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Filming UFOs in the Night Sky

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posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 10:12 PM
Recently I was lucky enough to see some very strange lights in the night sky, during the recent wave of horrible storms that ripped through the southern United States. (As a side note to this thread - I would like everyone to do whatever you have the means for to assist in the recovery of the southern States in America. They were ripped harder than most realize and need every bit of support that you can offer, even if that is simply keeping them in your thoughts)

I was excited to see the incredible lights in the sky with the incredible walls of clouds behind them and lightning flashing so very often, with a frequency of 1 strike every 3 - 5 seconds. I knew that getting these lights on film would be awesome to study and share with everyone.

So, I got my Sony CyberShot DSC-H2 and went to take a few stills and video. This camera is a few years old now, but has always been a great camera for anything I have needed it for - except this...

As I tried to record the lights in the sky I found that I couldn't pick the lights up in the night sky, even though they were very bright and visble to me. I tried everything I know for recoring at night; zoom out, focus, zoom in slowly, tripod, etc. Nothing helped in picking up the lights. I was obviously doing something wrong, as I could not even pick up many of the lightning strikes, as only the brightest and most impressive strikes would pick up.

What was even more frustrating was looking at these incredible lights in the sky, watching the lightning flash and being able to make out the profile of an object, with the light covering the night sky. It was so incredible and I was helpless to get it on film to share and analyze for myself. Irritating even more is the fact I know I may never see anything like this again, as the storms of this magnitude have not been recorded in the USA since 1932, long before my birth - and if history holds, won't occur again until long after my death and hopefully by then safety and structures will be built to avert the current disaster we are seeing.

I decided to make this thread and give out a few tips I am learning for recording objects at distance in a completely black, night sky.

One of the most common sense things you can do, which may seem like obvious information, is to learn every feature of your camera and how to operate each one of them properly. I, foolishly, sidestepped learning about the features of my camera - mainly because I was overwhelmed by all the features available on my camera. I was used to a point and shoot, turn the flash on/off or adjust red eye filter, etc.

No matter how overwhelmed you feel, at least read all about your camera. What you may not understand now could make 100% sense when it is time to use the feature.

I have learned that most every camera is capable of recording objects in the night sky... yes, even mine, the same one I had no idea how to adjust quickly for recording at night.


Almost any camera―either digital or film―will work for photographing the night sky, as long as you can adjust it manually take time exposures of 10 seconds or longer (an all-automatic camera probably won't work well for nighttime sky photos, I'm afraid).

For film, an older mechanical camera body―one that doesn't use batteries to open the shutter―will usually work best. That doesn't mean that your automatic or semi-automatic camera won't work. It's just that long exposures tend to sap battery strength, and you may find yourself changing batteries more frequently than you'd prefer. Always carry with you plenty of spare batteries and a battery charger.

Digital cameras can do a great job if you can set them for a fast ISO (200 or 400), and don't need to take exposures longer than about 30 seconds or so. And don't worry about using a light meter; it'll work only for your daytime photos!

That is a good source to tell you about taking stills of the night sky, but what about film?

What about Video? Despite how bright and dramatic the night sky can appear to the eye, it's nearly invisible to even low-light video cameras. High-end consumer video cameras might see something, but will also display quite a bit of noise.

So, it seems that recording scenes at night is not the easiest thing to do, even with better cameras... and phone cameras or camer phones... forget about it... though I would never tell you to not even try to vatch something on whatever camera you have available. Something, anything is better than nothing at all!

Here is a link to an ATS thread that has a bit of info on this subject, but it is a few years old now.

A bit more info on recording UFOs at night and the different options that can be put into use on your camera follow:


8 Digital - Digital cameras produce cleared and overall better images then analogue cameras. They hold colour better, especially reds and orange colour's. More successful video enhancements if you capture something worth looking at. The 3CCD digitals are best though more expensive.

Zero Light Lux - Will capture dim illuminations at night. A must for UFO filming.

Infrared Night Shot - This feature gives you the capability to 'see in the dark' and further captures dim illuminations. No colour is produced but you can 'see further'.

Super Steady Shot - A must for hand held cameras to reduce motion, especially at high zoom factors.

High Optical and Digital Zoom Power - The more powerful the zooming range the better. Most of your filming (even at full zoom) will be using the optical zoom ONLY. Only use the digital zoom if the object is slow moving or very high altitudes. (better to get something rather then nothing). Get into the habit of only digital zooming momentarily just to get some footage , then zoom back to full optical zoom. High digital zoom gives too much pixelization of the image and distorts it.

Telephoto Lens - One accessory that you should get is a telephoto lens. These screw into your filter thread and multiply your zooming power. I use a 2x but 3x and 5x are available, but you will never uses the full capabilities of the 5x because it is just too powerful. The images are too shaky for a hand held camera.

Tri-pod - I have tried using a tri-pod for general readiness to film UFO's, with the camera attached. You will not get any fast objects or overhead objects like this. A tri-pod is best used for distant slow or any slow moving object, especially daytime. You can use your full zoom and get steady images on a tri-pod but are not practical for general use unless you add a quick release feature available from Bogen. Hold your camera in your hand at the ready for any activity. If you consider the tri-pod should then be used, then attach your camera. A good quality fluid head tri-pod like the Miller, or Bogen brand is best. Cheaper ones are too jerky when panning and not worth the savings

Video Tapes - Try different brands of video tapes. Some brands are better for night filming. They respond better to low light conditions.

