Pre-Thanksgiving Commute Composites

Commutes, Composites

Just in time for Turkey Day, two more composites from my Hyannis commute. Monday’s I shot from the back window, so it features the heating elements on the glass. In order, going, returning, combined:




Today I tried to beat holiday traffic by leaving a little earlier, so the going composite has a lot of sunglare in it. For those images, the sun became a white hotspot in a sea of blue with the rest of the scene reduced to shadows. Thus, the scene shifts bluer than usual, there is more reflection from the dashboard, and the dust on the windshield is more highlighted. The returning commute was much longer that usual because of holiday traffic, and includes both a stop at the West Barnstable post office and at a paper store in Ball Square in Somerville.




Only a couple weeks left of the semester, and probably and end to this round of commute composites.

Straight-Ahead Commute Composites

Commutes, Composites

This week I just went for a straight-ahead approach, and didn’t change the camera orientation between trips. This enabled me to get going, returning, and complete commute composites.





An interesting effect to notice, because we’re back on Standard Time, the returning commute is now shifted substantially toward sunset, so the colors are much redder. This effect carried over to the Wednesday commute:






Composite Commutes: Mirrors

Commutes, Composites

This week I decided to focus on my car’s side mirrors. I did the passenger side on Monday, and the driver’s side today. I did a normal shot going down to the Cape, and a close-up coming back. I’ll display these as pairs, with the wide shots together and the close-ups together.



The passenger-side wide-angle has a ghotsly trash can and gas pump in it, as I needed to stop for gas and that took the duration of several time-lapse shots. The driver’s-side close-up has some rain speckles in it, as it’s been cloudy today and started to rain on the way back.

Commute Composites: Self-Portraits and Instruments

Commutes, Composites

Two new composites of my commute to Cape Cod. The first: training the camera on myself as I drive through southern Massachusetts:


It was warmer in the afternoon, so I took off my black wool coat.


The second set concentrates on the instrument panel. You can see the speedometer and tachometer needles clustering at different speeds, which would be for traffic, city driving, and highway driving, and you can also see the fuel gauge slowly drifting downward. In the first one, you can see the wiper stalk shifted, as I ran into showers in the beginning.


No tachometer in this one, but more of a closeup on the panel itself.


Sets of Driving Commutes, Sept 28 & 30

Commutes, Composites

More commutes going up! As I’m getting to know how the suction cup mount works, I’m discovering that the “gorilla” interlocking system is not as amazingly strong as its name would imply. So for three of these commutes, the mount shifted during the time-lapse. The first time, going to the Cape on Monday, was fine. The second time, the return trip on Monday, the mount shifted because I hit a bump. The third time, the trip going to the Cape today, the mount wasn’t in a happy position and slowly lowered itself over the course of the trip. The final time, the return trip today, I accidentally brushed the mount with my shoulder, so it shifted.

The first set was fine, and the third set was so gradual in its change that there was no demarcation to divide the commutes. The second and fourth sets had a definite demarcation point, so I divided the commutes into two sections: Before Shift and After Shift.

Monday’s pics were with the camera stuck to the sunroof and angled across the cabin:




Wednesday’s set had the camera stuck to the driver’s side window near my left ear:




Notice the difference in the feel of the composites between the Before Shift and After Shift sets. The smaller sets keep more of the feel of the fellow automobiles and the streets passing by, while the larger sets blend into a much creamier fog of color. I may experiment with more or fewer photos in each set to see what looks cool.

Second Set of Automobile Commute Pictures

Commutes, Composites

The joys of suction cup mounts! Here’s a set with the mount stuck to the sunroof glass and the camera pointing forward. (The camera was also hanging upside-down, but the joys of Photoshop means that that is easily corrected.) The two images, “Going” and “Returning”, are somewhat different because I take the camera with me when I go in to class; the parking lot at CCCC is big and I don’t want to give anyone the opportunity to grab a free camera.



Both of these use automatic exposure settings, so the color is consistent. There are portions of the scene that shouldn’t move, like the mirror, the dashboard and the little Lego guy sitting in his spaceship, but the camera does vibrate on the end of the mount so it blurs the resulting composite. I think the next set will be with the camera again on the sunroof but pointing toward me and the steering wheel. Then I could reverse it and have it pointing out the passenger-side window.

For each new week, I think I’ll just post the new ones on Wednesday or Thursday.

Park Street and Downtown Crossing Icosacomposites

Icosacomposite Video, Infrastructure

Here are the “traditional” icosacomposites I shot on Friday. More of the process of shooting these can be found here.

While preparing the Downtown Crossing icosacomposite I discovered that the camera was focusing on the people close to me rather than the subway trains, so this one has a more dreamy feel to it.

Park Street Short Icosacomposites… or “Intervals”

Icosacomposite Video, Infrastructure

Yesterday I went down to the Boston Public Library to talk with the print curator about my installation for the Rethink Ink exhibition for Mixit Studio’s 25th anniversary. While I was downtown I decided it was a good idea to continue doing icosacomposites on the MBTA Red Line. I got a good location and was rather pleased with a couple other placed to shoot when both a subway train driver and two MBTA officials told me I couldn’t lay my camera down on my backpack as if it was a tripod. I could hold my camera in my hand and that would be acceptable within the letter of the law.

I was a bit surprised by this, because the station manager at Alewife hadn’t said any such thing during our conversation, but I’m not there to be an asshole to T people. Fortunately, I had shot 40 minutes of footage already, which is good enough for a 120-second standard icosacomposite. I haven’t generated that one yet, but it will be up shortly.

So I decamped and went down to Downtown Crossing and made sure it wasn’t terribly obvious I was shooting video. Of course, another problem cropped up—the 64GB flash card I was using to record on was just barely fast enough to keep up with the HD footage I was shooting, and would periodically panic and shut down the recoding process. So—note to self—use the faster 32GB card or buy a better 64GB card. I managed to piece together 40 minutes of Downtown Crossing footage, but I was kinda miffed about my snakebit day of recording.

So I went back to Park Street and decided to shoot some handheld footage. I like to prop the camera as it’s recording because I want near-perfect overlap, and I’m also shooting 50 minutes of footage. For handheld shooting, I’d be wobbling around a bit no matter how still I tried to stand, and I wouldn’t be able to hold the same pose for more than ten minutes. But those kind of limitations usually mean something interesting will come from the attempt. And so, two thirty-second hand-held icosacomposites were born:

I’m calling these “Intervals”, and these are “adjusted” versions, in that I tried to remove as much camera drift in AfterEffects as I could. I will be generating and posting “raw” versions, with no drift adjustments, to see how the two versions feel.

So… look for those raw Intervals and standard icosacomposites for Downtown Crossing and Park Street next!