Beginner 1/4000 shutter speed fast enough

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Ron
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#1
my friend has an archery shop and what i want to do for a promotional piece is take a picture of an arrow before it hits the target. My question is 1/4000 fast enough to freeze the arrow. The arrow is projected to go 355(fps). Do you think it could be done?
 
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Bazza
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#2
Why not go to 1/8000 ? you may need something to act as a trigger release for safety sake. Even that would have to be a high speed trigger release costing thousands which would be almost impossible to get hold of and not work on your camera anyway .. The risk for a promotional shot is not worth it ,and does the shop keeper have insurance for doing this? to my mind this is a stupid and dangerous idea and have to say I don't think this would work anyway

Why not instead



If i were you I would hang an arrow on a fine thread (ie clear fishing line) in front of the target then erase any sign of the thread in editing. That way result in a sharp photo or if wanting a bit of movement have the arrow swinging slightly

Hope this puts a different idea to you and safer
 
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Ron
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#3
my friend has an archery shop and what i want to do for a promotional piece is take a picture of an arrow before it hits the target. My question is 1/4000 fast enough to freeze the arrow. The arrow is projected to go 355(fps). Do you think it could be done?
Why not go to 1/8000 ? you may need something to act as a trigger release for safety sake. Even that would have to be a high speed trigger release costing thousands which would be almost impossible to get hold of and not work on your camera anyway .. The risk for a promotional shot is not worth it ,and does the shop keeper have insurance for doing this? to my mind this is a stupid and dangerous idea and have to say I don't think this would work anyway

Why not instead



If i were you I would hang an arrow on a fine thread (ie clear fishing line) in front of the target then erase any sign of the thread in editing. That way result in a sharp photo or if wanting a bit of movement have the arrow swinging slightly

Hope this puts a different idea to you and safer
 
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Barry
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#5
Based on an arrow speed of 355fps, the arrow would travel just over one inch in 1/4000sec.
 
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Alan
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#6
Having seen archers my first thought was that 355 fps seems a bit fast... Googling says "Recurve bow arrows can travel up to 225 feet per second (fps) or 150mph while compound bow arrows can travel up to 300fps (200mph). Longbow arrows travel slower due to the weight of the arrows." So even if I'm right and 355 is a bit fast arrows are still fast :D

Assuming you don't have to get the shot first time why not just set up and see what you can capture, and a bit of movement blur may add to the drama?
 
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Alan
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#7
I think you need to use flash at a camera's flash sync speed. Often something like 1/200. The flash will do a better job of capturing the arrow. This will give you about 1/15,000 sec exposure.
 
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#8
Having seen archers my first thought was that 355 fps seems a bit fast... Googling says "Recurve bow arrows can travel up to 225 feet per second (fps) or 150mph while compound bow arrows can travel up to 300fps (200mph). Longbow arrows travel slower due to the weight of the arrows." So even if I'm right and 355 is a bit fast arrows are still fast :D

Assuming you don't have to get the shot first time why not just set up and see what you can capture, and a bit of movement blur may add to the drama?
In addition, that is the speed it leaves the bow, once clear of the string it will start to slow down on the upward curve and depending on the arrows speed at the peak of the flight curve it may or may not accelerate as it drops (usually friction will be greater than any gravitational effects). Also trajectory will have an impact on what happens to the speeds.
 

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#11
Considering I cannot find a good picture of such a thing, do you have an example of what you want to create ?

I can find pics of arrows in flight but none of them looked good to me.
 
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Ron
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#13
i cant find one either if i could do this shot its coming out of a crossbow. If he shoots an arrow at say 60yds the arrow might be slow before impact?
 
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#14
i cant find one either if i could do this shot its coming out of a crossbow. If he shoots an arrow at say 60yds the arrow might be slow before impact?
There are many factors which affect the speed of an arrow and how much it losses through its flight however a very rough guide assuming a relatively shallow arc (i.e. typical of trying to hit a target at 60yds) ... you can expect to lose approximately 2% fps per 10 yards (it is a very rough estimate and depends on so many variables) so at 60 yards out and starting @ 300 fps you would be looking at 260 fps - ish ...

