In the next few days, there are going to be some large thunderstorms near where I live, and I want to attempt to get some photos of the lightning.

Is there any way to get a camera such as my Canon EOS 1300D to automatically take a photo if more than a certain amount of the frame changes? Such as automatically taking a photo if the sky suddenly has a lightning bolt.

If not, are there any resources I could look for to start to learn about lightning photography?


1 Answer 1


There are two methods that people use to shoot lightning.

  1. Open the shutter for 5-10 seconds and hope to get lucky. You can use an invalometer to do this automatically.

  2. Buy a lightning trigger device. These work because most lightning strikes consist of bursts of multiple strikes. It won't be fast enough to catch the first strike, but it will catch subsequent strikes. I have not used this method, but a guy gave a presentation at our camera club and explained how they worked. Here is one, search on "photograph lightning trigger" to find more. https://lightningtrigger.com/

And be safe, shoot from a protected location.

  • 1
    With a Canon camera, there is a third method using Magic Lantern.
    – xenoid
    Jul 17, 2022 at 7:29
  • @xenoid Or with CHDK on Canon cameras that allow using CHDK.
    – Michael C
    Jul 18, 2022 at 15:44

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