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flying in thunder and lightning

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gingericeman, May 5, 2015.

  1. gingericeman

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    Just a thought, was looking at photos taken of lightning bolts. I always wanted to photograph them but wouldn't have the patience to sit with a camera for that perfect shot.

    Assuming your positioned near an area and can see the lightning going on and the wind and rain is manageable where you are and your drone is holding station at 300ft recording video and you just pull your stills from it , would it be safe enough for the drone. More or less what are the odds of a lightning strikes. Would the lightning be attracted to a phantom despite its mainly plastic build ? At the end of the day they are built to help us get shots of something that would be difficult to achieve before. Thanks
     
  2. Mal_PV2_Ireland

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    You'd be much better off using a proper camera and tripod and having a ton of patience. Photographing lightning is a skill as much as it requires luck. I have tried so many times to get good pics but have failed miserably each time so I took stills from a video. This was a few years ago and not with a great camera, would I risk my phantom? Personally no, I'd try again with my dslr
    Lightning Over Ireland Dublin Bay.wmv:
     
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  3. mad in nc

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    I have tired it at ~200' early in the evening.... this was after a few "pops".

    I never did get a good still but was up for only 3-4 minutes.

    Would I do it again - yes!
     
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  4. SteveMann

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    I wouldn't. The EMP from a nearby lightning strike could wipe out your Phantom electronics. A direct hit would toast it. Literally. Aluminum aircraft are mostly immune to lightning strikes as the current simply passes through the metal fuselage. There probably isn't a single airliner flying that hasn't taken at least one lightning hit. (Trivia - the winglets on most airliners are Carbon Fiber. They were originally the same aluminum used in the wing, but they acted as lightning rods and scared the passengers. Carbon fiber is conductive but not as much as aluminum and most lightning strikes now hit the tail and exit the belly. Passengers never see it.)
     
  5. jason

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    Learn the art of time lapse photography with a DSLR and the P2 at home.
     
  6. gingericeman

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    Nice vid mal, it got a huge number of hit's too, fair play . Good point regarding the airliners. Would Emp be a big issue if your not directly in the storms path/area but facing it Just, I'm not talking hurricane chasers or anything , but from outside of it looking in.
     
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  7. Larry L

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    Yep, the best way to get lightning is to set up on a tripod, use a 50-75mm lens, ( can try higher mm if lightning is concentrated ) Set your camera to stay open (B on Nikon) set aperture to F-5.6, F8 or so. Set iso to 200, 400. Once a few bolts pop off, you have your image. One key, try to set your camera up in a dark area. If there are street lights, windows, etc, you will need to set your iso lower as you will blow those areas out.
     
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  8. jason

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    A good wide angle 17mm or less would be better and intervalometer if your camera doesn't have one built in.
     
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  9. DarylV

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    Hmmm, makes me wonder. Has anyone tried to approach a tornado? I know you can't get close, but some aerial footage from some distance would be cool.

    -Future storm chaser....
     
  10. jason

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    Again a video camera or DSLR would work allot better than a quadcopter. Think about it. Quadcopters and hexacopters have been around for several years and no one has been using one to capture tornado footage. Gee I wonder why.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. J.James

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    If money were no object it might be really cool to sacrifice a drone in to a storm if there was a way to record the video on the ground so you can have the video. esp if its a tornado or some thing like that cause I'm sure you would not be getting the drone or the camera back after. But I dont work for discovery channel or a goverment funded research institute to be throwing that kind of money in to a tornado or lightning storms... Tho I just seen a few real cool 360 full sphere camera the other day. That are basically a ball with fish eye lens on the entire surface that might be even cooler for some thing like that. One is even about the size of a base ball and is designed to be throw able and take an impact. http://www.we-get-around.com/wegeta...-2015-is-the-year-of-the-360-spherical-camera
     
  12. mad in nc

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    The TRUE definition of flyaway!
     
  13. nintendrone64

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    I think it's definitely worth a try.
    This footage is incredible:
     
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  14. mad in nc

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    got it.... my thoughts; bird 250' straight up in my back yard of 3 acres. Plenty of trees around. Thought is if bird got hit by lightning - goodbye, and hope to hell the bolt would then hit a tree 50' below it.... If not the tree I guess it would be me next?

    The price we pay for fun and games I guess, and I thought of that before I launched BTW
     
  15. johan

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    I would suggest reading up on thunderstorms in general and something known as first gust specifically. Manageable wind can instantly become completely unmanageable wind when thunderstorms are about. I would not fly anything I didn't want to lose in those conditions.
     
  16. gingericeman

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    Wow that footage is incredible, exactly what I'd be looking to value capture. it's scarily beautiful . Thanks Johan I'll read up on it, though at the same time no guts no glory :)
     
  17. SteveMann

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    What is the music?
     
  18. jason

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    Footage from P2 NV/Vision+/P3 Pro or Inspire 1 couldn't come close to raw time lapse footage from a DSLR camera in quality. There are very places in the US where one could capture lightning footage like that shot in Australia and yet be safe many miles away from the storm.
     
    #18 jason, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
  19. DarylV

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    Here is a YouTube video of lightning I caught tonight. I was up only ~50 ft, was getting pretty windy.

    Georgetown, PA

    https://youtu.be

    DJI00671.JPG IMG_2414.jpg
     
  20. Triakis

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    Tell this guy that. He would never had known what was behind his house if he didn't take off!



    I have trees all around here and we get some nice lightning miles away. Can see the flashes but no real view. Going up 200 feet would change all that.

    RE: EMP effects: If the lightning is close enough to fry electronics onboard you're most likely going to have wind and rain/hail(!) issues that would have cut your flight short beforehand.