If you didn’t know, the mid-west is being bombarded with what the newsies are calling a “Bomb Cyclone. It is a blistering cold weather event that is over 800 miles wide. They even canceled school in the Denver area, that’s bad. Denver Schools never close.
When I lived in Denver there was a blizzard that put almost four feet of snow on the ground in three hours and it didn’t melt for a week. The Denver Schools were open the entire time. That means this must be something big.
I was out trying to discover the choicest places to shoot some time lapse videos. The camera does them nativity at a slightly lower resolution, meaning I was going for just a test shot, just to see. Soon, I will be receiving a new piece of equipment that calculates the perfect camera settings to get the ideal chance for a time-lapse.
Most time-lapse videos you see are actually hundreds of photographs compiled together. This takes forever to get right, and if wrong, they look terrible. I have produced every kind of video you can think of, except a time lapse. It takes a lot of patience and planning to get it right, and I just haven't made time for it. Now it's on my bucket list, and it's going to get done. If you haven't seen a time-lapse, here is one I found from Chris Pritchard on Vimeo. I love watching these things.
These are great for City-scapes as well. Here is one of NYC by Michael Shainblum.
As you can see, these videos can be mesmerizing, to say the least. But they have to be planned out. IN the NY time-lapse you actually get to see the camera move while the city literally runs at hyper-speed. Technically the second video is more of a Hyper-lapse, but a static shot for my work will have to do for now. Those take a motorized slider hooked to a computer to accomplish, and I just don’t have the 2K at the moment to afford the gear. Maybe I could rent it… hmm, that’s a thought.
That’s what I was doing tonight, scouting for a place to shoot my time lapse. I went to the University of Arkansas to find a great spot to get the stadium and all that traffic. The video I got was all made in camera and isn’t the quality that I will get when I do it for real. This is just a scout to see what it might look like. Honestly, I am not going to use that spot again, it’s just not that interesting. But that’s why you scout!
Typically, shooting video in the wind isn’t that problematic, and since these were really just for reference, it really didn’t matter.
Living in Arkansas, I didn’t think the “Bomb Cyclone” would effect us down here, but it sure as hell did. Tonight the wind gusts are so strong that it almost blew over my tripod while I was shooting. My “sticks” aren’t the super expensive Manfrotto ones, but they aren’t junk either. They are light though, carbon fiber is the majority of the materials used to make the legs. That wind just toppled them right over. Good thing I was holding onto them at the time. I really don’t want to file an insurance claim for a new camera and lens.
I did get to practice my long exposure photography though. Being that I have a new camera and I haven’t ever gotten to practice with it due to crappy weather, I thought I would share. But these also suffered from the wind. When leaving the shutter open for Thirty seconds, every little shake makes an impression. While this is the sharpest one of the bunch, it is most definitely not that great. Its composition needs a lot of work, but I proved to myself that I do understand the technicals of the camera well enough to really set up a beautiful shot in the future.
Let’s all hope that all we get is some more wind and a few days of sixty-degree weather rather than the pounding of snow and ice the north is getting.