Flashlight during daylight - making yourself known

Tomcat!

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I got an assignment today to photograph a Royal Navy frigate which will be sailing up the River Thames soon. It will moor near Tower Bridge during the morning. I know one of the junior officers who will be onboard the frigate and he's asked if I can also take some shots of his lads on deck parade. I will have to be on the river bank somewhere before the final mooring point and want to make my position more visible so they can face the camera. I had this wild idea that I might be able to strobe/signal them.

Because of the time, there will be a lot of daylight. The forecast is for cloudy grey skies but I don't think that will help much. As the event is so close I have to use only what I already have. The choices are:

Fenix T1 with smooth reflector and two AW RCR123s

Romisen RC-T5 four Cree full power flash mode on 2x AW18650s or 4 CR123s or 4 AW RCR123 (if it will take them)

Surefire 9P P90 with 3 primaries or LF EO-9 on primaries or CL1499 bi-pin in Fivemega socket and VLOP reflector on 2x AW18650s (or would a CL1499 bulb cope with 3 RCR123s?)


The Thames at that point is 870 feet bank to bank but the mooring point will be about 80 odd feet away from the south bank so the frigate will have to sail up the middle of the river to approach it safely. Taking that into account minus the beam of the frigate, I'm guessing that she cannot be any closer than 350ft away from the north bank on the approach.
Could I actually catch the attention of my friend on deck with what I have or am I just wasting my time and end up looking like an idiot?

He knows I'll be there and roughly where, but not exactly, hence the signal. He will send me a text as the ship enters the river, but obviously can't start screwing around with a mobile phone while standing on parade as they enter the city. Any thoughts folks?
 
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Sgt. LED

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If you know just where he will be on the ship and aim for him I think it could work with most things.

I'd try the T1 in a dry run at distance with a volunteer.
 

Flying Turtle

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I think strobing almost any small Cree in their direction would be seen at that distance. Maybe make sure the light has a dark background, too.

Geoff
 

jibjob79

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Tomcat, you might want to delete the future time and place of the warship from the post. Knowing is one thing, posting it on the internet is another and i'd hate your friend to get into trouble.
 

rdh226

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I'd be careful about flashing/stobing any naval warship, trying to get it's attention.

You just might get more attention than you really wanted...

How about just calling your bud on a cellphone, syncing up that way?

-RDH
 

Tomcat!

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If you know just where he will be on the ship and aim for him I think it could work with most things.

I'd try the T1 in a dry run at distance with a volunteer.

Unfortunately I don't know his exact position. I'm surprised you said the T1. I thought CPFers would go for max power, but then again I've only ever been on the safe end of one of my torches so I don't really know what it's like to have one pointed at you. I might give the daylight test a try.


I think strobing almost any small Cree in their direction would be seen at that distance. Maybe make sure the light has a dark background, too.

Geoff

I thought I'd need a big one. It's quite a distance, especially in daylight. Mind you I didn't relish whipping out the Romisen in public. A bit too eye catching, not to mention heavy when I'm also dragging around a camera bag full of stuff including a 500mm lens.

So no one thinks incan is up to the mark? Most illuminating!

Unfortunately I can't do much about the background as there many be a lot of people crowding the river banks.

Tomcat, you might want to delete the future time and place of the warship from the post. Knowing is one thing, posting it on the internet is another and i'd hate your friend to get into trouble.

Yes that's a good point. It's done. I did some checking on the Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence websites diaries and events but found nothing so I changed the post. I was surprised to find out just how many warships are popping in and out of London regularly, including a carrier only a few weeks ago.

I'd be careful about flashing/stobing any naval warship, trying to get it's attention.

You just might get more attention than you really wanted...

How about just calling your bud on a cellphone, syncing up that way?

-RDH


Glad none of the ones I'd suggested have an SOS! :laughing:
Might have to resort to the phone after all. I did try to dig out a bright orange press tabard I was issued for a special event some years ago, but when I found it today it's faded badly, and has the date on the back.
 

hyperloop

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in broad daylight from a bridge full of crowded people? In any event, if the intention was to use a laser, inform them first.

