Video Shorts

A small collection of short videos I’ve made over the last year +

In May of 2015, I took a sabbatical to adventure around the South Island of New Zealand. I had made no plans or expectations for this trip, keeping each day and night as a surprise waiting to be unwrapped. This short video is a compilation of around 3000 photos I took of the night skies from the different places I camped and explored. I shot these with a Nikon D800, with each frame being a 30 second expose. My camera settings varied slightly from night to night, but in general I shot at 14mm, f2.8, with and ISO of ~3200 +/- . Please comment of message me for any additional questions or photo beta.


In the Alley of the Cheat Narrows, is the Ballroom…an underwater mystery of turbulence and finesse. Prototype squirt boat, by Jim Snyder.


Jam Night at the Brew Pub


 

Published on Dec 4, 2015

 

another Monday night at Jamie house – the Furr :
Eli Pollard (lead vocals, theremin, guitar)
Francisco Amaya (guitar, backing vocals)
Jarrod Ott (bass)
Liz Pavlovic (drums, vocals)

“The Furr was born out of our members’ united love for a mixture of short, fun, loud rock ditties and improvised dadaist jams. We pay homage to some of our favorite songs by covering them with large blankets. We want to put a lima bean in your fannypack”. –https://thefurr.bandcamp.com/


Jamie Lester sculpting a clay figure of Tara. Music short by New God, titled Firework.

Artists:
Sculptor: Jamie Lester – http://vandaliabronze.com/
Video/Post: Gabe DeWitt – https://www.1gabe.com
Music: New God – http://new-god.com/
Model: Tara Smith – http://www.tara-earth.com


A short compilation from this years Fasnacht – an attempt to captures some of the spirit that lives in Helvetia, WV.


Tara went on a night dive the other night, and afterwards she dropboxed her video files to me. So, I thought I’d make a little highlight real from her underwater adventure for her to share..
Music is Bloodflood by Aly-J


Friday evening with friends…drawing…painting…making pretty things.


On Friday night (2/21/15) in the sub-zero air, my friends and I skied out to the overlook at Coopers Rock, WV. What I captured was a strange phenomenon, known as Light Pillars. I made a short 20 second video from the photos, and Anna wrote her account of our cross country skiing adventure. I’ve posted it on my blog at https://www.1gabe.com/light-pillars/ . Check it out if you get a chance! …and feel free to share this unique view of West Virginia!!


This is a time lapse video of our Alaska adventure in March, 2014. I used only photos taken with a borrowed GoPro and my D800. The aurora images were captured during some of the last peaking activity of 2014. It’ll be another 11 years until the Aurora’s intensity and predictability will align so well again, at least to warrant another adventure geared specifically for Aurora viewing. Additionally in this video are several Alaska Cabins we stayed in (of Tara and I painting), along with a some time lapse shots of the sun setting, and the moon rising. Music by Emancipator – Eve

see photos from this trip at http://www.wv-art.com/Photography/Locations/Alaska


While camping near Long’s Peak on 6/29/14, I sat my camera outside my tent for several hours to capture the clear view of the stars from the high elevation. I took 15 second photos ever minute for about 4 hours, and then stitched them together in Premier. Sound bits are from Emancipator – First Snow

Cosmos

Here are some beautiful quotes from a few of my favorite scientists, and when I think about them, my day always becomes a prettier place to be.
I’ve added a few of my cosmos inspired photos to accompany these enlightening quotes/thoughts…

“Across the sea of space, the stars are other suns.
We have traveled this way before, and there is much to be learned.”

“I find it elevating and exhilarating to discover that we live in a universe
which permits the evolution of molecular machines as intricate and subtle as we”
-Carl Sagan

We are all connected; To each other, biologically To the earth, chemically To the rest of the universe atomically
“The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.
The cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff.
We are a way for the cosmos to know itself. “
-Carl Sagan

“We are all connected;
To each other, biologically
To the earth, chemically
To the rest of the universe atomically “
-Neil deGrasse Tyson

Camping in the High Country of Yosemite. This photo extends beyond the curved boundaries of Yosemite National Park, all the way to the edges our galaxy. In this image, I can feel my interdependence to the rest of the universe, while also being able to see and feel my friends. (Side note, the fire had burnt down to just a few barely glowing embers in order to get this shot to work). This photo was published on National Geographic's Your Shot Assignment,

“I think nature’s imagination is so much greater than man’s…
she’s never going to let us relax.”

“There’s this tremendous mess of waves all over in space, which is the light bouncing around the room, and going from one thing to the other
…and it’s all really there, but you gotta stop and think about it. About the complexity to really get the pleasure. “
-Richard Feynman

Here's the link to my blog post on how I make these world like images. https://www.1gabe.com/world-view-from-mt-hood-creating-the-globe-effect-with-panorama-images/

The above quotes have been incorporated into an awesome and impactful song by Melody Sheep.

I recently burnt a whole CD of Melody Sheep songs for my son, and he loves them! …and I find myself listing to them more often than he gets to.
I suggest checking them out if you get a chance.

