I realize this sort of thing is old-hat to some. But, it's pretty exciting to someone who has never captured lightning before. :-) We've had a moderately severe storm rolling through Massachusetts today. A tornado touched-down in Springfield and lightning has been recorded across the state. I say "moderate" because I grew up in Oklahoma and I know what the scene around a severe storm looks like---nothing is left behind. Here, a few buildings were damaged and a few people were killed. Nothing like the storm that hit Joplin, MO. Anyway, I was in the gym during the first round of the Mass. storm, but after I got home, another round of thunderstorms rolled through. We've had a Nikon D50 SLR for a number of years now and I've familiarized myself with shutter-speed and f-stop, so I decided to try my hand at capturing a lightning bolt. After futzing-around, I settled on a shutter speed of 30 seconds, manual focus, little-to-no-zoom and a 13 f-stop. After a few minutes of taking pictures out of our dining room window (which doesn't have a screen), I got one. I couldn't believe it!
FWIW, the rain was pretty strong with this storm. My weather station recorded .63 inches of rain in 20 minutes, a rate of 1.89 inches/hour.