Electrical storm caught on my 4 day Florida timelapse

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I will be putting all my Florida timelapses together into one edit soon but I had to share this as it’s so cool…no music, just the timelapse. The exposure were around 15-20 seconds long so I caught some epic forked lightning. Shot on the 7D at 25 second intervals using a Tokina 11-16mm F2.8. That is the moon near the end by the way. Hard to believe but due to the long exposures it looks almost sun like, interval was 25 seconds. Aperture priority mode.

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  1. David Kenny says:

    Phil this is incredible, question how did you get your exposure as low as 15-20, I have two Nd filters both 9 and 8 and still can’t get as low as that during the daytime. Were you on Aperture Priority mode also, to make it automate between these exposures? Sorry for the questions but I really want to do a shoot like that. Thanks :)

    1. Yiow says:

      Philip, I voice the same question as David, how do you keep the exposure time constant, Tv (shutter priority)? Isn’t that going to shift the DOF if you do that? Because I don’t think there is a way to adjust the ISO limit on the Auto ISO is there?

      Perhaps a mini time-lapse tutorial? How do you come up with 15-20 seconds exposure? Making the transition from day to night to day so smooth…?

      1. Brandon McPheeters says:

        Yes I second the call for a mini time lapse tutorial please!

        That would be awesome,


        1. pbloom says:

          done loads of blogs already with all info you need!

          1. SKC says:

            we read your blog and yes you have the info out there. not well articulated in one spot with the sole intention of demystifying the time lapse.

  2. Chad Soriano says:


    How did you keep your setup protected from the elements for such a long period of time? Florida weather can be brutal…


    chad soriano

    1. pbloom says:

      the 7d is very weatherproofed

  3. LT says:

    well done! was that the night of the meet up?
    I look forward to your full piece.

  4. Well done. Awesome

  5. David Hodge says:

    Awesome sequence. Great exposure control despite changing conditions. Did you adjust on the fly or stick with one manual setting, or let the camera adjust as needed?
    In any event this is well done. Congrats.

    1. David Hodge says:

      Opps. Answered my own questions. I’m novice to Canon, but with outcomes like this I might convert over from Nikon.

  6. Jimit Mehta says:

    Loved It!! Wow.

  7. Serge Taveras says:


  8. Randy Noland says:

    Great stuff Philip. Were you shooting through glass from a room? I would assume due to the weather.

  9. Ryan Hakes says:

    lightning capital of the world

  10. Doug says:

    Wow. How did you run the camera and capture all those photos continuously over 4 days? Does Canon or anyone else sell a AC adapter for the 7d or did you just switch a lot of batteries?

    1. pbloom says:

      AC adaptor Doug

  11. Ben Briceno says:

    Dang, this is SWEET.

  12. Andrew Howe says:

    I had quite a good natural light show on my last day in Orlando. What was disconcerting was I was in a plane waiting to leave the tarmac at Orlando International at the time.

  13. This is amazing. Thanks for sharing what equipment you used to shoot this. I just purchased a 7d and am trying to learn all I can.

  14. Andrew A. says:

    wow the sky was a Fantastic color during the storm

  15. Yann says:

    Nice work dude ! you did well ! 😉

  16. John Marc Green says:

    Spectacular light show! Thanks for sharing this. Just got an intervalometer for the T2i; maybe I can catch a storm this week. Very inspiring.

  17. That moon looks really cool.
    But what is that heavy flickering around second 19?

    – Sebastian

    1. pbloom says:

      that was the lightning Sebastian, the sheet/ heat lightning was so bright it lit up the whole area like daylight hence the change in brightness!

      1. ooohh okay … that makes sense now 😉

  18. Jimit Mehta says:

    Actually, it is AC adapter Philip :-) Gotta take Doug’s side on this one.

    1. Jimit Mehta says:

      The truth is that both are acceptable in their spelling.

      1. pbloom says:

        i wasnt correcting his spelling just telling him what i used!

  19. Daniel Lowe says:

    This is pretty awesome. I’ve been time-lapsing a lot lately (with a 7D and that Tokina 11-16mm lens), but I haven’t been able to time it properly with a thunderstorm approaching.

  20. David H says:

    The first question in this thread is also my question. I have a ND Filter 8, and could never drag my shutter to 15 to 20 seconds. How do you do this and keep from overexposing. ANYONE feel free to answer. Thank you somebody, hopefully Mr. Bloom.

  21. STR says:

    That was awesome! the moon is crazy as well…

    what time frame was that over?

    some awesome stills in there with the lightning up in the clouds!!

  22. Was great meeting you at the filmmakers, thanks again for your time. Looking forward to seeing your four day time-lapse, the storm was awesome! Was the frame blending FCP plug-in ReelSmart Motion Blur?

  23. Hans says:

    Spectacular! The 7D might be waterproof, but what about lenses? Do you use extra protection for them?

  24. Hey Philip!
    Nice work!
    We learn a lot with your posts.
    Greetings from Brazil!

  25. brian chang says:

    you should chase storms

  26. Todd VanSlyck says:

    I’ve never seen clouds change direction so many times in a time lapse, that was cool.

  27. Yuri says:

    this is wicked! im trying to shoot timelapse with 5d mk2 of these weird clouds tonight, camera is turned on in AV shooting through live view mode, do you guys happen to know why the iso keeps changing? It seems to be on an auto setting and i cant find a way to disable it..

  28. ifocusfilms says:

    Very cool time-lapse! How many hours/days do you think you’ve spent on rooftops, mountains, street corners, etc…. shooting these pieces of art jk

    Looks like central FL, what part ?

  29. Owen Osborne says:

    Thats Eckerd College isn’t it?!?!?!?!?