Northern Lights

Last night the earth’s atmosphere was lit up by an impacting solar storm, burped up from the sun 3 days ago. It’s supposedly the largest one so far in the current solar cycle (which is 11 years long). The last few years I’ve gone to Alaska to observe the Aurora Borealis, but last night many people in the Northern States of the U.S. probably had one of the most epic views of it from their home.  I watched the forecast from the Space Weather Prediction Center, but sadly WV wasn’t “north” enough to see anything 😉

But, this storm came just a day short of two years ago when a similar solar storm lit up the night sky, creating the most epic waves and ripples of pretty lights I’ve ever seen! …here are a few of my photos of the Northern Lights I was able to capture, along with a few tips on shooting the aurora..

Tips for photographing the Northern Lights in Alaska

The best month to see the Aurora is in March…September is good too…

  • The best months to observe the Northern Lights are September and March. The best choice for photographers is March, as it tends toward having the highest probability or clearer nights. I can’t speak from experience about September in Alaska, but I do know it’s warmer, which may be more pleasant for photography, but Alaska has lots of bugs, and they’re still out strong in September from what I gathered.  And, because it’s warmer I would expect there to be more people/tourists if heading to publicly accessible areas.  But, the main reason for me to not choose September was because of the warmer temps, as the relative humidity can decrease visibility, and cloud cover has thwarted many a September aurora viewer.

 

I did some research on the Northern Lights prior to the trip, and I extrapolated that 2013/2014 would likely be the solar maximum period for our sun, (solar maxes occur every 11 years). I used data from the Geophysical Institute to make an excel plot of our son’s activity to aid in my planning/predicting the best times to see the Aurora.   I really wish I was into photography back in 1991 (when I was eight), or even back in 2001. I was in high school staying over at a friends house, and I remember seeing red waves of light arching over his back back from his house in Cheat Lake, West Virginia (during a large solar storm in November, 2001).

Aurora Plot

Angel Rocks, Chena River Valley, AK - March 2013

  • While the night sky visibility is at its best during a new moon, a little bit of moonlight can add a lot of depth to a photo.  
  • Be prepared for extreme weather conditions. March in Alaska: temps when I left WV were around the mid 20’s °F , and the temps when I landed in Anchorage, AK were in the upper 20’s °F…not so bad, not too different, right? Well, in Fairbanks one night I was photographing on a mountain top and it was -14°F, not including the windchill from 20-30 mph winds…I had frostbite around my nostrils where the two layers of balaclavas didn’t cover.

Nothern Lights, Aurora Borealis

  • Get away from the city lights if possible. 
  • Try to stay in cabins… The image above and below were taken at the Fielding Lake Cabin, a brisk 2 mile trek from the road

Nothern Lights, Aurora BorealisOne night I thought I’d try my hand at camping in Alaska. I gave my sister my two warmest sleeping bags to use that night, and I used a lightweight 20°F bag, thinking that layering up would keep me warm. While she slept soundly, I remember being so miserably cold that I swore I was booking a Marriott for the remainder of the trip (which I didn’t, but I was that cold).

It was -10°F that night, after suffering for a few hours I decided that I would try sleeping in the car. When I crawled out of my tent around 4am, car bound, I saw the strangest clouds overhead…and then I said “..oh shit..” …I was so tired and cold that I didn’t want to take pictures, so it wasn’t an expression of elation… but after I saw the result of my first photo, then a second “oh shit” was voiced, with much more elation!

Per camera and setup, I’m going to reiterate some things I’ve mentioned in another post (Moonlit Nights).

  • Use a Tripod
  • When shooting, use at least a 2 second delay (I often use 5 seconds), to remove any camera shake. Or, use a remote trigger
  • Make sure noise reduction for high ISO and long shutter speeds are enabled.
  • Use manual focus (when capturing stars, focus at infinity, or just a hair back off from it).
  • After setting the focus, check the first shot by zooming in on the playback image (recheck the focus often as moving about can budge things).
  • On cropped sensor cameras be careful of high ISO ranges as they produce a lot of noise. I take great photos at an ISO of 3200 on my D800 (full frame sensor), but anything above ISO 800 on my D300s (cropped sensor) is almost worthless.
  • Modulate the shutter speed and aperture based on your composition and light demands.
  • Try to keep the ISO as low as possible, but don’t be afraid to play with the higher values. Just remember with higher ISO levels comes more noise and a lower dynamic range.

The list goes on, but these few tip are enough to get the wheels turning…

The Aurora Borealis over the White Mountains, AK - March 2013 - This panorama Image is made of set of 5 images stitched together. The resulting cropped image is ~22 megapixels, and can be printed up to 22 inches wide without needing additional image interpolation when printed.

I’ll gladly answer other questions though, just leave a comment at the end of the post!

Here’s a link to more of my photos of the Northern Lights and my Alaska adventures.

“To the lover of pure wildness Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.” ~John Muir