When the clouds look like the ocean
May 4, 2011 1:35 PM   Subscribe

Absolutely beautiful. And as a companion piece: previously.
posted by likeso at 1:45 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

footage like this (and there's more like it in the beginning of 'koyaanisquatsi') with the atmosphere behaving exactly like the sea when seen from the right perspective, this gives me such a hard-on for science. It feels so good to appreciate the deep commonalities between seemingly disparate phenomena.

for instance: compare this structure with this one
posted by serif at 1:50 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

Here's what I don't understand about this video: How is it López was able to get the shots of the trillion stars when it's still reasonably light out? Right around 0:30, for example, the milky way is as bright as it would be well after dark. Is it just a composite? A filter?
posted by shiu mai baby at 2:02 PM on May 4, 2011

shiu mai baby - when Terje Sorgjerd's very similar video came out a couple of weeks ago, people asked the same question. You can get a hint by checking the EXIF data on this photo of him on Flickr.

The short answer is that it's a combination of the following:
  • Wide angle lens for deep depth of field
  • Really fast lens (he uses a Canon 24mm f/1.4)
  • Long exposure time (30 seconds)
  • A high ISO (4000 in this case)
Wrap all of those things together and you get an obscene amount of light hitting your digital sensor. That kind of light will absolutely brighten up a very dim post-twilight sky. Plus, since this is time lapse, it's probably much later after sunset than you realize.
posted by fremen at 2:10 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

What I found interesting was that he managed to get camera movement in the foregroud whilst maintaining focus on the stars. Clever robotics.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:37 PM on May 4, 2011

posted by Fleebnork at 2:47 PM on May 4, 2011

Double-licious all the way!
posted by ReeMonster at 3:01 PM on May 4, 2011

The video's also a great example of the green flash that we discussed here last week!
posted by explosion at 3:20 PM on May 4, 2011

I'll always love the Baraka-style shots of the night sky panning and spinning overhead.

I've actually seen that in person. No, not just the night sky but an actual timelapse.

I was out in the desert with some friends in a really gorgeous location near Inyokern in California on a full moon. Something that sometimes happens in big, wide and mostly flat places on full moons if the timing is just right is that the sun sets and the moon rises at nearly the same time.

I had climbed up a nearby hill and had intended to try to (badly) draw/sketch the sunset and became so overwhelmed with the view that I just sat there and stared. It'd been a while since I was out in the desert and I was overwhelmed. I sat there quietly until dawn, just watching the stars move and slide by overhead all night long - but it was like only a moment had passed, just like a timelapse, like I could feel the planet spinning beneath me.
I don't normally have that kind of an attention span or Zen discipline or anything, so I'm assuming I was stuck in some kind of mental fugue. The next thing I knew the sun was rising as I watched the stars fade away.

My friends were understandably worried that I had hiked off a cliff in the dark, and I couldn't really explain myself except with broad gestures at the sky and words like "uh, stars, so many stars..." It's kind of hard to explain how you went for a short walk and managed to get lost in the sky for a solid 8-10 hours.
posted by loquacious at 3:45 PM on May 4, 2011 [6 favorites]

Time lapse and high speed photography are the telescope and microscope of our age. Making shit real that had seemed fossilized, or that you never knew was there. Like Doubting Thomas on speed.
posted by stonepharisee at 4:09 PM on May 4, 2011

The parts that fascinated me, apart from it just being lovely overall, were the clouds that didn't travel - they weren't self-contained structures flying through the air, they were simply the result of atmosphere passing through a particular set of conditions. I'd never noticed that before.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:25 PM on May 4, 2011

This is something makes me feel small, lonely and crazy positive all at once.

Might be the medication, too, though.
posted by Kitteh at 4:51 PM on May 4, 2011

This is exactly the sort of beautiful thing I needed today. Thank you.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:06 PM on May 4, 2011

compare this structure with this one

and this one
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:09 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've never wanted HD TV til now.
posted by goalyeehah at 8:46 PM on May 4, 2011

It's a bit New Age isn't it?

Nice, but its the sort of stuff my therapist might have running on a loop in her reception...
posted by marvin at 10:49 PM on May 4, 2011

The Unseen Sea by Simon Christen
posted by baueri at 1:23 AM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Marvelous. Thanks for this.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 2:28 AM on May 5, 2011

Nice, but its the sort of stuff my therapist might have running on a loop in her reception...

Yes. Because it makes you feel good.
posted by pineapple at 7:31 AM on May 5, 2011

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