Archive for the ‘Time lapse’ Category

Arctic Day 6 – Holmfjord and Continental shelf drop off (the final day)

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Arctic kayaking from the NatGeo Explorer

The NatGeo Explorer is equipped with inflatable kayaks which is always a highlight with the guests… ourselves included.  Kayaking in the Arctic in the shadow of the Holmiabukta glacier is what adventure travel is all about.  We travelled along the coast line looking for wildlife hoping to see a Polar Bear.  The crew scans the area for Polar Bears to make sure there are none around before letting the kayaks out because a Polar Bear could easily take out a kayaker in the water.

Kayaking in the arctic

Our Polar Bear hunt by kayak wasn’t successful but we did find out later that one was spotted by the crew in an area we had just been.  At first we were bummed because we wanted to get one last look at a Polar Bear but its probably for the best because Polar Bears can swim much faster than we can kayak.

Also played around again with some time lapse photography.  I put the camera up on our balcony as we went out for the day.  You can see the kayaks zipping in and out from the ship.  I just wish I could have caught a polar bear chasing a kayaking on video…

After our kayaking we got a chance to go for a quick polar plunge.  Miki and I did it in the Antarctic so we figured it best to round out by taking a swim near both poles.

Arctic swim

This was our last stop of the trip.  We now had to head all the way back to Longyearbyen to disembark the ship and fly back to Oslo.  But Svalbard had one more surprise in stock for us.  A sighting of the biggest animal on earth.  The BLUE WHALE.

Blue Whale

Blue Whales are rare to spot around here so it was an amazing sighting and we had two of them that spent a long time playing in front of our ship.  Some interesting blue whale facts.

  • Can eat 4-8 tons of krill per day
  • Up to 30 meters long
  • Tongue can weigh as much as an elephant
  • Babies can weigh up to 4 tons at birth
  • Babies gain 250 lbs per day
  • Penis can be 8 feet long

Blue Whale up close

It’s hard to comprehend the size of these animal in pictures but try to comprehend seeing an animal gracefully swimming along that is the size of a basketball court.  Check out a interactive comparison to other objects at National Geographic.

Blue Whale passing in front of the ship

These whales were very curious coming very close to our ship and in one very interesting pass, rolled over on its side to get a better look at us.  One of the Lindblad staff on the NatGeo Explorer has the nickname the “whale lady”.  She has spent her entire career studying whales.  She was on the ship wide intercom as this encounter was happening explaining what the whale was doing, giving us neat facts (see above), but when the whale rolled over on her side she was stumped.  She had never seen this behavior before.  You could hear the excitement in its voice as this was the first time she has seen this behaviour.  It’s always exciting when even the experts who study an animal every day of their life get excited about something they see.

Blue Whale rolling over

After this amazing encounter (a definite highlight of the trip) the whales said goodbye and we continued back to port.

Two bue whales at dusk

Lot’s of amazing animal encounters topped off by a visit from the earth’s biggest creature.  Not a bad way to end the trip at all…

Tiger Safari in Kanha Tiger Reserve time lapsed to 2 minutes

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Another time lapse video but of another Tiger Reserve in India, Kanha.  This is a much different park than Bandhavgarh which I posted a time lapse video about earlier.  It’s much bigger and has wide open plains which gives it a more Africa type feel.

Front view time lapse of one of our game drives at Kanha national park.

0:05 – Driving through the city of Tala (don’t blink. It’s only about 3 frames)

0:47 – watching the elephants bathing in dust

1:17 – Indian bison sighting

Lots of stopping and starting. Waiting and watching. Sometimes game drives are like that. A lot of waiting and watching and not much action but its not a zoo and wildlife sightings aren’t guaranteed.  The park is still beautiful and having a nice drive through a beautiful game park is a great experience.

You can view the video on youtube here (soundtrack had to be changed due to copyright restrictions).

Creating the tiger safari game drive time lapse video

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

I had an idea to create a time lapse movie during one of our game drives in the tiger reserves.  I haven’t done something like this before and haven’t seen anything online about doing something like this but I gave it a go.  I took my canon 5d mark II with a 12-24mm lens zoomed out to 24mm and plugged in my cheap chinese knock off time lapse trigger device thingy.  It was configured to take 1 photo every 7 seconds.  I imported all the jpegs into quicktime pro which I used to create the movie to playback all the still frames at 12 frames per second.

I mounted the camera to a bean bag and then strapped it to the top frame of the vehicle with a lot of tape (the roads are bumpy… very, very bumpy so I was pretty worried about the camera flying off).  I wrapped it all in a small towel to try and protect it from the dust.  It didn’t really work because the fine talcum powder like dust gets everywhere.

The results turned out much better than I thought.  The first take I had it pointed forward and I think it catches the gist of what a game drive is.  I was also lucky and it caught a very brief glimpse of the Jackal killing a Chital on this camera.  It’s the very small dot down the road next to the wall.  Don’t worry, I got a much better shot with my 500mm lens which I’ll be posting later.

The second take was the camera rig turned around at me and Talat.  This was the best take of all.  It was a pretty boring game drive until the last few minutes.  We ended up getting an amazing tiger safari in a mad scrabble of vehicles.

4 hour Tiger Safari in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve time lapsed to 3 minutes

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

1) Front view time lapse

0:40 – Tiger sighting off to the left

1:35 – Breakfast

2:19 – waiting in line for the tiger show (more about this later)

3:06 – Jackal killing Chital (spotted deer)

We had a lot of other bird, owl, deer, and other various wildlife sightings but those were the big ones.

View the video on youtube here (soundtrack had to be changed due to copyright restrictions)

2) Rear view time lapse (best time lapse video yet!!!)

0:54 – Miki doing safari vehicle gymnastics

1:23 – playing with my ipad

1:46 – Tiger sighting (name = “New Male”) and mad vehicle scramble.  The most fun 10 minutes of the trip!!

2:39 – Celebrating our amazing tiger sighting with some ice cream.

View the video on youtube here (soundtrack had to be changed due to copyright restrictions)