This video reduces a 63 minute portion of the total lunar eclipse shot on 12.10.2011 to under 2 minutes. I rose early (4 a.m.) to meet the moon. I set up a tiny tripod attached to my Sony camcorder so it would jam into my old Honda's windshield as the entire car would act as a very steady tripod.
I had enough time to get a hot fresh cup of joe from a nearby McDonalds. I then settled in at a vacant Home Depot parking lot pointing my car toward the northwest. During each shot I was very careful not to move in my seat or take a sip of coffee or breath or belch as not to disturb the car at rest.
Despite my efforts, the atmospheric conditions were far less than optimal for shooting the lunar surface. While thermal layers were mixing high above, a thick layer of haze was still present after 4 days in a row of "Spare the Air" days here in Northern California.
There were also looming clouds on the western horizon which diminished any chance of seeing the moon after totality not to mention that moonset and sunrise were converging at just after 7 a.m. local time.
Each shot was anywhere from 3 to 4 minutes long with an average of 1.5 minutes between shots. Every 15 minutes or so, I would break from shooting, start the car up, and run the heater for a couple of minutes and then turn everything off and resume shooting. There was no significant window fogging so the defroster was not needed. It was in the low 40s (degrees F) outside and it felt like bone chill'n cold to me--hey this is California, I haven't acclimated to winter yet or even mild winter for that matter.
I spent the next 10 days sand boxing the images until I decided to speed things up by showing 3 shots at a time and speeding each shot up 4 times (as fast as my video editor would allow). I then composed seven stereo tracks of original music and mixed it. This is the final version.
I want to acknowledge the work of Bill Newsinger (vimeo.com/mod) and Adonis Pulatus (vimeo.com/adonispulatus) for their wonderful influence and the inspiration for me to work with multi framed compositing.
Post Production Technical Info:
Each moon shot had the following attributes added in post production:
* 100% desaturated as to minimize the atmospheric effects,
* slight sharpening,
* increase of contrast and reduction of brightness,
* sped up 4 times,
* key framed cookie cutter...
Each trio section of moons was broken down to separate tracks. Each track motion was configured to crop the moon to 1/3 of the total frame. I then took a cookie cutter for each moon, configured as a circle with the moon's diameter, and key framed it with the travel of the moon through the shot. Initially I created 12 tracks consisting of 4 trios with overlapping sections but my computer could not handle the render so I had to render each trio separately and then add them into a composite version of the project.
The composite version only needed 2 tracks as one track was 'added' to the other. Since the cascading shots of the moons never overlap each other's light, the 'add' composite worked just fine. Also, because I shut off re-sampling, the initial renders are where the real transcoding was done as there was no need to re-render these in the composite version so no added noise or reduction in quality.
Camera: Camera: Sony HDR-CX500v
Editor: Sony Vegas Pro 10
Copyright P. W. Loarie 2011
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