There are only a few regions in the world where the skies meet the Earth with almost no distinction between the two. La Palma in the Canary islands is one of them. ‘Entre Ciel et Terre’ literally means ‘Between the sky and Earth’ and was a perfect fit here. While most of the volcanic island is isolated under a thick layer of clouds, the tip of its crater often punches through it and allows you to be one step closer to the Heavens. At an altitude of about 2300 meters above sea level you feel so far removed from any kind of civilization especially because of the cloud inversion. The air is thin and pristine and the living conditions are harsh but that’s the reason why the ORM (Observatory Roque de Los Muchachos) -operated by the IAC (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias) and part of the European Northern Observatory, was built up there. The summit of La Palma’s caldera benefits from dry and clear skies almost year round with almost no light pollution to disturb it, and only rare Calima (this dusty wind coming from the Sahara desert). It’s safe to say that the ‘Isla Bonita’ is one of the top places in the world to observe the northern hemisphere’s night sky!
The purpose of this short was to capture that special place from a different perspective. I really wanted to give the audience sort of a confusion as to where they are because that’s precisely the feeling you get when you look up at the stars from the mountains. You somehow lose sense of any orientation as if you were lost in the immensity of the universe! One image that I had in my head to describe La Palma’s summit was Asgard or Mount Olympus, where all the elements are united and blend together divinely. Even life found a way to survive in this environment bombarded by high-energy rays during the day and battered by cold winds at night. One highlighted species is the fascinating and mind-boggling Tajinaste flower. Also called Tenerife Bugloss or tower of jewels, this docile and resilient endemic plant can endure extreme drought. I included it in the movie because it looks majestic and prehistoric. It really adds something special to the special atmosphere I wanted to convey, especially when the milky way galaxy and the sea of clouds move in the background! By tracking the night sky or displaying the sequences upside-down I was able to give that impression of the Earth floating and rotating in the void of the cosmos. The unusual but innovative close-up views of some parts of the milky way (including the core, Rho Ophiuchi or Cygnus) moving behind the operating telescopes of the OMC helped me give that only human dimension to the movie. The use of an astro-modified camera also enabled me to almost get the full range of colors a DSLR can pick up on single frames from nebulae.
I already traveled to La Palma island in November 2017 but I really wanted to shoot there again for several reasons. First I really wanted to get more shots of the core region that would be less spoiled by light pollution than the ones I recently took on Tenerife. Secondly I desperately wanted to meet the extremely talented photographer Alyn Wallace (check him out: alynwallacephotography.com) and do a collaboration with him on the island. Thirdly I am still on my way of perfecting the novel art of deep-sky time-lapse and I wanted to reshoot some sequences that didn’t give satisfying results in the past. Finally I wanted to personally experience the Spring vibe of the island when all the plants are blooming and give that sweet smell to the air. I am absolutely thrilled to have met all my expectations (and more!), and I really believe the results look stunning!
Everything was recorded with the Canon 6D Baader modified, the Sony a7s, the Sony a7rII and a variety of bright lenses ranging from 14mm to 300mm. I used the Lonely Speck Pure Night and Matt Aust Light pollution filters to reduce light pollution and increase details, and also the Vixen Polarie to track the stars and get cleaner shots. Syrp Genie 3 axis system was used for motion control. All post production was made in Lr with the special timelapse plus plugin, Sequence for mac, TLDF, and final production was made in FCPX. I hope you like the movie as much as I liked shooting and processing it and I thank everyone of you for your support. All content is of course copyrighted AMP&F (except sountrack licensed through Envato Market), and no footage can be used in any way without the author’s permission. Please contact me for media and purchase inquiry. Please share and comment if you liked the video and follow me for more videos like this one! More at adphotography-online.com.
a film by D.M. Lowe
music: "Twilight" by Mark Petrie - licensed from musicloops.com
Flights of Solitude: Colorado Summer + Fall 2017 is an exploration of Colorado's landscapes using the DJI Inspire2 drone.
The title, "Flights of Solitude", reflects one of my secret passions: going to a beautiful natural place with virtually nobody around, and filming landscapes, especially using the new DJI Inspire2 drone with cinema-quality video capture.
This short film includes scenes from central Colorado, including the Rampart Range, the Lake City region, San Luis Valley, and Mt. Sherman, as well as my home town of Littleton.
In May and early June 2017, I spent a night camping at South Clear Creek Falls, and stayed two more days in Lake City, and took Hinsdale County Road 20 to the Alpine Loop.
On June 20th, I went up to Mt. Sherman, spent the night taking Milky Way timelapse images near the Hilltop Mine at 12,900ft, and then flew the drone nearby the next morning. The long stay at altitude and this hike exhausted me and depleted my body of oxygen; it took me over 3 days to recover.
On October 10th, the Rampart Range experienced the first snowfall of the autumn, and I was up early and driving to Devil's Head to capture this. I spent most of the morning driving on a dirt road in 6 inches of slushy snow (Instagram video: instagram.com/p/BaFFrZ4Bv-t/) By afternoon, most of this snow was gone to the Colorado sun and winds.
