Saturday, August 27, 2011

What Was That Flashing In The Sky Friday Morning?

The folks at are wondering if that recent lightning storm was more than routine atmospheric electrostatic discharge in the skies above Salem. In a recent article, reporter Tim King describes his perspective of the light show. Read it here. He also shot this video of the storm from his backyard.

I saw the skies myself that night from up in the south Salem hills and never thought is was more then a typical storm. Here's video that I shot and edited. 

My video has been edited to include only the lightning strikes. It was shot between 3:30 and 4:30am. In the second half of the video, I took the most dramatic strikes and slowed them down 50%. Here's some other Salem videos of that dramatic morning.

This is video was shot by Cheever95111


This video was shot by noellybobelly. They got some great sound of the thunder.

The Hood To Coasters got a great view of the storm.

This was Lincoln Grave's account of the start of the race.

KATU's Valerie Hurst took the best of viewer videos and turned this story for the newscast.

With newer digital technologies it is a lot easier to capture video of lightning. In the old days, you used to have to point the camera at the skies and roll tape, hoping that you capture enough strikes before you run out of media. Today, the cameras have a pre-roll function. This allows you to capture video as far back as 15 seconds before you press the record button. Basically, I set my camera to 6sec pre-roll. Whenever I saw a lightning strike in my viewfinder, I hit record and captured the lightning after the fact. I like to tell people that I can go back in time. This pre-roll feature is one of my favorite improvements in video production since I started in this business in the 90's. My camera is usually set on 3sec pre-roll. It is most handy for capturing sound bites after you hear someone say it. It is technically possible now to shoot a football game on Friday night and only record the highlights.

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