Lightning in Iskenderun Bay – The story behind this image

Hello! My name is Dmitriy Makarov. I am from Latvia, and I work as a senior merchant marine officer on gas tankers. I like my job and the opportunities it gives to me.
Throughout the years, I’ve been in different places and have seen various weather phenomena. But just recently I decided to capture it.

I am new to photography, but I always had an interest in photo and art. And I was always curious about how all the stunning photos are made. I wanted to upgrade from a mobile phone camera to some kind Enthusiast/Pro camera.

As a seaman, I travel a lot. And in addition to my main luggage, a full-frame system would add a lot of extra weight. So I decided to check crop cameras that are more lightweight and more versatile.

After some research, I bought the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II. And the photos below were made with this camera and a 25mm F1.8 lens. These pictures were made while I was on board, and the ship was at anchor. The weather is typical for this time of year in Iskenderun Bay, Turkey. So I was lucky to be there at that moment.

The shot was taken using Live Composite mode and a tripod. It took about 2-3 minutes – so shore lights were blurred, as ship constantly moved and vibration was present all the time. The settings I’ve used were ISO200, f1.8, and 1/2s for live composite.

After many attempts, I found that it is better to overexpose the image a little bit prior post-process, as Olympus cameras have a better dynamic range in highlights than in shadows. And finally, the image was processed in Affinity Photo app for iPad.

The adjustments made to obtain the final image were as described below:
1. Crop, rotate;
2. Reduce exposure to bring out details in the highlights ;
3. Increase clarity;
4. Contrast;
5. Colour overlay;
6. Soften shore lights.

So far I am very excited about this camera and its capabilities. And the power of the Raw files during post-processing. It is a perfect system for travelling, as it is lightweight, loaded with many interesting functions and has a great MFT lens range.

Just recently bought an E-M1 Mark III and this camera just blew my mind! Hope to make some great photos as I’m still passionate about learning and trying out Olympus cameras to their limits!

To conclude, below you can see a couple of photos from the same occasion:

"My name is Dmitriy Makarov. I am from Latvia, and I work as a senior merchant marine officer on gas tankers. I like my job and the opportunities it gives to me."

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