Non - Fishing Report… Safety First

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing' started by CraigSmith, Sep 24, 2021.

  1. CraigSmith

    SDFish VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,418
    Trophy Points:
    250
    Ratings:
    +3,629
    Was loading truck in preparation for a sunset to early evening session on mission bay when things started to get gloomy and windy at my house. Then a bit noisy.

    Waving a graphite stick around during a T-Storm isn’t a risk I care to take. so took a pass … for today.

    DC94D296-6F23-474C-9BBD-269E30FF556E.jpeg
    17C8600E-1DA9-4B57-8154-76A1802217AA.jpeg

    7CB2D7CD-25A4-4D2B-8596-34D581DB52B9.jpeg

    ED5386A0-9170-46C0-93F4-770023E73CF8.jpeg
     
    #1 CraigSmith, Sep 24, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
  2. William Ritchie

    SDFish VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Messages:
    2,025
    Trophy Points:
    285
    Location:
    Santee California
    Ratings:
    +7,272
    Name:
    WjRitchie
    I don't know how often I have tried to capture lightning in a photo , never seems to work out .. good job of getting the shot . I have not witnessed a fishing rod strike but there are ample examples of what actually happens . This is not my photo but I don't think it would have done the owner any good if the rod was in hand . For those who say lightning won't strike twice in the same spot , Melvyn Roberts holds the record of being hit 11 times in 12 years , go figure , the guy must be a natural ground rod . WR lightning2.jpg
     
    #2 William Ritchie, Sep 25, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
  3. CraigSmith

    SDFish VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,418
    Trophy Points:
    250
    Ratings:
    +3,629
    For lightning I use an app for the iPhone and iPad called iLightningCam2. There isn't and Android version. I think there is similar app for Android based phones.

    You can also buy remote triggers that work with many DSLR and mirrorless cameras and some bridge cameras. The camera must have a socket for a wired remote trigger. These triggering devices start at around $120 and a cable to match the camera starts at around $15.

    Lightning produces short pulses of light in a range of the spectrum both visible and invisible to the human eye. At the beginning of the strike an infrared burst (IR) is produced that is picked up by the trigger device which can then often trigger the camera shutter in time to capture the lightning strike. The iPhone sensors can pick this up but dedicated cameras need the external sensor.

    With the iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) everything is pretty automatic. Just turn on the app, make sure it is focused on something the the distance (50ft is usually enough - the app helps pick a focus point), and let the app run. You can hand hold but that gets tiring. I mount on a tripod. The app hasn't been updated in a few years so I'm not sure if it works with the latest iPhones and iPads (app store should give compatibility), but it works with my iPhone 6s and iPad mini 2nd generation and iPad 7th generation. Pretty sure it works through iPhone 10 (X). [app was updated recently for iPhones with 2 and 3 camera lenses - generally you would want to use the widest angle lens to have best chance of a capture and then crop the image as necessary.]

    With the specialized triggers for dedicated cameras you need to manually set exposure for ambient light (manually set aperture and shutter speed and ISO).

    Without a trigger you can mount a strong neutral density (ND) filter on the camera lens for daytime. Like an 6 to 10 stop ND filter. Not needed for night. Then set a long exposure time. Still need to set exposure manually. Use the camera's intervalometer to just continually shoot photos with one shutter button press. I would typically set for 30" exposures. With this method you will get a lot more images of nothing but don't need the extra trigger. A 10 stop ND filter costs more than the trigger though.

    In all cases I mount camera on a tripod.

    The iPhone/iPad methods is the easiest. My phone is in rugged case so the rain, if present doesn't bother it though I might need to wipe of the lens if it gets a water drop on it.
     
    #3 CraigSmith, Sep 25, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
  4. B8DHOOK

    SDFish VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Messages:
    2,380
    Trophy Points:
    265
    Ratings:
    +7,437
    Great info Craig. The view from my front yard is looking at Palomar Mtn and we get quite the show when storms come over the Mtn. Especially these super cells that creep over in the summer time. I’ll have to load that app on the IPhone and see if I can capture some images. Cool stuff.
     
  5. Tony Vegas

    SDFish VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2020
    Messages:
    444
    Trophy Points:
    170
    Ratings:
    +1,180
    Name:
    Tony Vegas
    you can take video and just select a single frame from the film
     
  6. CraigSmith

    SDFish VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,418
    Trophy Points:
    250
    Ratings:
    +3,629
    You can do that but it uses a lot a memory power and the images won't be of the same quality, though image quality may not be of concern for web or social media posts. You also need to scan though the video to find frames with the lightning and strikes may come in the time between frames. What is nice with a phone or tablet is you can just scan to a frame and take a screenshot without any special software. The quality of the screenshot may be compromised though depending on any resampling that the devices does to make the image fit the screen.

    Many cameras also have limit on how long they will capture video before they need to be shut down to cool off. Not so much and issue with a phone or tablet or action camera like a GoPro with the small sensors that don't generate as much heat but definitely an issue with DSLR and Mirrorless cameras with their larger sensors.

    There are some other things to consider when going the video route:

    There is a lot of compression going on to produce video frame to keep from chewing up too much memory. The compression reduces image quality. Not really noticeable when viewing as video but obvious when you pull a still from video. Also not as noticeable when you reduce the size for web posting.

