Shortfilm of the Austrian TWANight.org PanSTARRS Expedition - a night with -25 degree celsius and gusty winds up to 45 km/h at the 3050 m high Gaislachkogel Mountain, Oetztal, Austria. In cooperation with the Institute for Astro- and Particle Physics, University Innsbruck and the Austrian Weather Service (ZAMG.ac.at).
Until about March 28th, comet PanSTARRS will be visible above Austria in the northern hemisphere during dawn. Experts from Tyrol went up to the top of the 3055 m high "Gaislachkogel", a mountain in the Ötztal, to take night shots of our cosmic neighbour.
The current weather situation in Tyrol was not appropriate for observing comet PanSTARRS in the third week of March. Therefore, well-known astrophotographer and ESO.org/ALMA foto ambassador Christoph Malin, astrophysicist Wolfgang Kausch, and worldwide expedition weather expert and mountain guide Michael Winkler from austrian weather service ZAMG searched for a location with a good sight to the comet.
"We've investigated several mountains around Innsbruck in the Gschnitztal, Stubaital, and Ötztal, which seemed to be approppriate for the comet observations", said Wolfgang Kausch. "Michael Winkler created the weather forecast for these regions, and Christoph Malin the timetable for the observation itself".
The final choice was the Gaislachkogel, which provides a good view towards north and west. "From this mountain we expected a good sight to the horizon, although being very cold (minus 25 degree celsius) with gusty winds up to 45 km/h", said Kausch. "Extremely cold conditions like that can lead to dangerous freezing, so we had to be careful and well equipped", adds Winkler.
At 13:00 the final "GO" came from weather expert Michael Winkler, so the expedition had to hurry up to reach the top of the mountain.
“At around 7:05 p.m. EXIF Data, the frames of my D4 showed the first appearance of the comet. A little bit later we discovered the comet with 8 x 52 Vixen binoculars, and a couple minutes later were able to see it with naked eye”, said Malin.
Although the camera lenses were equipped with heaters against frost there remained technical challenges. Malin: “The Live view of our D7000 failed (test shots for prefocus necessary), and I had not seen LCD's of DSLRs stopping to respond since the last TWAN imaging expedition to the 5000 m high ALMA Chajnator plateau in 2011” (See also vimeo.com/33276404 and vimeo.com/36972668).
After several hundred shots of the starry night sky the expedition ended at 01:00 with a night downhill skiing trip. Malin: “What a view, what a great moment! I will never forget the sight of this cosmic neighbour sinking into the clouds at the horizon (that tried to grab it ;)”. Kausch added: "Thanks to teamwork and perfect planning, it was a great adventure. And Many thanks go to Ötztal tourism and 'Bergbahnen Sölden' for their great support."
Nikon D7000 and Nikon D4
AFS 80-200/2.8, AFS 24-70/2.8, AFS DX 10-24/3.5-4.5 G ED
An excerpt of
The Planets - Gustav Holst - "Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age"
by the Berlin Philarmonic & Herbert Von Kararajan
Intro Movie courtesy of
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
Shutter Noise: Nikon D4 ;)
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4
Adobe After Effects CS6
then cut & edited with
Apple Final Cut Pro X
Rendered and produced on a Macbook Pro!
Finally, please be aware of the growing issue of light pollution (plightwithlight.org)! The Alps are not dark anymore - as you can see from the last frames in the Video. Support IDA (darksky.org) on their challenge to preserve the night sky for us and our children, on reducing energy waste!
Visit the TWAN team at the UNESCO IYA 2009 Project TWAN (twanight.org) for some of the coolest nightsky images and videos on our planet! One people, one sky!
Always believe in your dreams and make it possible!
All the best,
P.S.: If you like, watch some of my other films:
"ISS Image Frontier - Making the Invisible Visible", vimeo.com/61083440
"Astronomer's Paradise", vimeo.com/36972668
"Island in the Sky", vimeo.com/53845425/
"Urban - Mountain - Sky", vimeo.com/40969904
PS2: I don't mind a donation!
Inhale the fresh air, smell the refreshing scent of the green pine forests glowing above black volcano sands, no sound but the wind in the trees. A deep blue sky matches with the blue atlantic ocean far below. Epic volcanic trails lead trough an unique archaic landscape. Feel the elements. Be yourself, at the “Island in the Sky”.
