This thread is intended to aid those individuals who are (or would like to) capture good imagery - both still and video - of 'things' in the sky.
While many of the recommendations and techniques can (& should) be applied to *all* photography ... capturing a 'UFO' - and hopefully then identifying it - more often than not involves a very particular set of challenges that I will begin to identify below.
But I'd also like to discuss a few wider issues as we go, such as:
- how realistic is it to expect good imagery?
- who else is doing this already? (in particular, who is doing it WELL?)
along with some other wider (but very relevant) issues.
Anyway, for now, let me just introduce some of the challenges specific to UFO photography..
1. The subject of the image is often small/distant
In simple terms this means we will often need high magnification .. and there's only one way to do that (and that is NOT 'digital zoom'). But there are wider issues - for instance something that is distant to you is generally going to be much closer (and more easily recognisable?) to many others. More on that later.
2. The available light for the image may be low.
Obviously many of these images/videos are taken at night. That means the best cameras will be those that have large lenses and large sensors. Ie not most camera phones.
3. The subject of the image will often be moving.
This causes many problems - the first of which is often the biggest issue - how do we know that the object is moving, and not the camera? As we use higher and higher magnifications (aka 'zoomed in'), any relative movement of the subject versus the camera is also magnified, so keeping the camera still is vital. Handholding a camera at high zoom levels is a really bad idea, but there are many very simple techniques that can help. And if you are taking a video, you should try to include some background, eg trees, the edge of a building etc so we can see if it's the object, or the camera, that is moving...
OK, that's just a few preliminary issues - I'll be back later to elaborate on those and many more, and also give examples taken on my phone and on a slightly more serious camera for comparison.
As always, I welcome constructive criticisms and additions if I seem to have missed something important.
Be back later to get the party started.....