Tim Samaras and 10,000 frames per secound

Sep 25, 2006
I just got back form Ball state where Tim was there talking about storm chasing. I guess he recently has been doing some interesting stuff with lightning. He has been using a high speed camera to slow down lightning strikes, to the point where he can see many stages of a lightning strike. If I find any pics I will post them later. Its really cool its almost like a webbing effect right before one makes contact with the ground leader. Hes got one shot of the bottom quater of one strick alot brighter than the rest, their is some pretty weird stuff going on there as well.

Maybe we can get some of his on here so you guys can see what I am talking about. I am pretty sure alot of what he's doing has not been done before, and the shots are just absolutly beautiful!!!!
I haven't had the chance to see the footage yet, but I am anxious to! This is something I've always wanted to do as well. I've seen some low-res high-speed shots of lightning, enough to know that a modern high-speed cam in the hands of a chaser is going to yield spectacular results!
He presented at the Convention, and the footage was absolutely spectacular. He's also got a much higher speed camera slated for action this summer. I think he said something on the order of one million frames per second? I'm very much looking forward to seeing what he gets.

I also wonder if that 10,000 fps camera might be useful in photogramatic tornado analysis. Could be interesting. Best of luck this year, Tim.
video clip of 10,000 fps lightning

I went with Farrer and agree, it was the highlight of the presentation and truly fantastic to watch. I did take a 15 second video showing 2 of the many lightning strikes Tim captured. I will post it on youtube (temporarily so Dan and others can see it) ...when I get to a faster internet connection that is.

And yes the second camera will be used for 1 million frames a second, using digital instead of film. He mentioned 82 or 88, 11 MegaPixel CCD sensors.
Pretty darn cool.
Thanks for all of the kind words.

I've kindly asked Terrence to not post on UT due to the sensitive nature of the video.

More details when I'm not on a silly PDA!

Thanks for your understanding.

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Oops... didn't think

I hope everyone gets a chance to see this excellent material once it is studied and put into documentary or television format. How much is the "all" digital 10,000 FPS camera Tim?

The feel of a REAL keyboard.

Terrence, thanks again for your reconsideration!

As far as the price goes on the camera...well....you really didn't want to buy that H1 Hummer, did you?

Where I work, we have several of these cameras, as I use them in my line of work (defense related), other than being a proctologist for tornadoes during spring.

Paul, you are correct. I have a camera that is capable of 1 million frames per second, and I'm hoping to convert it over to digital for next summer.

I've also subjected the folks at the chaser convention on my viewpoint of film Vs digital...it isn't pretty. (for those who don't know...I'm a proponent of digital).

Anyways, I plan to return to the plains late summer during the monsoon season with the monster camera (weighs 1,600 pounds) to see what we can capture.

Oh, I will be showing the footage again at the Iowa Radar conference in late March.