This short film, a homage to the beautiful Island of La Palma - "Europe's Hawaii" - was like a never ending project for me. More than one and a half years of work.... photographing, processing, re-processing, selecting and de-selecting footage, some weeks filming…
I had certain pictures in mind - the scenes, locations, and moods. Every interesting place I had spotted during many stays on the Island while Hiking or guiding Bike Groups was considered.
As often as possible I returned to Palma to let the film get reality (newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2011/08/15/new-astro-timelapse-video-the-island-showcases-astronomy-haven/), but more than once got thrown back - bad weather, equipment malfunction or whatever.
I hiked up Volcanoes, stayed awake all night on stormy ridges, slept like a dead on the beach next morning. Pre-processed nights footage at the Apartment later, to validate what scenes worked, or needed to be repeated. Hurried back up the mountains before sunset for new setups. Finally got some rest and watched the clouds and stars move. Feeling small in the universe. And tired and dizzy, as well.
Night-Timelapse filming is an art, a struggle to live from, tough on your biorhythm – and needs a lot of passion, love and dedication. Passion for the work, love for nature and wilderness, being alone in the night. Back at the office in the timelapse studio it needs dedication and endurance in front of my workstations working trough the image data.
Which is the toughest part for me - I am not the office guy. I hate sitting in front of a Computer screen too much. And that is what you do with Timelapse. Way too much. After cleaning up the project, 906.65 GB and 83846 RAW images and movie-sequences remained for processing. And there is no automatism, each software at the workflow needs to be fed with each sequence separately, to deliver results...
On some key scenes of this film I have even worked over several months, trying different variations on color-reprocessing, iterating them many times. I am still not sure if they are good now. You judge.
Thanks to all who support me, especially my family. Thanks to Babak Tafreshi of Twanight.org for providing the legendary GRANTECAN Intro and MAGIC-from-the-side Footage (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAGIC_(telescope). Props to the Folks at IAC.es and Visitlapalma.es! Horay to the team at TWANight.org for tips and feedback! Awesome to Nikon NPS!
Jesse Hozeny has provided an awesome soundtrack with "Miles High"! This ended a long search!
Equipment: Nikon D4, D700, D7000, D3s, AFS 14-24/2.8, AFS 24-70/2.8, AF 50/1.8, AF 16/2.8 and AF-DX 10/2.8 Fisheye. Dynamic Perception Stage Zero Dolly and MX2 Merlin Interface, Vixen Polarie: vixen.co.jp/en/lp/polarie_movie.html
Processing: Nikon View NX, Adobe Lightroom LR4, LRTimelapse, Apple Motion, Final Cut Pro X.
Introduced on Slate, Wired, NG aaaand Dr. Brian May of QUEEN (awesome!!):
Now dive in, put your earphones on and relax...
That Guy with the Tent
Fine Art Prints of "Island in the Sky - christophmalin.zenfolio.com/p710558537
Please note: ISS Tronized is now part of a spectacular ISS Documentary: "ISS Image Frontier - making the invisible visible" - with Dr. Don Pettit / NASA Astronaut! vimeo.com/61083440!
--- Do you remember 1982's "TRON" movie? The plot: A computer programmer (epic: Jeff Bridges) is digitized inside the software world of a mainframe computer, where he interacts with various programs in his attempt to get back out. I loved the light cycle races and strange solar wind ships...
Back in the real word the ISS is in a way one of these solar ships, constantly rotating around us. A tiny white spot, as it can be seen racing over the sky from time to time, when illuminated by the sunset (and sunrise ;).
This Video was achived by "stacking" image sequences provided by NASA from the Crew at International Space Station (see also fragileoasis.org/blog/2012/3/on-the-trails-of-stars/). These "stacks" create the Star Trails, but furthermore make interesting patterns visible. For example lightning corridors within clouds, but they also show occasional satellite tracks (or Iridium Flashes) as well as meteors - patterns that interrupt the main Star Trails, and thus are immediately visible.
The many oversaturated hot pixels in some of the scenes are the inevitable result of ultrahigh ISO settings the Nikon D3s in ISS-use are pushed to for keeping exposure times short by all means (owed to the dramatic speed the ISS travels). As there are no dark frames or RAW data currently available, hot pixels are not easy to remove.
