Storm Chaser Captures Lightning at 1,000fps in 4K

When lightning strikes, it flashes across the sky in a beautiful yet brief moment. Storm chaser and filmmaker Dustin Farrell has compiled two years of lighting footage, shot at 1,000 frames per second, using a Phantom Flex 4K – and it’s as electrifying as you’d expect.

Entitled Transient 2, the film is a sequel to his first 4K 1,000fps storm chasing film Transient, released two years ago. Fusing both Phantom footage and time-lapse imagery, the film is a celebration of lightning’s power and majesty, painting dark skies in patterns of white and blue.

The film was created from over 30 terabytes of footage from two years. Travelling over 35,000 miles to capture the different scenes, he then spent 300 hours editing and colour-grading to forge the final piece. Detailed in the video’s description, Farrell used a Phantom Flex 4K is ideal for recording slow motion lightning footage, as it must be “post triggered”.

Beginning with a lone wind turbine spinning in a ferocious wind, we then see a field of them before a burning orange sky. The film then starts with a web of lighting, journeying across a black sky with sporadic grace. The pace begins to increase, until we are lost in a whirlwind of racing storms and lightning strikes guaranteed to make the thunder gods smile.

“This works out well for capturing lightning because the camera is always recording and rewriting to internal ram. As soon as a bolt appears in my view finder I trigger the camera to save what has been stored in the ram,” writes Farrell. “Shooting at high frame rates requires a lot of light. Therefore, I mostly used my Zeiss Otus 28, 55, and 85mm lenses wide open at f/1.4.”

Farrell is based in Phoenix, Arizona, but his work has taken him across the world to distant places such as Iceland. For more, visit his website and Instagram.

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Ed Carr is a Yorkshire-born landscape photographer and nature writer. Having spent his youth in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, he takes any opportunity to don his hiking boots and head out, camera in hand. When not out taking pictures or hastily scribbling down his thoughts, Ed’s halfway up a hill out chasing after his dog, Hendrix.

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