    Video frames don't use the full resolution of the camera sensor. For example a 1080p frame is roughly equivalent to a 2MP still since the resolution is only 1960x1080 pixels regardless of sensor size/resolution. 4K is 3840 x 2160 or about 8.3 MP. 4K 4:3 aspect ratio video gives you about 12 MP stills. So if you shoot video you get the same size stills whether you camera as a 12, 20, 24, 36, or 45, etc megapixel resolution sensor. A 5K video gives you 15.75MP stills.

    To have the best chance at capturing lightning you generally need to use a wide angle lens, unless your are fortunate to have a pretty good storm at a distance so that it does not appear to be moving much from your perspective. In that case you can use a telephoto. Unless you get lucky and have a strike that covers a large area of the frame you need to crop the image to get something without a lot of dead sky. The images I posted above were cropped so using only about 1/4 of the original frame. Of course if I had more interesting terrestrial features I may not have needed to crop.

    Video exposures are usually about 1/(2 x frame rate). So for instance if shooting at 30fps, shutter speed will be about 1/60th of a second. This doesn't matter for the lightning strike since the flash is much shorter, but other objects in the frame may be blurred due to motion, either because they are moving, or because you are handholding the camera. This may or may not be acceptable for still images. It's probably okay for web and social media shots.

    If the camera that you are shooting video with is generating Mpeg-4 files, each frame is not a full frame of data. Some key frames with all data are captured then frames that only have differences in data from the previous frame. This cuts down on the data that needs to be recorded. Your video viewer interprets data from multiple frames to show you a good looking video frame. If the still frame you want to capture comes from a key frame you can get a decent still but if it is from one of the intermediate the quality will be lower. It may still be usable for web posting, but much less likely for printing.

    One advantage of using a camera where you can set long exposure times is that you may be able to capture multiple strikes in one image if you have an active storm. Many of those great lighting photo images you can see in galleries and can purchase prints of where captured with long exposures. With video you need to grab multiple stills then merge them with photo editing software that has that capability.

    For web and social media postings the biggest downside to video is storage required and the need to hunt through frames to find a decent one to grab a still from.

    One issue to look out for is rolling shutter. With moving subjects this cn cause things to look a bit distorted, liked they are curved or leaning a bit. Doesn't show up as much in stills but it can. When you have sudden changes in brightness during an exposure this can show as brighter bands in the image. This occurs because the sensor doesn't doesn't capture across the frame all at once, rather it captures area as the shutter opening passes over (or the device scans across the sensor). This is much less likely to occur will really long exposure times. You can see a bit of rolling shutter effect with lightning in the last image above in the brighter band at the bottom of the image. Here are two images the show the effect more profoundly. First one I could have edited in Photoshop to make the center look like the top and bottom by introducing noise.

    BFF8A10F-CDC5-43BD-953C-04A33F0CBC63.jpeg

    776E2FAA-1DCF-4999-A573-59BB3D57B234.jpeg

    During the storm the other day I had the phone set up for an hour and it captured 36 images of which 10 were usable even though they had rolling shutter effect that I could crop out. Another dozen had rolling shutter effect that I couldn't crop out and have a decent image. There were a lot more visible strikes but they were outside the field of view of the phone camera.

    A GoPro running and 30fps for a bit more than an hour left me with over 108000 frames to search through. Scanning at high speed help narrow the search range down. In the end I didn't end up with any usable still frames as all of th bolts frames were affected by rolling shutter though the video looked decent and more bolts were seen due to the wider angle of the GoPro lens.

    So, you can grab frames from video (from any source) and they may be useful for web publishing at the expense of storage and time searching or a good frame. If I want something for print I'm going to use a dedicated camera if the weather is reasonable where I am (no moderate to heavy rain and the camera body and lens covered up to the lens hood. Stills from a phone is sort of the in between and perhaps the easiest option. YMMV.
     
    #6 CraigSmith, Sep 26, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
  7. Tony Vegas

    SDFish VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2020
    Messages:
    444
    Trophy Points:
    170
    Ratings:
    +1,180
    Name:
    Tony Vegas
    I think most ppl use their phones and don't have DSLRs or mirror-less cameras, and when it starts to rain and lightning out easiest thing to grab is your phone.......Although I have quite a few Ks worth of camera gear, grabbing the phone is much easier. plus phones film in 4K now too so many more pixels available. and you can change the file type that is recorded to give it the best quality once saved.
     
  8. old_rookie

    Staff Member SDFish VIP

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,952
    Trophy Points:
    305
    Ratings:
    +7,937
    Cool - just downloaded it - now to wait until the next storm.
     
Loading...
Similar Threads - Fishing Report… Safety Forum Date
Dangers of Bay Fishing alone? Bay Fishing Oct 15, 2021
Jethro Gibbs Flyfishing? General Fishing Oct 13, 2021
California to offer 365 day fishing licenses The Lounge Oct 11, 2021
NorCal Fishing Surf, Piers, & Jetties Oct 10, 2021
Lake Havasu City Fishing On Thanksgiving Weekend? Bass Oct 10, 2021

Share This Page