But then again, you do have a point there, maybe a strobing Cree would do the job, a flashing light is always visible even in broad daylight
 

Wyeast

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I'd say bring a buddy, and take the big boy. (having the buddy means he can signal while you set up your camera gear for the perfect shot)

Among a crowd in broad daylight, and inevitable camera flashes, you want something that stands out strong. The P90 is a bright light, but it's floody, and the slightly yellowish tinge of the incan might get lost over distance. The bluer Cree might stand out a little more.

Good luck with the shot! :)
 

isneyk

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Among a crowd in broad daylight, and inevitable camera flashes, you want something that stands out strong.

Good point re a strobing light amidst a sea of camera flashes.
Probably its better to use a strong steady light source to mark your location then verify thru celphone.

If all else fails, try this mod on your best incan, LED or HID. :thinking:

Cheers!
 
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Lunal_Tic

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I don't know if you have one of those folding reflector panels for photograhy, the ones with the spring wire around the edge, but they can be pretty small folded and large opened up. A silver or gold sided one used similar to a signal mirror might work. Alternatively there are colored strobes that would probably work. I'd go with blue or green, something that's unlikely to be duplicated in your area. Yellow, red and white are all over the place these days.

-LT
 

SnWnMe

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As a sailor, let me tell you, you have a better chance of being spotted if you waved a large flag. Bonus style points if you do semaphore.
 

hyperloop

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folding reflector panels and large flags might not be workable in a crowded area unless they have cordoned off an area for you to shoot (oops) take your photographs (shoot might be a bit sensitive, hehe).

Perhaps some orange film to place over your light in a fast strobe mode might do the trick.

I still think that a rapidly flashing cree perhaps in a different colour would stand out from the sporadic white camera flashes
 

Wyeast

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I'd go with blue or green, something that's unlikely to be duplicated in your area. Yellow, red and white are all over the place these days.

-LT
I was going to suggest this, but wasn't sure if he'd be able to get a hold of one in time. I'd suggest green. Blue disperses pretty quickly - if you notice police flashers at a distance, you'll spot the red farther away than you'll make out the blue.

I have a green Inova X5 which has been excellent for signaling - easy to spot and you're not likely to find a flashing green light randomly amongst just about any background.
 

Team Member

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As a sailor, let me tell you, you have a better chance of being spotted if you waved a large flag. Bonus style points if you do semaphore.

+1


Signaling in daylight/ just getting someones attention doesn´t have to be rocket science..

And using lasers against a unit that both can and will take action with counterweapons is a BIG No no...:thumbsdow:whoopin:
 

Tomcat!

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I don't know if you have one of those folding reflector panels for photograhy, the ones with the spring wire around the edge, but they can be pretty small folded and large opened up. A silver or gold sided one used similar to a signal mirror might work. Alternatively there are colored strobes that would probably work. I'd go with blue or green, something that's unlikely to be duplicated in your area. Yellow, red and white are all over the place these days.

-LT

Yes I have a big Lastolite, but at 7 feet by 5 feet there may be a teeny issue, not least if the wind picks up!:crackup:
 

Tomcat!

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folding reflector panels and large flags might not be workable in a crowded area unless they have cordoned off an area for you to shoot (oops) take your photographs (shoot might be a bit sensitive, hehe).

Perhaps some orange film to place over your light in a fast strobe mode might do the trick.

I still think that a rapidly flashing cree perhaps in a different colour would stand out from the sporadic white camera flashes

I'm just looking at my camera, with a foregrip handle, 500mm zoom and a folding shoulder stock. What are the odds of getting picked up by the police? :laughing:

I know someone in a theatre who might be able to give me some coloured gels I can just tape to the front of a light. I reckon that'll be the quickest way to get some colour.
 

LukeA

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Tomcat, you might want to delete the future time and place of the warship from the post. Knowing is one thing, posting it on the internet is another and i'd hate your friend to get into trouble.

There will be U.S. ships in San Diego harbor tomorrow. OMG teh navies be a-comin fer me!!!!1!111!

They'll definitely be able to see a T1 if they know the general area where it's supposed to be.
 
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