After the initial stacking, all images have been sequenced with Apple Motion and the Video cut and edited with Final Cut Pro X. Stacking done with StarStaX, get it here: markus-enzweiler.de/software/software.html
This Video would also not have been possible without that great minimal soundtrack "Eileen" by Lee Rosevere (members.shaw.ca/happypuppyrecords/index.html) that totally nailed the mood, as well as a short clip of "Window #3" by Two Bicycles (freemusicarchive.org/music/Two_Bicycles/Beko_Crash_Symbols_1/07_Window_3). VIMEO MUSIC STORE ROCKS!
All sequences and images courtesy "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth", Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center, eol.jsc.nasa.gov/Videos/CrewEarthObservationsVideos/
Closing sequence © Christoph Malin / ESO.org / filmed at Cerro Paranal.
Thanks a lot to my favourite bad Astronomer, Phil Plait at BadAstronomy for first posting the film (blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/10/16/my-god-its-full-of-star-trails/) and many many thanks to Vimeo for the Staff Pick!
A truckload of thanks go out to NASA astronaut Don Pettit (petapixel.com/2012/06/25/astronaut-don-pettit-floating-with-his-huge-camera-collection-on-the-iss/) and his colleagues for taking these images, and making films like this one reality!
Finally, please also be aware of the growing issue of light pollution (plightwithlight.org/index.php?id=49&L=1) one can see in many of these scenes! Support IDA (darksky.org) on their challenge to preserve the night sky for us and our children, on reducing energy waste! And don't forget, it is your tax money that lights up the sky!
Oh, and visit my friends at the UNESCO Project TWAN (twanight.org) for some of the coolest nightsky images and videos on our planet! One people, one sky!
Always believe in your dreams and make it possible!
All the best,
PS: At about 1:42 you see Comet "Lovejoy" rising...
PS2: Be sure to check out my other Movies:
"Astronomer's Paradise", vimeo.com/36972668 - featured on National Geographic
"The Island - Teaser", vimeo.com/27539860 - featured on NG
"Urban Mountain Sky", vimeo.com/40969904 - featured on Discovery Channel
"Black Hole Sun", vimeo.com/24149087, featured on NG
Tyrol Documentary Filmer Christoph Malin, an extreme Mountainbiker, Skier and Snowboarder since 20 years, has produced this spectacular new view on Innsbruck at night and dawn, seen from the surrounding Peaks, Villages and Valleys.
This "Director's Cut" version features a special Intro (filmed with Nikon's new D4) which shows Malin mountainbike riding the famous "Nordkette CableCar Support No 3" part of the “Nordkette Singletrail” at night.
The "Nordkette Singletrail" is Europe’s most spectacular Mountainbike Trail, which Malin founded and developed in 2004 with Christian Piccolruaz (both with Vertriders.com) in cooperation with the City of Innsbruck and the Nordkettenbahn CableCar Company.
UMS "Directors Cut" also features a "Takeout's and Fails" section after the Main segment, showing what can go wrong during such a production.
The great Soundtrack Tune "Way over Yonder" was especially produced for this Video by TinyType, an Artist based in Tyrol. Tiny Type releases internationally, and his label can be found at audiocalligraphy.com.
„Urban. Mountain. Sky." takes great measure in showing the beautiful starry skies and breathtaking scenery after sunset, that are still to be enjoyed in Tyrol.
While Innsbruck and the surrounding areas of course suffer from the lightpollution a City this size creates (see my older project "black hole sun"), the skies are still very nice once there are clear nights. The task is now to conserve at least this status we have now, to not loose the nightsky forever.
The Short Film was produced during 8 months with special TimeLapse film techniques using ultra sensitive Cameras, and is based on over 35000 images.
Some objects to be seen during the film: There are Milky Way, Orion, the Plejades, Meteors, Andromeda, Satellite Flashes, Traffic Streams in the Valleys, traditional Mountain Fires at Summer Solstice, Earth Hour Party at Innsbruck’s Golden Rooftop (02:25), a Meteor Persistent Train (around 04:38) as well as many Aeroplanes on their way over the Alps.
At about 05:04 one see's the Brenner Autobahn (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brennerautobahn). It is also seen at about 04:12 (filmed from the 2400 m high Patscherkofel Mountain above Innsbruck, together with a Thunderstorm on the horizon), or at 03:52. Basically filmed at the same mountain with very bad light pollution (yellow band) provided by Northern Italy (not filtered by cloud layers).
