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Capturing tiny sparks/flashes of light via video/photo? Answered

Alright, for one of my upcoming Instructables, I need to capture tiny sparks or flashes of light (same thing, just not sure exactly what to call them) on video and take a picture also. I've tried and tried, but no matter how dark the room is, I just can't seem to get it on video. Even if I see it myself, for some reason it doesn't show up on camera. Is it possibly due to the fact that the light I'm trying to capture is ultraviolet light turned into blue light? Thanks!

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NachoMahma

11 years ago

> the light I'm trying to capture is ultraviolet light turned into blue light . This is pretty much a wild guess, but could the camera be seeing the UV and adjusting itself accordingly? Ie, it thinks the scene is well lit and takes a "fast" picture?

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NachoMahmaNachoMahma

Reply 11 years ago

. Try shooting with the UV source off and a small light that approximates the output of your flashes.

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BranNachoMahma

Reply 11 years ago

Well, the stuff that's creating the spark is one thing, I can't remove ultraviolet light. Unless that's not what you meant....

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NachoMahmaBran

Reply 11 years ago

. What I see going on is you have a UV source (black light) causing something to glow (can't spell flourese) that you want to take a picture/movie of, with your face lit by the glow. . If so, turn off the black light, replace the glowing stuff with a lamp of similar light output and see if the exposure comes out OK. If it does, then my hypothesis of UV fooling the auto-exposure is correct.

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BranNachoMahma

Reply 11 years ago

I'm working on Triboluminescence (read the second to last sentence in the second paragraph). I can chew it, or hit them with a hammer. I've tried both, neither show up.

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NachoMahmaBran

Reply 11 years ago

. OIC! Then all I can tell ya is to make sure your camera is in full manual with the longest exposure and smallest f-stop.

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BranNachoMahma

Reply 11 years ago

I've tried both - sadly, I think I've reached the end. Now I guess I'm going to have to beg canida or someone to let me use images from the Internet - scary!

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schorhr

11 years ago

Can you link a picture / series / video you took here? It might be possible to enhance the contrasts if the JPEG/MPEG2/DV compression is not too high, which i did several times on too dark webcam shots. Else, as everybody said, use the highest ISO. Usualy fast shutter speed is the way to go, unless you miss the moment of the spark/lightflashes.

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Branschorhr

Reply 11 years ago

Good idea! But, sadly, I increased the contrast on one of the pictures I took, and all that did was show an extremely grainy outline of my head. Did it on another, came up a bit clearer, still no flashing. I'll work on the video. Thanks!

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schorhrBran

Reply 11 years ago

Can you post a picture? Its not just the contrast that can be played with to enhance weak contrasts, but also gamma and such.

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Branschorhr

Reply 11 years ago

Alright, here's two I couldn't make out anything (except a faint outline in one).

Triboluminescence 026.jpgTriboluminescence 010.jpg
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schorhrBran

Reply 11 years ago

The shutter speed alone will not bring any results if the light sensitivity is too low, since the distortion will probably be higher then. A good idea would be a "classic" camera with 1600 ISO film, but the film alone is rather pricey...

I was able to extract a bit of information out of the pictures, but both the distortion and the jpeg artefacts (almost equal parts will be flattened or exchanged by similar parts of the picture) made nearly anything usable visible.

still it was fun to play with the pictures.

next to the picture included I uploaded a full series of enhanced (contrast, gamma, black/white ratio, and such) pictures here:

! http://wap.cc/ae/aqua/enhance_dark_result.htm

enhance_dark_result_prev.jpg
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BranBran

Reply 11 years ago

Oh, and that line is from the light outside my mom turned on.

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BranWeissensteinburg

Reply 11 years ago

Seems like it would, but I guess not this light. I still don't understand, as other people (though very few) have captured it.

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Kiteman

11 years ago

If you're videoing, can you increase your frame-rate?

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BranKiteman

Reply 11 years ago

Currently it's at 640 x 480, and 30 fps. The only thing I could do that would increase the frame rate is to put it to 320 x 240, and 60 fps.

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WeissensteinburgBran

Reply 11 years ago

Oh, and for the photograph, just use a slow shutter speed, and if it's adjustable, a large aperture (small number)

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BranWeissensteinburg

Reply 11 years ago

Still didn't get anything with the 60 fps. Guess I'll try the long exposure now.

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BranBran

Reply 11 years ago

My camera has a 15 second exposure time and an f-stop of 2.7 Should I also use a high/low ISO?

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BranBran

Reply 11 years ago

Can't believe it, I still didn't get it captured! I'm running out of supplies, do you think the Instructable would still be accepted into the Science Fair without my own picture of the Instructable in action? (I have pictures of the supplies....)

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WeissensteinburgBran

Reply 11 years ago

the long exposure didn't work? do the 15 second ss, and a high iso...otherwise it's some kind of light that the camera can't see.

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BranWeissensteinburg

Reply 11 years ago

The highest my camera goes is ISO 800, which is what I had the camera on. I'll try a bit more though. Thanks.

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lemonie

11 years ago

Can you see the flashes in the viewfinder / LCD display? Are you doing this in the dark, or in good light? Cameras are sensitive in the infra-red, and perhaps weaker towards the blue, but I don't know why this doesn't pick up. L

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Branlemonie

Reply 11 years ago

I'm doing it in a completely dark room (no windows). I've looked online, other people have taken pictures/movies, but I feel like I should capture it myself rather than use theirs for the Instructable.

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lemonieBran

Reply 11 years ago

Well, you could try fiddling with your camera's settings. I assume it doesn't have a night-vision capability and you've taken the lense cap off (sorry). L

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Branlemonie

Reply 11 years ago

Heh, yeah, I've taken the cap off, and unfortunately it doesn't have a night vision setting. Now, my camcorder.....