Powerful Spotlight, Laser or Strobe Light - If you want to see if you can get a response from a UFO, flash a spot light , laser or portable strobe light at it. Making a triangle pattern in the sky often seems to work, Do this while filming so you can record any response

Most information I can find say to be sure and have your camera set to manual, never set to auto focus.

The following information is also taken from the web site listed in source above:

8 Focus - Set to Manual Focus, never use Auto Focus. Auto focus will try to focus on small points of light (especially at night) and automatically zoom in-and-out resulting in footage that is useless or confusing. see example of misidentified ground lights analysis by UUFOH Even daytime footage if filming a small distant or high altitude object may fool the auto focus setting. You want to be able to get clear focus on an object immediately you have it in frame and keep it focused. Sometimes you only have seconds to film an object, so good instant focus is a must.

To Adjust Manual Focus - Apply full optical zoom and adjust focus on a distant object. A Star or Planet such as Jupiter is good, because when the Moons of Jupiter are seen, you are in good focus. Then test the same object in full digital zoom. make any small adjustments for better focus. Then re-test your focus on full optical zoom. When properly adjusted, you are nearly ready to film. Get into the habit to repeat this procedure as first priority each skywatch outing.

Some more information and details that can be found at the source immediately above are:

Shutter Speed, Aperature Settings, Camera Viewer, Audio and Time and Date

I hope some of you find these tips and pointers useful and are able to employ them when you have a UFO sighting and need to operate your camera quickly, when you can be excited or under a higher stress situation than normally accustomed to.

I also hope many of you out there may know more tips to add here. Even if you feel that what you know might be common knowledge, I hope you will share it anyway, as common knowledge to you might be advanced learning to someone else.

posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 10:23 PM

a litery account isn't worth anything... do you have video?

posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 10:44 PM

Originally posted by healthysceptic

a litery account isn't worth anything... do you have video?

Can't read? allow me to express my thoughts right now:

I had that happen to me twice, not with UFOs, but with a low flying airplane at night that passed over me and a meteor shower, while i was desperately trying to fix the camera to pick up something at night, the event happened and when i was ready, i just had an empty sky to grab

I guess a good idea would be to prepare beforehand, when you are out thinking about possible sightings have the camera ready in advance, most people seem to not do that, for some reason, and then they try to adjust lots of things in the last moment or while recording and that's why we get those awful videos lately

edit on 29-4-2011 by Kaifan because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 11:17 PM
reply to post by healthysceptic

uhh... are you serious? I mean, are you seriously asking me that, seriously...?

I am not sure really how to respond to that, but I should expect as much from a self titled skeptic.

Did I forget to mention I was able to record the clearest, most detailed day time footage ever caught and that the video even includes me being taken for a ride on the UFO?

I was able to talk the aliens into having their drones flay me all over the galaxy at faster than light speed, which was interesting, because I was actually turned into some type of form I can't explain, because we have no words to describe it.

Being in this form allowed travel at any 'speed', in quotes because they explained speed was nothing but a relevant concept to humans and nothing more, they had no concept of speed or time.

After we travelled back in time, they taught me some of the things from our past and much of it was very unexpected. I learned that instead of the sun getting smaller and the outer planets cooling... the sun actually expands and causes the planets to warm gradually.

After showing this to me, they explained that we actually evolved on Mercury, before moving to Venus and eventually Earth, as our Sun became warmer and caused hostile environments for us.

They explained about our spatial awareness and how we cannot perceive all the dimensions we exist in, even though they are there. They explained about all types of waves, sound waves, electrical waves, etc. They showed how sound leaves the source and expands outward, like blowing up a balloon, even though we percieve it as being directional.

They showed me how time, in it's entirety, exists as a whole right now. It was hard to understand and still is, but apparently every bit of time that has ever bee, is, and will be exists in this moment.

They even told me why we are at a technological plateau and the next great age of knowledge is about to happen. Telling me that we continue to try and measure things based on the speed that is happens. Measuring everything, down to the smallest number we can find, not realizing the fastest thing is the speed of life.

There are things that are faster than the speed of life. Hard to imagine at first, but I finally grasped what they meant. As we percieve moments as passing time, the moment in itself occurs faster than any measurable increment we known.

When we realize that many many things happen outside the speed at which we live, we will understand how to manipulate everything. Mass Energy, etc are just a tiny portion of the real existence and we will soon know how to benefit from this knowledge.

After teaching and showing me these things, they asked only that I get them a double decker Papa Murphy's Pizza and a 6 pack of Pabst Blue ribbon... not for food, but as a novelty they can show their friends and family, who will never believe we go out to a restaurant and buy a pizza that we have to bering home and cook, and also to show them what an average Earth man finds as the perfect meal.

Really though... I couldn't get the camera to work properly and as such I have no evidence... though I was actually not making that the point of this thread..... excuse my mis-spellings and imaginative story...
edit on 29-4-2011 by esteay812 because: tyops

posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 01:37 AM
reply to post by esteay812

For the post above, sir (or ma'am), you win the internet. Seriously, write a book.

As for your OP, that advice is priceless. Most UFO videos are horrible to watch because people dont know how to use the camera they have. Someone else recorded a UFO before the storm hit Atlanta, GA and posted here:

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