Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Time-Lapse Photography - Part 2

I find the best thing about taking photographs / time-lapse shots (like the one above), is the fact that you have to be OUT THERE.... in the amongst the trees, mountains and animals.

( be more accurate it is actually the other way around, the taking of photographs / time-lapse shots is the by-product of taking a trip into the wilderness!!!)  :)

I find that there is nothing better than arriving at your destination before sunrise, and knowing that you are the only human about to witness one of the most amazing sights that is taken for granted each day by almost everyone on the planet!!! And in doing so. knowing that you will be the only human to witness the sunrise for your special location, be it a cliff, canyon-edge, prairie, mountain or hill top. HOW SPECIAL IS THAT?!?!?!?!?

Inevitably when you are out there on that cliff, with all your equipment set-up (and your camera snapping away your time-lapse shots), you will have at least an hour or two spare to just sit back, be calm and take in your surroundings.

During this "quiet" and serene time, i find that i can almost feel the life in the trees, the wind, the little animals, the mountain and the very ground that I stand on. And when i say "quiet" i'm not referring to the audio level (i.e. air pressure waves that hit our ears) but the Noise that we all inherently have in our minds and thoughts ....... This feeling of LIFE (or whatever it is), is very peaceful and very addictive!!!!! (Addictive in the sense that when you return to city life you will CRAVE the peacefulness and serenity of the wilderness, you will almost experience withdrawal symptoms!!)

Having said that, being as one with nature, doesn't guarantee you safety from stupidity and dangerous animals. I have to admit that i have, on more than one ocassion, been guilty of the former. This leads me to my next tip...

Tip #4 Never risk life, limb or injury for the shot

One of the first and most important rules of hiking (especially in Yosemite or Grand Teton National Park), is to never hike alone. Another is to always carry bear spray!! I have been guilty of ignoring both at the same time, to my potential detriment. To those of you who have never encountered a situation where there was is potential for encountering a Black, Brown or GRIZZLY BEAR, this may sound quite funny....and for the most part i too found it quite hilarious.

That is...until...the morning i shot the above time-lapse. I had parked my car and hiked (in the dark) a fare way into shrubs to an area where i thought would be a good spot. I had set up my tripod, GoPro and was in the middle of my "quiet time" when i realized that there was very little sound, no birds, no little animals and no movement. You could say that i sensed a "disturbance in the force"!! It then dawned on me that should i encounter a hostile bear, chances are that i would not be able to out run it, not our climb it and definitely not out fight it! My car and the road (i.e. help) was too far to matter and of course i had no bear spray....

Fortunately, the "disturbance" that i sensed was not a was a small family of ELK!!! They stooped, looked at me, perceived no threat and proceed to walk around me. HOW AMAZING WAS THAT?!?!?!? Yes..i still need more training in the use of "the force"! hahahaha!!!! Clearly i need to go back to the Degobah System!!! ;D

This was not the Elk that i saw while taking my time-lapse, this was taken slightly north of my position.

I digress.......



Tip #5 Always bring the right gear/clothing for the situation.

I must admit that i was slightly ill prepared for the morning i took this time-lapse. When i got out of my car to start my hike the temperature was WELL BELOW FREEZING. Though the wind chill was minimal the low temperature itself was enough to cause numbness in my fingers, toes and face!

I figured that I my hike would warm me up but unfortunately in the time it took for me to set up my gear and get the GoPro going my core temperature had dropped back down and the ambient temperature had not risen that much! I tried to get a somewhat accurate reading of the temperature so i took off my protrek watch and placed it right next to my tripod. After a few minutes this is what the reading showed:

Just in case you can't see it clearly, my watch shows -2.7 degrees Celsius!!! Thats 27.17 degrees Fahrenheit!!!!!! And as the sunlight had not reached me yet, I quickly began to shiver and shake!!! I had to ride it out till the sun hit me. And i did ride it out...unfortunately.....the temperature DID NOT  rise much after that!!!! So ..I had no choice but to head back as all i had on was a thin shell/jacket, jeans and sneakers! Not hardly what you would call cold-weather gear....

Before i left though i managed to grab a couple of pretty neat snaps!!

(Click to ENLARGE!!!  Taken with my Cannon Powershot D10)


So Where was this taken??

(Click to enlarge)  **NB the red dot in this case is not as exact as
my map for Glacier National Park as I had wondered for quite some time
before finding the right "spot"

Location:                                  Grand Teton National Park
Camera:                                    GoPro HDHERO2
Settings:                                   11 mp on .5 sec interval
Time of Arrival:                       5:30am
Duration of Time Lapse:          1 hour 28minutes
Number of shots in sequence:  8422
Total size used:                         16 Gigabytes
Wind condition:                         Negligible
Temperature:                            -5 to 0 degrees Celsius (23 - 32 degrees Fahrenheit)
Lessons learned:                       Be mindful of potentially dangerous animals (no matter how "at one" with nature you are) and bring WARM CLOTHES!!!

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