Catch the Lighting Bolt




About: I study Teaching physics and geography, I enjoy with laws of nature :D Be happy and fun with science.

Firstly, thanks for views on my first project (here),I really dont expect, that. Because we reach 2000 views, I make fast project about taking photos of lighting bolts or basically storm using smartphone cam.

Step 1: Extract Photos

Before several weeks, I had idea to make long video (about 20 minutes) of storm, and then extract photos from video. 1 second of video is nothing more, then 25 or more photos "in move". I am not smart at video convertors, so I used external website (filezigzag), where you upload video, and then its automatically send photos (images in png I choose) to your email in zip file. Simple!

Step 2: Finding Flashes

What is problem, you have a lot of images (thounsands). I have around 10k photos. So how to choose only with good flashes? Just arrange photos according size. I make video during night, 99 % photos were black and small (around less than 5 kb size). Photos with lighting bolts have around 100 kb to 200 kb.

When you make video during day, it can be problem, bolts don't change size of picture so much.

Even we have good technology for making photos of lighting bolts, this is project for kids with smartphones. It is simple method to get photos of sky, country during storm, too.

Step 3: Two Photos of One Bolt?

Explore Science Contest 2017

Participated in the
Explore Science Contest 2017



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    4 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I've tried the video trick (albeit in a few-second bursts), for the same reasnon (thouands of frames). Never thought about sorting by size.....GREAT instructable!

    1 reply
    Michal ChomaLabRatMatt

    Reply 1 year ago

    thanks, it is just for funny. Maybe with camera with raspberry pi and enough memory can take video during whole night, cca 8 hours. But external website dont take it, only 200 MB.