In late October, I went on a two-day camping trip to the San Luis Valley, flying the drone at Natural Arch near La Garita, Elephant Rocks near Del Norte, and capturing a memorable sunset at Sun Luis Lakes.
At the very end of the film, there's a clip of the DJI Inspire 2 drone landing on a giant stone at Sheeprock in the Pike National Forest.
Occasionally I regret not filming more "iconic" locations (such as Maroon Bells), but in 2017, this has been my meditation, my sabbatical, my mental recovery time. Please enjoy sharing in my solitude for 3 minutes!
Filmed in DNG/RAW and ProRes 4444 XQ
Lenses: Olympus 12mm, 25mm, DJI 15mm
final shot: Sony A7RII + Rokinon 24mm
San Luis Lake
Fourmile Creek / Mt. Sherman
Lake City's Alpine Loop CR-20
South Clear Creek Falls (between Lake City / Creede, Colorado)
Sheeprock (in the Pike National Forest)
S. Platte River, Littleton, Colorado
Chatfield Colorado State Park
Natural Arch, near La Garita
Elephant Rocks, near Del Norte
Devil's Head / Rampart Range
Mt. Sherman's abandoned Hilltop Mine
Early on this summer when I found myself down by Santa Rosa, AZ watching a gorgeous hail core fall on the stunning desert landscape, and then later that day staring at a haboob with a stacked shelf cloud above it near the border of Mexico, I had a feeling it would be a unique monsoon. It's funny how every year is different. That's the beauty of chasing the summer storm season out here in the desert southwest. You never know what's going to happen or what you might see.
This year I ventured far and wide. Phoenix never saw a good dust storm all summer, but I still was able to capture a few good ones in southwest portions of the state. The cover photo for this film was halfway to Yuma standing in the middle of Interstate 8 watching an ominous wall of dust roll down the highway towards me with lightning flashing behind it. It was an incredible moment.
One bonus this summer was a few successful chases up at the Grand Canyon. Finally. A couple of gorgeous sunsets, rain dumping into the Canyon, lightning at night, Milky Way...it all worked out and I'm stoked for the footage I captured there that made it into this film. I also ventured over into New Mexico twice to chase some wonderful, plains-like structure to end the monsoon this year.
All told I covered about 13,000 miles and chased as far west as Desert Center, CA, as far east as Wilna, NM and as far north as Tonelea, AZ. And two great storms down in Organ Pipe National Monument, which is only about 10 miles from Mexico.
I loved what I saw this year. It felt so unique. I found myself submerged in cacti and desert flora a few times with stunning light and structure. Explored places in New Mexico I hadn't seen before. Smiled at the gasps of amazement from the crowds at the Canyon when a lightning bolt would strike. Finally discovered that the Santa Rosa area is a hotbed for supercell activity. And while it didn't make it on time-lapse, I captured a brief tornado over downtown Phoenix!
So...the film. So much effort and energy went into it. I shot over 110,000 frames of time-lapse and likely only half of it ended up in the final cut. The editing has taken me weeks and even right up until Monday evening I was still fixing and tweaking. The music is all custom, thanks to the amazing work of Peter Nanasi. PLEASE check out his website and buy his albums! I love how we work together to develop a track that seems to fit exactly with the clips I capture. I am so incredibly blessed that his work crossed my path.
A quick thank-you to the workshop guests I had this summer. You guys were amazing troopers, staying out to all hours and being around for some awesome storms. In fact, I am not sure that I would have even been on the shelf cloud in the final scene of this film if it hadn't been for my workshop. Thank you, thank you!
As always though, what made it fun was sharing a lot of it with my kiddos. They made the trip up to the Grand Canyon with me once and it was such a blast of an experience. Asher joined me in New Mexico one day, just he and I, and I got to see his face light up when he captured his first ever lightning strike on video on his little iPad.
To my wife Jina...we've come a long, long way since we started this storm chasing journey years ago. It's not been easy all the time, especially with me being on the road so much between April and October these days. But we've slowly figured things out and I'm unbelievably grateful to you for your support and belief in what we're doing together.
To everyone else...thank you for your continued support of my work. I am constantly blown-away at the kindness that you show to me.
And now...I hope you enjoy this film.
I used two Canon 5DSR’s along with a Canon 11-24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 135mm and Sigma Art 50mm. Manfrotto tripods. The final product was edited in Lightroom with LR Timelapse, After Effects and Premiere Pro.
Experience Iceland far away from the popular ring road as we journey into the breathtakingly beautiful and serene Highlands by air and land. Chasing the best light on the Island during the summer months, witness epic landscapes being lit for hours by the magical glow of the midnight sun.
A short film of the 2017 Solar Eclipse in timelapse and realtime video revealing the sun's solar prominences, corona, baily's beads, and diamond ring. Uploaded here in 4K. Available in 8K for licensing. Captured with the Red Epic-W, Sony A9 and Sony A99ii cameras.