Two More Los Angeles Icosacomposites

Icosacomposite Video

Two icosacomposites from LA, hot off the render queue. The first is not terribly recognizable, but it’s an interesting location for me, personally: the building at Hollywood and Cahuenga (the intersection is known as “Raymond Chandler Square”) is suspected to be the model Chandler had in mind for Phillip Marlowe’s office. I also liked the Pacific Radio masts on the opposite building.

And just a few blocks down, one of the crazier tourist areas known to man, right near the Hollywood Hard Rock Cafe and the Grauman’s/Mann’s/TLC Chinese Theatre (depending on the decade you’re in). It was pretty busy, even on the day after Christmas. I was also on the Walk of Fame; Cuba Gooding, Jr’s star was right in front of me (not visible in the shot), and Javier Bardem’s star was just out of sign to the right. Lots of people stooping down to pay their respects. Look carefully and you might catch a mediocre Darth Vader and a very ratty-looking Spider-Man in the crowd. All of the high-class mascots were across the street in front of the mall, but I wouldn’t have been able to get the cafe and the theatre in that shot. I’m very pleased with the sheer pass of humanity crossing the lens in this particular video, and the total mish-mash the composite has made of Hard Rock’s carefully animated video wall.

MWRA Turbine Time-Lapses Cleaned Up

Time-Lapse, Wind Turbines

Well, it didn’t take as long as I expected to clean up the dust spots from the two other time-lapse videos. When you’re not rendering twenty layers of transparent footage things go quite a bit faster.

Here’s the front of the turbine in close-up:

And the darker-skies version of the turbine in the landscape (which looks surprisingly similar to this one):

Finally, I accidentally shot the first time-lapse at 18 Mpixels, which is kinda huge for video work, but it gives lovely images of the detail. Here’s a sample (click to very much embiggen):


MWRA Wind Turbine Time-Lapses

Time-Lapse, Wind Turbines

Early this morning I went out to shoot some time-lapse videos of a wind turbine I really hadn’t explored up-close, the 1.8 MW Vestas at the MWRA pumping station in Everett. It has been a while! Almost nine months since I last shot this turbine, and almost two years since I shot the Northwind 100 at the McGlynn school in Medford.

This was the first run, shorter than the others, using a neutral-density filter and a polarizer to allow me to take each frame at 1/3 second, so I could get nice blurring and tonal sweeps for the blades:

Most of the videos I shot today used the polarizer to get deep blue skies, which kinda reminded me too much of the earlier turbine videos I’d done. So I did this with the polarizer turned to keep the sky light, which gives a different effect on the blurring of the blades.

I’ve got footage for two more videos in the can, but I have to do some tweaking to remove an unfortunate dust spot that fell on the sensor during the time-lapse.

Urban Icosacomposite – Flatiron Building

Icosacomposite Video

Having finished up the footage in Union Square, I had an hour and a half to shoot another composite. Some block northwest of Union Square is an architectural icon, the Flatiron Building. One of my favorite images by Paul Steichen is of this building:


So it was a no-brainer for me to create my own homage to the building.

This composite is more minimalist than most; the traffic on Broadway becomes a smooth yellow line of taxicabs both still and in motion, and the traffic lights vaguely pulse in a red-light-green-light halfway state. What few pedestrians out in the dusk are muted, except for the surprise manifestation of a ghostly apparition in front of the camera.

Once the fifty minutes of footage was over, I quickly snagged the tripod and hurried up Broadway, collapsing the legs as I went. I had twenty-five minutes to get to 34th and 8th Ave to catch my bus back to Boston in front of the Tick Tock Diner.

Urban Icosacomposite – Union Square

Icosacomposite Video

From Williamsburg I jumped back on the L to get to Manhattan. At this time it was getting close to the time I needed to get to my bus, so I was working the numbers in my head to see if I could pull footage for not one, but two more composite videos. Union Square was an easy target, and right to the north was the Flatiron Building, so it was possible… I sat down and decided to play it by ear. Speaking of which, a lot of times the sound blends into an urban susurration, with occasional things like sirens popping up from time to time. This time you can kinda hear the music from a urban jazz band playing behind the subway stop. (This particular band got into something of an altercation with the breakdancers they were playing for, which is kinda unusual, but interesting.) However, you definitely can hear the whistle rhythm of a lone gentleman in a OCCUPY NYC T-shirt, who was periodically attempting to incite the crowd. Alas, it didn’t work; it would have been awesome to have a street protest on an icosacomposite.