Open Space Afternoon

I took a few hours off in the middle of a work day and stood in a meadow watching the clouds. Here is a one-minute summary for you.

Hard to put a value on open space, but the meadows, forests, and wetlands of Mary Cummings Park mean a lot to a lot of people, and to countless critters.
You can see fluff from the thistle flowers and an occasional bird flying close. There were hundreds of birds swooping all around.

Day’s End at Mary Cummings Park – July 2, 2018

This is an odd one: it was clear that there would be no sunset as the sky was utterly cloudless. So the video was more about the changing light on the meadow. Rather than the normal method of converting 2-3,000 still images into video, I selected just 10 and dissolved from one to the next, then added the Ken Burns zoom effect. I like it. This fellow at offers free music for unpaid projects and his work is wonderful.

Day’s End, June 29- 2018

You can think of it as a holy ritual: watching the sun go down each night. Making a timelapse video is paying homage to the sun because it sure does a lot of good stuff for us, and comes back for more every morning.

Afternoon Clouds

Sometimes you can’t wait for sunset. It’s a spectacular spring day, the clouds are dancing across, and you need a break from work. You run up to Mary Cummings Park with your timelapse camera and tripod and hope for the best. I like how the sun sprays over the meadow when it peaks through the clouds.

Mid Day Clouds

If there are interesting clouds, it makes a good break from desk work to go up to Mary Cunmings Park and try for a timelapse video. (The sound track is all sound effects, no music.)

A Quiet Little Sunset

You never know how a sunset will turn out. This one never developed outrageous, gaudy colors, but as always, it is a profound experience watching the sun set over the trees. Or is it the earth turning away from the sun?

Never Give Up On a Sunset

Here is yet another sunset timelapse. You never know how it will turn out. This was not a spectacular sunset, but just before it faded out entirely, a pink cloud showed up and winked goodbye. I actually did a bit of extra work on this one. I shot the entire timelapse as full-frame RAW images, over 2000 of them. I then processed them once for the earlier part of the sunset, then a second time for the dark part. I exported each set of 2000 JPG files, then turned them into sequences in Final Cut Pro. Then I layered one over the other, fading in the one where the pink cloud showed up just before it all went black. I think the operative expression is…”wait for it”.

While I was working on this, I got the message that my niece had her baby, which made me choose a song called Newborn. Plus some night sounds.
This is why we work so hard to save Mary Cummings Park. People go there to watch the sun set over trees, with nary a building in sight.

Sunset, of Sorts, June 2017

Here is another Mary Cummings Park sunset, although the sun was behind a vast wall of clouds when I arrived and never really came out. Nevertheless, the clouds and sun put on a pretty good show. I did help bring out the sun rays a bit in processing so they would be as distinct as I remembered them. It is just under a minute long:

A question I often hear asked is, “What is the value of open space in a suburban community?” This is my partial answer.

September Sunset Timelapse

I often go to Mary Cummings Park just to watch the sun set behind the treeline.

You never know how a sunset will turn out. This one was colorless, but promising, with lots of different cloud systems at work. Normally I bring lots of high end photo gear, but on this day I was replacing old signs with new, and didn’t want the extra weight and hassle of the cameras. So I set up my iPhone on timelapse mode and let it go. I couldn’t actually see the sun when I started the sequence and didn’t realize it was way over on the right, almost out of the frame.

But I watched with some delight as the sunset ripened and became quite spectacular.

And when it was over, and barely light enough to see my way home, I noticed a doe and a fawn grazing in the grass, too dark to photograph. Not a bad evening at Mary Cummings Park, here inside the 95-128 beltway. A miracle, actually.