StopShot is a triggering mechanism or module that doesn’t require engineering knowledge or an expensive high-speed camera. In fact, all you need is a digital camera with a bulb (or B) exposure, or manual, setting. (Other equipment is needed, such as an electronic flash, for some types of photos.) The guys at Cognisys designed and built StopShot with a long list of convenient and versatile features, but only its IR beam sensor and one of its three triggers are needed for better lightning photos.
Until Cognisys introduced its StopShot Kit, lightning photography was a bit of a hit-and-miss opportunity. Essentially, you had to select the bulb mode, keep the shutter open with a cable or wireless controller and wait for a lightning strike that may or may not be recorded on the camera sensor.
Obviously, safety comes first when photographing lightning strikes, so you want to be in a good position to view an approaching storm and not find yourself in the middle of it. None of your equipment or the StopShot is made to operate in the rain and, more importantly, you may be endangering yourself. That being said, once you find the right vantage point follow these steps to connect your camera and the StopShot.
Remove the receiver from the IR (infrared) beam sensor that is part of the Kit and attach it to a tripod. The receiver should be positioned so it has a direct view of the storm.
Remove also the terminal adapter (plastic light shield) from the front of the sensor, so it has a wider viewing angle. You can’t expect the lightning to appear exactly where you want it.
Connect StopShot to the receiver half of the IR beam sensor.
Connect “Trigger 1” on the StopShot device to the remote shutter of your camera.
The final step is to set the timing of the StopShot unit. Adjust the delay for “Trigger 1” to 50S (microseconds). The camera’s shutter lag will make any additional timing adjustment. Every camera has a different shutter delay time, which can affect how likely you are to capture the lightning photo you want. Check your camera’s shutter lag and make any specific adjustments according to the StopShot manual.
Visit the Cognisys Web site at cognisys-inc.com for more information and to order your StopShot Module Deluxe Kit for $350.00.
During January 2012, PhotographyTalk introduced you to one of its newest partners/vendors, Cognisys. As with many new companies, it came into existence because its owners decided to apply their skills and experience to their own business instead of their employer’s. For more than 20 years, they had been designing electronics for the automotive/heavy-duty diesel industry, but turned to making some rather amazing products for digital photographers.
The StopShot Electronic Timing System is one of these products; and it’s one you’ll want to add to your equipment to stop the very fast to extremely fast action of wildlife and insects, water drops, ballistics (bullets or other projectiles shattering various objects and materials) and improving your odds of capturing very dramatic lightning photos. This is the subject of this PhotographyTalk article.
As well-developed as your photography skills may be, an automated system, such as the Cognisys StopShot, greatly increases the probability of not only capturing any lightning, but also the best kind of image. StopShot is also a benefit when it comes to the amount of digital noise in your lightning photos. The system allows for much shorter exposures, so you don’t need to hike the ISO sensitivity.
Another fine adjustment that may be necessary is the sensitivity of the photo sensor on the StopShot unit. It is designed to disregard any ambient light, but if the lightning strike does not reach a sufficient light level, then the sensor won’t detect it. The StopShot has a sensor sensitivity knob that can be increased if the lightning is not registering. Because of the limitations of the StopShot photo sensor, your lightning photography session needs to be scheduled after dark.
People who read this PhotographyTalk.com article also liked:
Your feedback is important to thousands of PhotographyTalk.com fans and us. If this article is helpful, then please click the Like and Re-Tweet buttons at the top left of this article.
Feel free to check out any of our other photography reviews
Feel free to check out any of our other Tips and taking photo´s
Photograph By: Copyright 2012 Cognisys Inc.