Around 04:22 is a famous scene with Innsbruck and the Milky Way… I once heard from a renown Astronomer that the other City in the world of about the same size that provides a similar quality of the MW during nights with clear skies is: Tucson, Arizona.
Victor Franz Hess, who discovered cosmic rays, actually studied them high above Innsbruck at his cosmic ray observatory (uibk.ac.at/astro/observatory/hafelekar/index.html.en) at the 2450 m high Innsbruck Hafelekar mountain, which is part of the Karwendel Mountain Range, that hosts the “Alpenpark Karwendel”, a bit similar to a State National Park.
Actually at the Intro Sequence (around 01:44) I was just about 600 vertical meters below Hess’ observatory, and at the end sequence around 04:57, the observatory is just right of the upper mountain light (Hafelekar Cable Car Mountain Station) in the middle of the images.
The odd object from about 03:34 are lens flares, and I hope you noted the Mountain Goat appearing at the most upper right hand side of the images, during that sequence. While capturing images, I could hear the goat, but couldn’t recognize it.
Filmed with Nikon D3s, D7000 and D7000, AFS 24-70/2.8, 14-24/2.8, AF 16/2.8 Fisheye, AF 50/1.8, AFS 500/4, AFS 80-200/2.8.
The Mountainbike Scenes are filmed with Nikon’s new amazing low light flagship, the Nikon D4.
Make sure to watch this full-screen with the sound on!
Atacama Starry Nights: Episode I
Astronomer's Paradise is the first episode of a Atacama Starry Nights timelapse movie series.
So cool: As mentioned by Dr. Brian May here (scroll down a bit): brianmay.com/whatsnew.html (Sat. Dec. 1st, 2012)
- National Geographic newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/02/21/new-time-lapse-gives-rare-glimpse-at-atacamas-starry-nights/
- Nikon Rumours! nikonrumors.com/2012/02/27/guest-post-astronomers-paradise-time-lapse-video.aspx/
NEW: Fine Art prints of this movie at: christophmalin.zenfolio.com/
Cerro Paranal is an astronomers paradise with its stunningly dark, steady and transparent sky. Located in the barren Atacama Desert of Chile it is home to some of the world's leading telescopes.
Operated by the European Southern Observatory (eso.org) the Very Large Telescope (VLT) is located on the Paranal mountain, composed of four 8 m telescopes which can combine their light to make a giant telescope by interferometry.
Four smaller auxiliary telescopes, each 1.8 m in aperture, are important elements of the VLT interferometer.
Walking on the desert near Paranal between the scattered stones and boulders on the pale red dust, feels like being on Mars but under the Earth sky.
Paranal was selected for cutting edge astronomical observations also because of the sky transparency and steady atmospheric condition which let astronomers peer into tiny details in the deep cosmos using giant telescopes.
This film is made with footage from the November 2011 TWAN imaging expedition to Paranal assigned by the European Southern Observatory (ESO). We photographed 14 nights in a row from usually 05:30 pm to 08:00 a.m.
All video rights reserved by Christoph Malin (christophmalin.com) and Babak Tafreshi (email@example.com) of The World at Night (TWAN) program (twanight.org/tafreshi).
The inside vista-observatory video is contributed by Stephane Guisard (astrosurf.com/sguisard).
The music is by Carbon Based Lifeforms (carbonbasedlifeforms.net). Song Arecibo extract from the album [Twentythree], write & produced by Johannes Hedberg and Daniel Segerstad, published by Ultimae (ultimae.com).
Equipment used by Christoph on assignment:
- 2 Nikon D3s
- 1 Nikon D700
- 1 Nikon D7000
- 2 AFS 12-24/2.8, 1 AFS 24-70/2.8, 1 AF 16/2.8 Fisheye, 1 AF DX 10/2.8 Fisheye
- Dynamic Perception Stage Zero Dolly with MX2
- Astrotrac AT320 X-AG and Merlin with MX2
Transitions done with Apple Aperture (see vimeo.com/35998334). Edited and rendered with Final Cut Pro 10, Motion and Compressor. Some re-edits recently done with LR4 and LRT for testing, fun!. About 35000 TimeLapse images processed, 7500 used for this part of "Astronomers Paradise".
I hope we could at least capture the magic of this very special place a bit - this is how the night sky looks like, if people care about light pollution. And we need more people to do that.
With best regards,