Please watch in Fullscreen & HD with sound for the best experience.
Urban Nightscapes Texas is the first in what I expect to be a series of timelapse videos that combine the dynamic lifestyle of the city life with the serenity I feel when I'm under the stars.
As far as I am aware of, this is the first timelapse video of it's kind where the starry nights co-exist with the moving city.
This has been a personal project that I have been working on over the last year. I initially had set out to do a series of still photos with recognizable locations from the main cities in Texas (Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio); but I decided to go a little further and make it a moving piece rather than a static one.
I need to clarify that the stars in the video have been added through digital manipulation and the sky doesn't look that way inside the city due to the light pollution. I did my best effort to try to simulate the sky as it would have looked without light pollution but I am aware that not all the segments have achieved that.
The music in this film was composed by Kerry Muzzey and is a track called The Secret History from the album The Architect. Please consider purchasing this album over on iTunes: http://bit.ly/PAT_MO
I am forever in Kerry's debt for his kindness and generosity in donating this song for my film. I do not have enough words to thank him!
This past spring I spent more time chasing storms on the plains than ever before. The most I had spent prior to this was seven total days and that was last year. What I came away with from that short time made me realize that if I could double that...the stuff I could capture would be amazing. Of course I long to be out there for a month or longer, but when you live in Phoenix and have a wife and three kids...you have to be realistic.
I turned 40 years old this year and I told my wife all I wanted was 10 days chasing on the plains. She loves me though and it ended up being 14! Two days in April and then 12 straight days from May 23rd - June 3rd. Those 12 days were absolutely incredible. I'm friends with other chasers via social media, met them on the side of roads while chasing, even grabbed dinner together...but never have I felt more of a part of the chaser community than being out there for almost two weeks. Living the life...seeing the same amazing chasers over and over...it was overwhelming to me. I missed my family, it was hard at times, but it was one of the best experiences of my life.
Both chases originated from where I live in Arizona. In April I drove out all night to Colorado, slept maybe an hour, chased all day, got a good night's sleep, chased the next day in the Texas panhandle and drove home that same night, stopping only for a quick nap in New Mexico. The second chase was the same. Left Phoenix late on the evening of May 22nd, never really slept and the chase was on the next day. All in all I drove well over 12,000 miles over the course of those two weeks, visited 10 total states (New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota) and shot over 45,000 frames of footage for this film.
I have many people to thank. Pat O'Brien for being my first private tour attendee this spring. Mike Mezeul II for one very big tip on a spot above Rapid City, SD. To James Langford who not only guided me to that spot over the phone, but "now-casted" for me many, many times. I may have missed out on four crucial clips in this film if it wasn't for him suggesting I punch the core in South Dakota. Thank you sir. And to my pal Andy Hoeland...who was with me for over a week of my time out there, driving, looking at forecasts, talking to weather experts and always helping us have a great target for that day. He's become my chase partner for most of these big plains trips and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Also thanks to Cinetics (cinetics.com/axis360) for sending me their Axis 360 to play with. I used it one time in this film and wish I had used it more. I love that scene.
Finally...above everyone else, of course...is my wife. To let me go for that long, to never complain, to never discourage me...but to only believe in me...how could I be so lucky to deserve a wife like that? We have three kids and that's tough on a parent to have her husband away that long. It will never cease to amaze me that I would not be here, doing this, if it wasn't for her support and encouragement.
Technical details...everything was shot on Canon 5D3's, along with an array of Rokinon lenses. I got sick of lens-twisting (mostly of FORGETTING to lens twist) so I mainly used those manual lenses on this trip. Everything was processed using LR Timelapse, Lightroom, After Effects and Premiere Pro.
I'm in absolute love with this film. The stuff I saw rivaled anything I've ever seen on the plains minus that insane Booker supercell in 2013. We saw four tornadoes (one of them appears in a deleted scene at the very end of the film), countless supercells, gorgeous shelf clouds, stunning mammatus and some awesome lightning shows. The song..well, the song for this film blew my mind. I loved it when I heard it, but then seeing how everything started coming together on the timeline, the pace, the slow build-up, the huge ending...I've said it before, but the song is 50% of the film. Thank you again Kerry for everything!
All this movie does it fuel me to want to do better next year and this summer in Arizona. Stay tuned for Monsoon II and for The Chase II next spring!
I sincerely hope you enjoy and share this film around. Thank you!
How much fun can you have with $400? Let these three Ohio boys show you.
River trips, Couchsurfing, late night raids on abandoned power plants, its all here, and its all super cheap. Everyone should travel in the summer. Save a few bucks, take a few days from work and live within those means. You don't have to be extravagant. Its more possible than many people think.
This was my first Canon 7D project where I felt like I knew what I was doing with the camera... kind of.
Lenses: 17-85mm, 24mm, 50mm
Manfrotto Fluid Head Tripod
Tiny grading tweaks in Color