I'd be tempted to follow Simon's and Alan's advice above and use flash.
 
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Soeren
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#15
Only trouble is to time the shutter and flash. The bullet vs bulb pics are usually made with open shutter and acustic triggered flash. Maybe an arrow could be freezed in midair with an optical trap and timed flash. Remember if using speedlights to get short flash durations the output needs to be dialed down by at least 4-5 stop if not much more.
And then there is the issue of consistency though noone could tell if a low powered bow was used up close etc.
For effect water filled balloons or plate could be used too.
 
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StewartR

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Stewart
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#16
Only trouble is to time the shutter and flash. The bullet vs bulb pics are usually made with open shutter and acustic triggered flash. Maybe an arrow could be freezed in midair with an optical trap and timed flash.
One potentially important difference is that bullet shots are usually set up with the camera perpendicular to the line of flight. But if you want an arrow about to hit an archery target, there's a three dimensional element that's important in compositional terms. You'd want to be able to see the target, and see that it is a target, so you'd want to be shooting with the camera at an angle to the target. You'd be looking "over the shoulder" of the arrow, so to speak, as it neared the target.

However that means that lighting it with a flash is harder. The near edge of the target would be closer to the camera than the far edge, so with an on-camera flash the near edge would be brighter than the far edge. Of course you could fix that with an off-camera flash square on to the target, but that's the direction the arrow is coming from...
 
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Chris
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#17
Speaking as an ex archer without some very sophisticated kit for high speed photography I cant see how you can do it.
It is possible to do stroboscopic flash with certain canon speedlights but I have never tried it but it might be a possibilty
Your best option is probably some very creative work in photoshop, stick the arrow in the target and then try to stretch and blur the back to give the appearance of motion.
I can see it working with copies of shots of the arrow each on a different layer and each moved slightly with the opacity changing on each layer
 
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Andrew
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#18
Use a heavier arrow. If you can push the speed down to, say, 80 feet a second it becomes much easier. Either by weighting an aluminium shaft or by fletching a steel rod. It will still fly!

If you still can't get your camera to take video with a short sample time that might work. At 60 frames a second it would be pretty close. This also means you can put it on a tripod and be nowhere near the dangerous end.

Alternatively, if you can find a chronograph with a data output, you might be able to use this as a arrow detection device in front of the target to trigger the camera.
 
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#20
If i were you I would hang an arrow on a fine thread (ie clear fishing line) in front of the target then erase any sign of the thread in editing. That way result in a sharp photo or if wanting a bit of movement have the arrow swinging slightly

Hope this puts a different idea to you and safer
I'm 100% with this suggestion.

Looking at that Flickr pool above and a recent thread over at the Olympus forums using Pro Capture which saves a high burst rate of images before you fully press the shutter I haven't seen anything that suggests you'll get something good by actually capturing the arrow in flight.
Unless you can burst a balloon or something and capture the exact moment of impact which would be better done with a dedicated high speed camera. Take a look at The Slo Mo Guys on YouTube, it obviously works better as video.

Assuming you can control the scene - set up the shot on a tripod and fix your focus and exposure.
Take a picture (or three) of the scene with the target but no arrow. Then suspend the arrow and take a few more. Having the two images you should be able to mask out the line supporting the arrow perfectly. You don't need expensive photoediting - this is easily achieved in GIMP using layers.
Depending on the scene you could intentionally add some panning camera movement to the background shot to blur things then overlay a clean arrow shot.
 
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Terry
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#21
I shot a 25 pounder shell about 8 ft after leaving the barrel, using a leica with a top shutter speed of 1/ 1000 second.
I was positioned about 30 degrees to the barrel.
In landscape view the shell is compressed or stretched depending on which way up you hold the camera (horizontal shutter)
The angle is as important as the speed for stopping power.
 
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Soeren
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#24
Not significantly faster than a racing car.
300 feet per second is approx 200mph

Following a racing car down the straight even with a heavy 100-400 on isn't that difficult
I could be wrong but I think a racing car is noticeably bigger and easier to target than an arrow
 
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Tony
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#26
What about holding the arrow still and moving the target towards it on a trolley or the likes?
It would be easier to pan with.
 
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