How to take photos of lightning with your iPhone!

I reckon I’ve wasted so much time over the years trying to take a picture of lightning. I’ve even tried to take screen-shots of video footage. It always looked rubbish.

Mr & Mrs Romance - 1 Lightning title

I used to be quite scared of storms when I was a kid. I think most kids are. But then my mum took me out into the back garden during a storm under a little plastic dome tent and I’ve loved them ever since.

Mrs Romance and I were in Coogee recently when a lightning storm hit just off the coast. From our balcony in the Crowne Plaza, I managed to snap a whole load of lightning strikes just with my phone.

I was quite pleased with the results, so I thought you might like to see how I did it:

To start with, you need an iPhone 5S. This phone has a unique function called Photo Burst. It was designed to take a range of action shots of someone – for example jumping on a bed!

Mr & Mrs Romance - 2 bed jump collage

This is what I used to take a burst of photos to capture the storm.

All you do is hold the shutter button down on your iPhone and the camera takes over 300 shots every 30 seconds. The phone even chooses the ones it thinks is the best or most in focus.

Mr & Mrs Romance - 3 Large lightning collage

We were both really surprised with the results.

I’m just waiting for the next storm to hit!

The iPhone 5S can do some pretty cool stuff – here are our 7 favourite features the 5S has to offer.

Mr & Mrs Romance - 4 Lightning burst collage

Do you like thunder storms? My nan used to hide under the dinner table during storms – did yours? What’s your favourite thing about your phone’s camera? Tell us in the comments!

Mr & Mrs Romance - 5 Lightning burst hero 3

Images by Mr Romance.


  • Reply July 9, 2014


    Wow! They’re fantastic shots and great tips. I need to tell hubby about this. He’s obsessed with taking photos of lightning. He sits for hours on the verandah with his camera, tripod and cable release. Like I said, obsessed x

    • Reply July 10, 2014

      Mr Romance

      Thanks Bele! Yes, this is much easier than those very technical long exposure shots you need with a DSLR – though the quality is going to be so much better than what you’d get with a phone camera. Still, for a bit of fun, this is perfect!

  • Reply July 9, 2014


    I’ll have to try that one out next time I’ve got the chance. If you do have a digital SLR, I might be able to suggest a couple of easy ways to get some great lighting shots, been playing around with them for a while. Mostly it’s just patience and pure dumb luck ;-)) Oh, and a good bottle of red to keep you warm while you do it!

    • Reply July 10, 2014

      Mr Romance

      I love those long exposure lightning shots you see in mags and online from time to time, Gordon. Apart from the company (I hear rioja is popular in your household!) the results are well worth the wait. Mrs Romance has a DSLR – I reckon she’d love to hear what you’ve got to say. I’m a 100% novice when it comes to SLR cameras, but I’m keen to learn! 🙂

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  • […] How to take photos of lightning with your iPhone (plus bonus shots of me jumping on a bed!) […]

  • […] I’ve been staring at this set of photos since we were at Bondi last week wondering what to do with them. I took a Photo Burst on my iPhone, which is where you press and hold the camera shutter on your phone and it takes like a million shots a minute [ed. it’s about 300 per min.] – it’s actually one of our favourite features for taking photos of lightning with your iPhone. […]

  • […] The weather takes a turn for the worse this evening. A big storm has come up from the south and is sitting just off the coast. So many lightning strikes! I manage to snap this little belter on my iPhone with this little trick! […]

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