Lightning Strikes - 3:56

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Lightning Strikes - 3:56

Post by somegeek »

We had some lightning strikes last night in our area. Don't see lightning too often here so it's pretty cool when we do get some weather that yields some boomers. I was sitting outside on the front patio facing the East with a clear sky while enjoying a cigar and heard a few boomers. Stepped out in the yard to look back and see a very dark sky all along the Western horizon. Had a nice system moving up from the south-southwest. I grabbed my video camera and got some footage. :-) I discovered that getting footage of lightning is like fishing... if you keep moving around chasing it you'll miss your target where you just were. Stay put in an area and you'll get lucky(wish fishing was actually that easy). Took over an hour of footage and condensed it to 42 seconds. Slowed a second pass down to 20% normal speed. Yielded a 3 minute 56 second video after adding some titles. Part way through it goes really dark... look for the dot entering on the right. It's a plane... the timing is spot on. :-)

Download - somegeek_lightning_640x480.wmv - 20.5MB

YouTube -

I learned a few things when filming this...

- turn off auto-focus and set for infinity since it is dark and your camera can't focus quick enough on lightning which only lasts 4-10 frames at best.

- slowing down the playback speed lets you really take in the subject matter

- credits moved to upper left-hand corner to avoid covering subject matter

I need to spend some time with my camera manual to see if there are any other settings I need to tweak or verify when trying to capture this subject material.

I think I am over my learning curve with Video Studios 10+(no service pack). The more I use it now, the more I like it.

Capturing footage off my HC3 with HDSplit works well since VS converts the m2t on import. No more HDV capturing headaches with VS. DV captures fine with VS but HDV captures puke for me some reason. Done all the troubleshooting I wish to and HDSplit does the trick so good to go now with this setup. :-)

Last edited by somegeek on Sun Jul 15, 2007 1:30 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Post by sjj1805 »

Loved the first half - very eerie and well done for working out how to film the lightning strikes. thanks for sharing that with us. Quite obvious when you think about it but surprising how we tend to overlook the obvious!

Could I suggest that you upload it to Either YouTube or VEOH.
About half way through I got this
Windows Media Player cannot play the file because a network error occurred. The server might not be available (for example, the server is busy or not online) or you might not be connected the network.
Tried a couple of times with no luck and would really love to see the second half. Good music to go with it as well.

Post by somegeek »

Right-click save as works pretty good to view locally and avoid hiccups. Have this hosted in my Comcast storage space so it should stay connected for your stream but I guess not 100% of the time. :?

Added YouTube link to original post.

Was hesitant to link the 640x480 but the image is that much better.

Thanks for the kind words. :)