Sometime last week I got my new tripod, a Manfrotto MT29A3 with a 494RC2 ball head. My last tripod was a Slik and I don't know if I forgot it somewhere or if it got stolen or what. Anyways, I've been finding that I keep saying to myself that I wish I had a tripod so that I wouldn't have to be so creative with balancing my camera on a rock or whatever. It's a bit heavier than I expected but it's very sturdy.
I got to test it out a few days ago when we had a thunder storm that lasted most of the day. My goal for the evening was to catch some lightning. Unfortunately, all the conditions were working against me. First, my neighbours' houses were blocking my view from the comfort of my room. The rain was really pouring outside and I didn't want to risk getting everything soaked so I had to wait till the rain died down. By the time I could finally set up, the lighting was striking very far away. And to make it as difficult as possible, the lighting was striking past my neighbour's house which happened to have a floodlight turned on and pointing in my direction. So I had to get creative with blocking out the excess light while getting a good view of the storm clouds.
After about 55 shots I got this: