Timelapse: EARTHEREAL II

During the past couple of years the visiting crews of the International Space Station (ISS) shot some truly awe-inspiring time-lapse sequences flying over practically every square mile of the globe.

Perhaps not busy enough with my own time-lapse projects, I downloaded the high-resolution image sets made available by the NASA Johnson Space Center and constructed this short time-lapse film.

The film project required the processing of more than 84GB of data (amounting to more than 66K JPEG images). It could be easily appreciated that the astronauts encountered very challenging lighting conditions in orbit. Often, it was necessary for the ISS crew to shoot at high ISO values in order to achieve the desired exposure. In order to get the smooth, contrasty look I was aiming for, I used the tools provided by Adobe Lightroom to increase contrast and drastically reduce the noise in the NASA images. The results speak for themselves, as the opening sequences could almost justify a subtitle like “Alien Earth Edition”, such is the surreal nature of these unique views of our home planet from the perspective of the ISS in low earth orbit.

Images courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center available here.

Cameras: Nikon D2X and D3S

Lenses: 28-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 17-35mm f/2.8, 28mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4

Technique: The majority of the images were shot at 1 second intervals, ISO 200-12800.

Post Processing:
:: Downloaded more than 40K hi-res images from NASA for this project
:: Image sets adjusted in Adobe Lightroom 4 (i.e. exposure, contrast and noise reduction)
:: Image sets imported into an Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 2K 24p project
:: Used GBDeflicker for the image sets with shorter exposure times. Highly recommended.
:: Exported as 2048×1024 24p MP4 @ 35Mbps

Soundtrack: “Sunlight” by machinimasound.com licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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Timelapse: Hurtigruten’s Norway

Welcome aboard Hurtigruten’s MS Polarlys for a whirlwind tour of the Norwegian coast accompanied by the hauntingly beautiful “Morning Mood”, composed by Edvard Grieg in 1875.

 
The time-lapse sequences were shot in late August 2012 using an Olympus OM-D E-M5 married to a Zeiss Distagon T* 2/35 ZF.2 lens (via a Novoflex adapter).

 
I would like to warmly thank both the crew and fellow passengers on board the MS Polarlys for their kind understanding, interest and support during my ‘filming’ activities on deck. This classic Hurtigruten voyage is the ideal means through which to access the pristine beauty of the wilderness beyond the Arctic Circle.

 
For all the hardware freaks, here’s a comprehensive list of the equipment used:

 
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M5 + HLD-6 Battery Grip
Storage: SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB Class 10 SDXC
Intervalometer: Phottix Aion Wireless Digital Timer and Remote
Lens Adapter: Novoflex MFT/NIK Micro 4/3 to Nikon F Adapter
Lens: Zeiss Distagon T* 2/35 ZF.2
Filter: Schneider 77mm True-Match Vari-ND and B+W 77mm 110 ND 3.0
Filter Adapter Rings: B+W 62EI-58ESA and 77EI-62EA (58mm to 77mm step-up)
Tripod: Manfrotto MT057C3 + MH055M0-Q2 Magnesium Ball Head
Clamp: Manfrotto Super Clamp 035

 
Technique: Manual camera settings. The desired exposure was obtained by rotating the outer ring of the variable ND filter with the aim to underexpose by around 1/3 of a stop. With ISO, shutter speed and lens aperture fixed, the ND filter is the only adjustment available!

 
Post Processing:
:: Image sets adjusted in Adobe Lightroom 4
:: Image sets imported into an Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 2K 24p project
:: Exported as 2048×1024 24p MP4 @ 35Mbps

 
Soundtrack: “Peer Gynt Suite Nr. 1 Op. 46 (Morgenstemning, 1875)” by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg (1843-1907).

Timelapse: EARTHEREAL

The International Space Station Expedition 30 crew shot some truly awe-inspiring time-lapse sequences flying over practically every square mile of the globe.

I downloaded the high-resolution image sets made available by the NASA Johnson Space Center and constructed this short time-lapse film in hi-res 2K project format. I was amazed at how clean the Nikon D3S images turned out (even at ISO 3200 and above) which kept the post-processing requirements to a minimum.

Here’s a list of the time-lapse sequences used:

:: 20120303 Kenya to the Aurora Australis
:: 20120310 Atlantic Ocean East to New Zealand
:: 20120304 Aurora Australis over the Indian Ocean 2
:: 20120310 Aurora Australis over the Indian Ocean
:: 20120208 Aurora Borealis from the Pacific Ocean to the U.S. Coast
:: 20120310 Over the Terminator
:: 20120204 Moonglow over Canada and Northern U.S
:: 20120304 Central United States at Daytime
:: 20120204 Aurora Borealis over Canada
:: 20120310 ISS from Atlantic Ocean to Ukraine
:: 20120202 Aurora Borealis over the North Atlantic Ocean
:: 20120203 Aurora Borealis from U.S. to Atlantic Ocean
:: 20120202 Aurora Borealis over Canada
:: 20120205 Over the Northern United States and Canada
:: 20120310 Heading Towards Aurora Australis
:: 20120102 Looking Nadir Central America to New England
:: 20120109 Moonset over the Atlantic Ocean
:: 20120102 Mediterranean Sea to Kazakhstan
:: 20120101 Down the Persian Gulf at Night
:: 20120129 Aurora Borealis over Northern North America and Canada
:: 20120122 Aurora Borealis from Pacific Ocean
:: 20111230 Africa to Kazakhstan
:: 20120102 Mongolia to the Sea of Okhotsk
:: 20111229 Day Pass over the Dunes in Africa to Snow-Covered Kazakhstan
:: 20111231 South Atlantic Ocean to Iran
:: 20120130 Central Great Plains at Night
:: 20111211 Aurora Borealis over the North Atlantic Ocean
:: 20120204 Moonglow over Canada and Northern U.S
:: 20120201 Aurora Borealis over the Atlantic Ocean

Images courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center available here.

Cameras: Nikon D2X and D3S

Lenses: 28-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 17-35mm f/2.8, 28mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4

Technique: The majority of the images were shot at 1 second intervals, ISO 200-12800.

Post Processing:
:: Downloaded more than 16K hi-res images from NASA for this project
:: Image sets adjusted in Adobe Lightroom 3.6
:: Image sets imported into an Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 2K 24p project
:: Used GBDeflicker for the image sets with shorter exposure times. Highly recommended.
:: Exported as 2048×1024 24p MP4 @ 35Mbps

Soundtrack: “Rallying the Defense” by machinimamound.com licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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