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SILHOUETTE SATURDAY – Film "Catch Lightning – 090919 #1"

“Catch Lightning – 090919 #1”

This film was made especially for the ‘Silhouette Saturday” challenge. It runs a whopping 57 seconds which would qualify it for the “one minute film” contests that are common. Many of these contests can be found by searching “one minute film contests” on the search engine of choice. While it was being edited the realization that it would best be a short glimpse of lightning seen from far away at night. The decision to keep it around one minute was made in case there was a chance to enter it in a contest later.

How it was made:

I knew there was lightning from storms in the convergence zones off in the distance and that the flashes of lightning made silhouettes of the courthouse and the trees here in town. So, I set up the camera on the tripod inside the back door to my porch and let the camera run. The lightning was not frequent so later I had to sift through a lot of black footage to isolate the lightning strikes. Once I had the ones that I caught on camera they were edited together into this film. Sequences from the footage were reused by changing the speed and running some in reverse. This made a film where the black spaces were not too long to be boring but would show an interesting glimpse of the view the storms were providing.

I enjoy making short films that are not much more than an impression of an event. A picture that moves a little bit, or changes, providing an impressionistic experience or an interpretation of a visual event for the viewer. It takes me back to my twenties when I was running around the city with an 8mm camera catching little bits of visual life. I hope you enjoy it!


What do you think?

22 Points


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  1. Pretty cool! ? Sounds like it was sort of time-lapse but it’s way more complex than that. This genre seems to have a huge market, contests aside. Stock footage, that would be. ?
    I like how the steeple is always lit (guessing it’s a steeple), it resembles a sinister figure with a pair of eyes staring at the viewer. It makes the whole scene ten times scarier! ?
    You definitely need a tripod to shoot at night. I’d like to get a tripod too.

    • I’m glad you saw the two clocks on the clock tower! At a small size I wondered if they would be noticed.
      I wish I could find some place to put stock footage especially for some of the unusual deer footage. I have been looking into Vimeo’s new stock feature. I wonder how my amateur stuff would size up. Thanks for watching.
      (Tripods are very helpful. Mine also has a monopod which is handy for tracking moving things)

  2. I really love the way you captured the lightning, Howard. As someone that shared time-lapse weather videos, I do sometimes wish the Bloomsky camera worked at night. I would love to see how many times a time-lapse camera could catch lightning.

    • We rarely get it also. And, immediately here we don’t even more because in the direction that most weather comes from there are mountains and the weather goes around them. This lightning is off in the distance where the weather comes back together in “convergence zones”. It may be the first lightning I’ve seen here.
      Thanks for watching Pamela!


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