When I shot film I had a go at shooting lightning a number of times but never with any success. I would try and react to get the bolt but it was always gone. When you are using film and having a very low success rate, things get too expensive. Consequently, I gave up on it. The move to digital opened up a new range of possibilities.
My new approach doesn’t involve much skill (but then neither does using an electronic trigger). I set up the exposure to have a reasonably long shutter speed. Then I put the camera on continuous mode, plug in the cable release and lock the shutter open. Then the camera takes a steady stream of shots. Of course, when there is a slight gap between shots, you can imagine when the lightning will strike.
I used to shoot a lot from the apartment in Chicago. Set the camera up and go and do something else. Unfortunately, the heavy rains that would accompany the storm activity could result in the sky glaring out but you still had a chance. Some of the shots were okay and every once in a while you would get a really cool outcome. The Trump Tower was next to us and it would be struck occasionally but it was too close to get a good look at. You could hear it though!