First Ultra HD footage of the Himalayas
March 12, 2015 8:55 PM   Subscribe

"The aerial cinema experts at Teton Gravity Research release the first ultra HD footage of the Himalayas shot from above 20,000 ft. with the GSS C520 system, the most advanced gyro-stabilized camera system in the world. Filmed from a helicopter with a crew flying from Kathmandu at 4,600 ft. up to 24,000 ft. on supplemental oxygen, these are some of the most stable, crisp, clear aerial shots of these mountains ever released, which include Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, and Lhotse."
posted by Joakim Ziegler (19 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, that really brought the topography of the area into a new light for me. Thanks for posting.
posted by not_on_display at 9:09 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

truly spectacular aerial photography.

Maybe because of the soundtrack and being conditioned by Red Bull to expect the ridiculous, I kept waiting for the Warren Miller ski crew to jump out of the helicopters and ski down those mountains.
posted by bobdow at 9:10 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]

Great shots. The music is exactly what I expected it to be.
posted by ReeMonster at 9:11 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

That is gorgeous. Must pass this on to my geography teacher buddies.
posted by bardophile at 9:45 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

The music isn't to my tastes but the imagery is gorgeous.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:52 PM on March 12, 2015

It's... jumpy. There is just enough motion in the shots to give it a "slightly zooming slideshow" feel, yet without lingering lovingly on the spectacular views it's showing. The music is corny, I swear I've heard it 3-4 times on various kickstarter pitch videos. "The Himalayas" might as well be a media startup, from the approach they took.

I'm sure the raw footage is absolutely breathtaking, but I kept waiting for buzzwords like "dedicated to scale" and "revolutionizing the vertical".
posted by tigrrrlily at 9:58 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

They kind of did revolutionize the vertical.
posted by isthmus at 10:00 PM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]

That was short. I'd call it a teaser.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 10:02 PM on March 12, 2015

Amazing. Almost better than being there (he said from the comfort of his chair in a warm ground-level house with a beer next to him).
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:08 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

If you could put even a crappy definition camera on one of the Himalayas' THOUSANDS of golden eagles and see what it sees on any given day, it would go viral in a heartbeat, image stabilization be damned. Or a bar-headed goose if you want to see what flying over Everest looks like. I really want to see this happen. The next time I visit the Himalayas, I've got to remember to bring a cheap helicopter drone with me.
posted by Perko at 10:18 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Beautiful video.
posted by Solomon at 3:33 AM on March 13, 2015

It's not safe for my (Tibetan) husband and daughters to enter Tibet. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to show them Everest with such clarity. It made MrTaff and I cry. Thank you.
posted by taff at 4:07 AM on March 13, 2015 [18 favorites]

Pretty pictures, but the ultra HD effect is lost on the 1080p Vimeo, and the slight stuttering that is endemic to Vimeo also hurts their presentation of their stabilization.

The music is called Kings, by Ryan Taubert. Available for licensing from The Music Bed.

The IMAX Everest film is really gorgeous. If you ever have a chance to see it on a big screen, go for it.
posted by Steakfrites at 4:32 AM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

taff, you made me see this short, breathtakingly beautiful clip in an entirely new light. Thank you. And may your family travel wherever you wish safely someday.
posted by hat_eater at 5:13 AM on March 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

I love you pretty planet. Thank for making people smart so we can all share in the beauty. I hope our intelligence doesn't destroy it :-(
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:25 AM on March 13, 2015

I kept waiting for the Warren Miller ski crew to jump out of the helicopters and ski down those mountains.

The Disappearance of Marco Siffredi.
posted by furtive at 7:58 AM on March 13, 2015

The music is telling me I'm thrilled, right? That what I'm seeing is amazing and unique?

I love the photography, the region, the geology, the technology, everything, but manipulative and obvious soundtracks are big turnoff, in movies, and in documentaries.
posted by feste at 9:38 AM on March 13, 2015

I've probably told this story on here before, but Himalayas, Tibet, etc.

Some years ago, I seem to recall not long at all after the Beijing to Lhasa train opened, I and my family took it. It goes through what is still the highest rail pass in the world at over 16,000 feet. Aside from being incapable of doing anything but laying around and breathing at that altitude (oxygen was available on the train), the whole place is just fucking unimaginable. I've certainly never seen footage that even manages to evoke a sense of how huge everything is there. There are places in the rockies that have made me remember, but it's a difference on an order of magnitude.

What I remember most, though, is when the train was crossing some valley or basin. We're right in the middle of it, and it's flat snow 360 degrees all the way to what you might expect to be the horizon if you were in, say, Kansas, except instead of the curvature of the earth dropping out of sight, giant, craggy, vertical mountains just shoot straight up into the clouds. Right there, we pass some dude, trudging along with his yak. I still can't even begin to answer the questions I have. He had to be days journey from anywhere that I couldn't currently see that there was no kind of settlement or shelter. Even then, there were these mountains to scale to get out of the valley. At an altitude of at least a couple miles. Just... how? And where? There could not be a landscape or way of life more alien to me.

Anyway, he waved cheerfully at the train, and we waved back and rolled on. It kills me that the Chinese government is actively destroying that way of life, but I also like that idea that that environment is still far too wild for humans to wreck it. At least directly, and at least for another generation or two.
posted by cmoj at 9:58 AM on March 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

Thanks hat eater. We have now forwarded it on to a bunch of Tibetan refugees and stateless people in Australia and beyond. There's a lot of tears. It was Tibetan Uprising day this week so it's particularly poignant.

Joakim, we really appreciate this discovery. Xx
posted by taff at 6:13 PM on March 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

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