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T i m e l a p s e s
with a
Glacier Documentary Team
on Mt. Baker's Easton Glacier

Documenting the Easton Glacier (Mt. Baker) through photography and measurements.

Introduction
I've been climbing around on glaciers since I was about the height of an ice axe, so in August 2010, I was delighted to have the opportunity to join a team creating a documentary on the glaciers of the North Cascades. Although I only spent 1.5 days with them (during their stint on Mt. Baker's the Easton Glacier, which was shortened due to poor weather), this documentary team spent seventeen days following Mauri Pelto and his crew of researchers as they measured snow-depth, discovered new bedrock outcrops, and traversed serac fields on various glaciers on the North Cascades. Mauri Pelto has worked for over 25 years recording the response of glaciers to climate change. The ultimate goal of the documentary team was to produce a glacier documentary that would serve both as an educational tool and a unique presentation of the glacial beauty of the North Cascades using video and timelapse photography.

The following page gives some of my favorite timelapse and still photography from my time with the glacier documentary team on Mt. Baker's Easton Glacier. During this time, I saw glaciers from a different and fascinating perspective, and I also enjoyed taking the opportunity to shoot some of my own timelapse videos with my camera.


The documentary and research teams

The documentary/photography team

The research team
Cory
Chris
Max
Christina
Me (Steph)
Mauri
Ben
Jill
Erik?
(Click blurry image above for a photo of everyone together.)

The link to the Glacier Documentary website is:
http://glacierdocumentary.com/

The link to Maui Pelto's North Cascade Glacier Climate Project is:
http://www.nichols.edu/departments/glacier/


Timelapses
Timelapses are created by taking a series of still shots and combining them (usually at about 15-24 frames per second) to make a video. The photos can be taken with any camera, and then a simple program (I used MPEG Streamclip) is used to string the photos together. Below are some of my favorite timelapses I took on the day I spent on the Easton Glacier. The videos are a bit wobbly (bad tripod) and amateur, but they are still pretty cool. TImelapse is a great way to add a dynamic aspect to photography that I'd like to explore more in the future*.

*Since joining the team on the Easton Glacier, I've experimented some more with timelapse photography and created a webpage of my favorite timelapses.


Timelapse 1a: Late afternoon on Mt. Baker (5:56-7:24pm).
Length of video: 16 sec
Real time: 1 h 28 min
Number of frames: 243
Interval between photos: 10 sec (first half of film), 30 sec (second half of film)
Frame speed of video: 15 frames/sec
Timelapse speed: 150x real time (first half of film), 450x real time (second half of film)

I changed the interval between shots because the movement of light in the second half of the film happens slower (in real time) than the movement of clouds in the first half of the film. (The occasional black specks are bugs flying past....)
Timelapse 1b: Alpenglow on Mt. Baker (7:24-7:39pm).
Length of video: 6.1 sec
Real time: 15 min
Number of frames: 92
Interval between photos: 10 sec
Frame speed of video: 15 frames/sec
Timelapse speed: 150x real time

Timelapse 2: Cloud formation, lit by evening sun
Length of video: 5.5 sec
Real time: 14 min
Number of frames: 83
Interval between photos: 10 sec
Frame speed of video: 15 frames/sec
Timelapse speed: 150x real time

Timelapse 3: Clouds moving over Glacier, 1.
Length of video: 5.1 sec
Real time: 6.5 min
Number of frames: 77
Interval between photos: 5 sec
Frame speed of video: 15 frames/sec
Timelapse speed: 75x real time

Timelapse 4: Clouds moving over Glacier, 2
Length of video: 13.1 sec
Real time: 16 min
Number of frames: 196
Interval between photos: 5 sec
Frame speed of video: 15 frames/sec
Timelapse speed: 75x real time

Timelapse 5: Whiteout on a glacier
Length of video: 5.0 sec
Real time: 6 min
Number of frames: 75
Interval between photos: 5 sec
Frame speed of video: 15 frames/sec
Timelapse speed: 75x real time

Timelapse 6: Descending in the fog.
Length of video: 2.8 sec
Real time: 42 min
Number of frames: 42
Interval between photos: 1 sec
Frame speed of video: 15 frames/sec
Timelapse speed: 15x real time
Timelapse 7: Evening at camp (7:08-7:34pm).
Length of video: 20.9 sec
Real time: 26 min
Number of frames: 314
Interval between photos: 5 sec
Frame speed of video: 15 frames/sec
Timelapse speed: 75x real time

It is fun to just focus on one person and see what they do over the course of the video! 
Timelapse 8: Evening at camp (7:35-8:51pm).
Length of video: 20 sec
Real time: 76 min
Number of frames: 301
Interval between photos: 15 sec
Frame speed of video: 15 frames/sec
Timelapse speed: 225x real time

It is fun to just focus on one person and see what they do over the course of the video! Note the spectacular lighting on the clouds in the background.
Timelapse 9: Stars and clouds moving above camp.
Length of video: 9.3 sec
Real time: 1 h 17 min
Number of frames: 14
Interval between photos: 5.5 min exposures with no interval in-between photos
Frame speed of video: 1.5 frames/sec
Timelapse speed: 495x real time

It would create a much smoother film to have 30 second exposures linked together (instead of 5.5 min exposures), but it was just too dark out there to do that this on this particular night.



Still Shots
Here are some of my favorite photos.

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