, and take the elevator to—are you ready?—a bar!

Lightning over Venice, Italy

Thunderstorm over Venice. Nikon D700, Nikon 70-300mm lens, f/20, 30 seconds, ISO 400.

I set up my tripod along the brick wall of the bar’s outdoor lounge, set the shutter speed to 30 seconds, ISO to 400, aperture to f/20, and then locked down the cable release to shoot continuous exposures. I had checked these settings to make sure it would give a proper exposure for the overall scene, and hoped that I’d get a few lighting strikes in some of them. 

Now comes the really crazy part. Since the camera was shooting continuous exposures all by itself, the only thing for me to do was to stand there, drink red wine, and eat olives and cheese. I didn’t want to, but I figured having a drink was the least I could do for the privilege of photographing from the bar.

I tell you, if I keep pushing myself to these extremes, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to do this.

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