All of the Full-sized Imagery from ‘How the Shot Was Got’ ep 1

HAI!

Recently I started putting together the second timelapse compilation (there will be Spring and Desert, the latter of which is getting a custom score!) and I realized I had a ton of behind the scenes footage from being out and about in the world. So I started putting it together in fun little vignettes that I’m excited to share.

The footage is vertical because that’s how the majority of it was shot on my iPhone, so I wanted to bundle all of the full sized imagery here if people wanted to view it as it was meant to be viewed.

The images are in the gallery below the timelapse files.

Enjoy!

Lightning at Quartzsite
Taken off the 10 fwy in the middle of the night, I chased this cell for at least two hours before I caught it. It was massive, and had moved just over the hill by the time I got to it. Still a spectacular show.

Wind Caves
I took this after hiking up a steep incline for about half a mile in the hot desert mid afternoon heat in March of last year. It’s like being on another planet out there – there’s just nothing for miles.

Eastern San Joaqin Valley Storm
This is one of my favorites. We caught an amazing storm coming out of Yosemite last spring, and set up just off the highway. Shortly after we packed up as the last bit of light started to fade to the west, a small tornado touched down in the distance.

Tunnel View Sweeping Fog and Rain
This one was a spectacular gift. On a whim I packed my camera gear to maybe shoot on a drive back to LA from SF, and decided to hit Yosemite on the way home. I was definitely rewarded by some great footage. Bonus: a man named Yousiff saw me standing there forever in the rain, dutifully wiping my lenses again and again and gave me his umbrella before he left.

Gallery of images from the locations shown in the episode:

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Bristlecone Pine Star Trails

I’m sounding like a broken record but I’m still processing timelapses from Arizona back in August whenever I have free time but recently I tried my hand at photo stacking again and was floored by what I got:

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About a little more than a year ago, I drove out about 5 hours to a magical little place I know about and waited until the moon set. I then hiked out a mile or more and set up to take a timelapse of this gorgeous, 4000 year old tree.

The timelapse is okay, the collapsed photo stack is about a million times better in my opinion. I don’t understand masking (yet) but I understand the way my brain processing the concept of masking is inverted; so I’m trying to re-train my brain to think in Photoshop terms. BUT, I was able to stack these images and erase the background “static” stars from the base layer image that sits underneath the rest of the 100 or more images that create the star trails, and that made me really happy.

I lit the tree in one 20 second exposure with my headlamp and it turned out perfect. I’m not psyched on the red light trail in the lower right; but I was too lazy to retrace each layer to find that one image and reprocess so there it is. All red up in there.

But for someone who doesn’t work in Photoshop often, this is without a doubt the coolest image I’ve ever done. I had no idea I was even positioned to capture the North Star perfectly – the happiest accident. I hope you enjoy it!

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Lightning storm timelapse

This turned out cool. Doing the other one now too.

 

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Perseid meteor shower (part 1)

I took about four timelapses last month out in the eastern Sierras during the Perseid meteor shower. I still need to finish editing them but in the meantime here’s an image I created playing with photostacking. It’s not super awesome, but I don’t know Photoshop that well so this is as close as I got to what I was imagining.

I created it by going through the 300+ photos I took at ~20 sec @ 2.8 with around probably 4000 ISOish, and selecting the frames that had decent streaks captured and then using Photoshop’s image stacking process. I was following a How-To online but it was a while ago and I can’t remember which site I was referencing.

Using a shot after the moon had already come up as the background image the rest of the images are filtered so that only bits that are “lighter” than the background image show up – hence, star trails.

One thing I notice while posting this now is that there’s still the static stars in the background image, which makes it look weirdly contrasted and well, amateur. I need to go back and erase that section of the background image somehow. I tried to use all 300 photos in one image stack for crazy star trails but it would have taken forever to process and I gave up.

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Composition, especially for night shots, remains a challenge for me but I’m relatively happy with how it turned out for now. I’ll have more to post soon. I just need to edit edit edit.

 

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10:50 pm, somewhere. 

  This is one of those moments I need to remember that everything happens for a reason. 
There’s a huge cell going off just ahead and I’m  35 miles from being able to shoot it and trapped in a road closure. I can see that the lightning is starting to paper off, and I spent the last hour and 15 minutes barreling down and trying to get to it in time.

Monumentally frustrating. 

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Perseid Meteor Shower

This is just a quick edit on one of the shots I took over the weekend. I’m working on “image stacking” this week along with processing the timelapses I took of the shower overnight on Thursday.

Slow going, since I don’t know much about Photoshop but it’s ‘fun’ to learn something ‘new.’ (I want to claw my own eyeballs out right now.)

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Juvenile Bald Eagles, Alaska

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Humpback Whales, Kachemak Bay

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I was never afraid of whales until I was surrounded by them and one of them came flying out of the water about 75 yards away. Fully airborne, I realized instantly there would be no time to jump, no time to clear the boat, no time to dive deep enough if one decided to breach and land (accidentally) on our little boat. Terrifying creatures.

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And they were everywhere. You didn’t need to go looking for them because, like the bears, they would just pop up all around you. And on quiet early mornings, you could hear their breath all the up on the deck of our lodge – big, slow exhales. The occasional slapping sound as a fin smacked the water. Echoing everywhere.

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The Kachemak Bay isn’t very big, but it’s nutrient rich so there can be a lot of whales in a small area on a good day. And on the two or three quiet mornings we were out on the boat, they seemed to be everywhere. Slow moving, huge, cautious.

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The full gallery is below.

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White wolf, Alaska

A hand on my ankle was shaking me awake. It was early, or late, or maybe I had only been asleep 20 minutes. The light barely changed overnight and the sun barely dipped below the horizon for sunset, turning everything a creepy orange-gray for a few hours.

Michele in a direct but quiet voice, “Wolf.”

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This is not our midnight wolf, but it is a wolf I shot earlier that week in Alaska.

I sat up quickly, 80 percent still asleep. I shuffled my bottom to the small opening in the tent and Michele slowly made room for me to poke my head out. I expected to see a wolf in the distance, on the opposite beach from the tidal river in front of our camp.

What I saw was a white wolf directly in front of me, six feet away or less, standing facing me squarely, staring right back at me with amber eyes.

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For a moment completely frozen in my memory, every single thing on our beach was still. No crickets, no flies, no birds. Just us. Staring.

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And then with nothing else to say or do, the wolf turned and slowly and confidently trotted away down the beach.

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I flopped back into the tent, immediately falling back to sleep. My last thought was wondering how many times that week we had been under surveillance from a distance, never knowing we were being watched.

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Whale.

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