The Western Time Lapse Collection features several clips filmed at various locations west of the Rockies. The content was filmed during my lengthy Covid 19 isolation camping venture from 2019 through 2022. This camping trip originally was a planned six month photojournalism tour to gather content for the destinationwest.org travel website. Because of the two year Covid extension of the tour, I ended up with so much content that it took a few years to sort it out for publishing.
Originally the time lapse videos were nothing more than personal entertainment for when boredom set in at places where modern communications were non existent. I usually filmed the time lapse sessions while performing photo processing tasks when parked or camping. I created music soundtracks for the project while camping, simply because I was tired of hearing the same old tunes on the radio. Watching the clouds roll by in a freshly made time lapse was not just a temporary great escape, because these fast moving films provided insight into the environment and weather patterns.
While camping I had electric power limitations since I used a portable solar panel to charge two portable power station inverters and my equipment constantly needed recharging. Processing RAW image files drained the MacBook the fastest, so while camping I processed the time lapse videos automatically inside the camera and used Final Cut Pro software to do minor touch ups. Cloudy days were best for time lapse, but those days were lousy for recharging and often I had to cut a session short after running out of juice.
With experience a time lapse photographer will acquire the ability to forecast where clouds will drift and by doing research it becomes easy to predict where celestial objects will appear in a scene. Combining this knowledge enables using the sun to backlight clouds at specific moments as the bright illumination passes through a scene for a dramatic effect. The same process can be done with clouds at night with moonlight, which creates an eerie effect. Reading the cards of the future is a real plus when picturing how the finished time lapse will look to the naked eye.
The Western Time Lapse Collection video was filmed at several destinations which include:
• Lemon Lake, CO
• Sumpter Valley, OR
• Mt Rainier, WA
• Medicine Bow National Forest, WY
• Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge, CO & UT
• Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, NV
• Bradfield Recreation Area, CO
• Big Sandy, WY
• Lake Mead National Recreation Area, NV
Several articles about these destinations can be found in the destinationwest.org website. The more information, the better, when planning a time lapse venture so be sure to take a look!
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