Ever tried to get shots of your Glock in the wild but keep coming up short. Well Robert Godwin, sight member, writer, and amateur photographer, shares how he got this series of amazing images. So if you are a Glock buff, or a camera buff, or both, keep reading! (And of course always follow all range safety rules at all time.)-Editors
I am using a DSLR Canon T2I, it is an 18 mp with 18-55mm lens, great camera that also does video in 1080, which is what these came from. No way I could capture or should I say get the timing right to catch the flame. Actually, in my opinion, given the settings I use, I would estimate the flame to only last between 1/20th and 1/30th of a second. Reason being is that I shoot at different settings but all are close. Most frequently, I use the 24 frames a second mode, lens set at F3.5, ISO set in the 200 to 400 range, (that depends on the range lighting) and shutter set a 1/30th. Meaning 24 frames a second with each frame captured at 1/30th of a second per frame.
Now the flame estimate is based on observing the play back, sometimes there is no flame captured, guessing 20% of the time, another 10% of the time only part is captured, and when I say part, I am meaning upper part or lower part, split framing as it were. There is a flame every time no doubt, I can definitely see it every single time I shoot.
Now here is the strange part, or at least the part that I was not expecting, setting the camera on 30FPS I still have fairly good results, 60/40 but not as good as 24, and going to 60 FPS, poor results. Smooth playback but not capturing the entire flame in one frame, which is what you need it to do. I would have thought just the opposite but no. It is almost as if the camera has to be set right along with the duration of the flame, 1/20th-1/30th. Same thing when I keep the FPS at 24 but increase the shutter up from 1/30th, very mixed results. Ambient lighting could be playing a factor in this as some ranges have more or less. I usually try to pick a lane with a dark background to show the flame in better contrast.
Next task will be getting shots with the camera at a 90 degree angle to the gun, very hard at an indoor range given the narrow lane compartments, and talking the wife into it hasn't worked either, you end up to close to the gun in such a confined space. I may ask the range, on a slow day, if I could have some staff help monitoring me as I set this photo shoot up. I would like to know the actual distance the flame travels forward.
I play it back at the range so I have a good idea of it right then although I cannot see the real detail. As long as I see a big flash, I know I got something to look at. Did you notice the skull like image in that one shot...freaked me right out... the flames are just like snowflakes, each one is different, and you never know what you are going to get it onto a monitor screen to view the details.
One other thing to note is the caliber used, I seem to always capture a 45 flame each and every time, could this be speed related, I venture to say yes. This happens with 40s also quite frequently. The 9mm is spotty but not bad, just not much flame to see, the 380s do well, but the AR (shooting 5.56) is perhaps a one out of ten capture at present settings. With the AR, a 60FPS mode may work better.
I use QuickTime to view the video; it allows you to move the slide bar one frame at a time with the mouse. And it seems to have better color and resolution than other video viewers I use. Sure haven't tried them all, suggestions welcome. Usually I will do a full screen mode, find the right frame, hit the print screen key, and then paste it in a photo-editing program to crop the shot, enhance the overall contrast and color, and sharpen if necessary. I know there are video editing programs but all I am after is capturing one frame so a good viewer is all you need.
This picture is unique and has never happened before or since. It shows the vortex actually rolling downward as it is leaving the gun. Beautiful but cannot be duplicated, or at least I do not know how. Another image I will send it of the same gun and ammo but using my tablet, 5 mp and no way to set anything but it did capture something I usually do not notice, and that was the distance that flame traveled.
You can tell the quality is different but still quite a shot in my opinion. I have no idea what settings this device uses, all automatic. I would love the try a Go-Pro and see what it could do but I'm pretty satisfied with what I can get using the Canon.
I have read there is an add on device for the Canon that is a sound activated shutter release, that would be very cool if it worked, the ones I've seen that have good results are not cheap.
Hope I answered your questions, if not; I can be more specific in whatever area you need, just let me know.
I might add that some of the videos are jumpy due to my wife sometimes taking the video and the empties are raining down on her, once in a while one will find its way down her shirt= very jumpy video. And she will not take any if I am shooting the AR, those are flying out double quick and double hot...ha.
In this one, a person at work bet me I could not fire the 2 357sigs at the exact same time, he lost as I did it 7 times. My wife had to stand behind me as one gun blocked the others flame shooting at the regular angle so the flame did not appear as large from behind. Right one was the G33/left one the G32. She hated this shoot session, double rain, and I won't be doing it again either, not fun at all as the guns slammed into each other every time due to following the path of least resistance, which was the open hand side.
In addition, I catch her standing behind the other stall, and just kind of aiming the camera...that gets me fired up too. "No one wants to see my face, down the range or the target dear, point at the gun please"... 357s are not cheap... .
Robert G. aka cudaviper