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Little Fluffy Clouds
17 January 2011

Office

I built myself a home office.  It's a great change from the tiny, dark corner I used to work from.  The office isn't done yet but that hasn't kept me from moving in.  I couldn't resist all that space and the fantastic view.

I custom built my desk with plenty of drawers and desktop space.  I also designed the office with more windows than walls.  I have a great view of the ocean, especially on a clear day.  We've recently been having some very clear days.  Even with the clouds we can still see all the way to the horizon.  That's rare because of the vog.

Sunny In San Francisco they have fog.  In Los Angeles they have smog.  Here in Hawaii we have an active volcano that produces vog.  It can get bad on the southern part of the island.  Near the volcano it can be downright poisonous.  Here in Kona, the only real effect is reduced visibility.

When conditions are right, all that vog gets blown away.  That's when I have the best view of the ocean right from my office chair.  With clear air, not only is the view great, the clouds can be spectacular.  I sometimes find myself staring out the window and daydreaming instead of working.  So I decided to set up my camera and catch the moment.  I used an external timer to take a picture every 30 seconds.  The idea was to stack all those pictures into a timelapse movie.

Timelapse photography is more difficult than it seems.  Even with a tripod, the camera likes to shake.  Autofocus will definitely screw things up.  Dead batteries, aperture adjustments, uncooperative clouds, wandering cats and chickens, unexpected window reflections, accidentally tripping over the tripod... timelapse photography is an exercise in patience.  I'm strictly amateur compared to the pros.  That doesn't stop me from having fun while trying.

I need a graduated filter so I can expose both the sky and landscape better.  I should also get an external power cord to avoid battery problems.  My original goal was to capture an entire day from before sunrise until after sunset.  I got close then the batteries gave out right before sunset.  Missing the perfect sequence because of technical difficulties seems to be a recurring theme.

Hires I am fairly happy with what I did manage to capture.  I put all the frames into a movie then added one of my favorite songs.  No script, no action, nothing but clouds on a beautiful day in Hawaii.  Beginning, middle, end, I like it all.  You can watch the video below.  It's streamed from YouTube and I recommend switching to the hi-res version.  Do that by selecting "1080P HD" instead of 360P, as show in the picture.  If your Internet connection is too slow, you can download the video.  There is a hi-res version and a low-res version.  I recommend the hi-res version.  For the really hi-res version, you can visit the coffee farm and enjoy the tropical skies in person.

Clouds Clouds
Hi-res .wmv 176MB Lo-res .wmv 21MB




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