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.
It was finally clear enough and “warm” enough, and I actually had a day off, so I went down to Ten Hills Park near Assembly Square and shot some wind turbine footage. I thought I would make a 20-layer icosacomposite of the 1.8MW turbine at the MWRA facility, but I couldn’t find a location that I was really in love with. I settled on shooting six ten-minute videos each in a different location, so I could get six 30-second icosacomposites, instead of a single 150-second icosacomposite from one location. This allowed me to scout around a bit, and figure out if there was a place I’d like to shoot the longer version.
All six videos are up on Vimeo now, in this album. I’ll post the seventh video here, which is a 720HD version of the 1080HD closeup video. This one focuses more on the hub of the turbine, while the higher-res version includes the entire length of the blades.
I went this morning to see if I could get a time-lapse movie from the location in Ten Hills Park under the commuter rail bridge, but there was barely any wind and the turbine was parked. Since I was there, I figured I get some sunrise stills:
That’ll be it on the turbine images until I get back from California.
I’m scouting out locations for a good shot of the MWRA turbine in Everett, and I shot a quick 1-hour time-lapse in Ten Hills Park near Assembly Square this afternoon. A decent video, but I think I found a better place for the next installment.
One of the main reasons I started doing my turbine studies is because I was fascinated with the interplay of light as the blades moved through their rotary space. Of course, the videos I’ve already presented haven’t really addressed that portion of my interest, because other interesting things got in the way. However, I started playing with some of my older footage yesterday, and came up with this:
This is a video of the the Vestas 660 turbine at the end of Hull, MA, cropped so that the blades are prominent, then smeared across the viewing area so the colors, hues, lights and darks become the only content visible. The rotating motion has become a reciprocal motion, and there is no longer a “wind turbine” signifier to confuse the concept. The video zooms in on the center nacelle, and then back out, so there is a dynamic to the values besides just the blade motion.
Other, similar videos are available in the Vimeo album here.
It’s weird… I thought I’d gotten the wind turbine thing over with, when I did the moonlit turbine video that went until sunrise early one December morning… but here we are again. This is a different turbine than the small Northwind 100 on the McGlynn campus. This is the 1.8 MW installation at the MWRA pumping station in Everett. Notice the MBTA Orange Line cars and commuter rail trains passing by below the turbine.
I plan to do some different angles, locations, and times in the near future, but for now, here’s how the turbine looked before I headed to New Hampshire to teach:
Well, the results are in, and all three film shorts I submitted made it into the 2012 Glovebox Film Festival. Glovebox is a couple of folks crusading to get interesting art out in front of the public, and I first showed with them when I arrived in Beantown in 2008. Another short of mine was in the 2011 Film Festival, which was a pretty awesome selection of cinematic arts shown at the Somerville Theatre. So, many thanks to Glovebox, and everyone needs to get out and see the selections on August 4th. Remembering last year’s slate, there should be something interesting for anyone’s taste.
These are the three shorts I will have in this year’s Film Festival:
Harvard Station Icosacomposite
McGlynn Northwind 100 at Sunset
I posted the post-millenial warning signs, so why not post another series of images I put up at Boston Coasters for you to purchase on a mug, coaster or T-shirt of your choosing? I went out and shot as many shots of four wind turbines in and around Boston as I could, and then selected the best for overview. Here are those selections:
Finally, a night near the full moon that wasn’t overcast. November’s syzygy was a complete bust, and the night before last was completely cloudy. Last night was beautiful, there wasn’t even any horsetail cirrus or little puffy clouds. Those would have been a nice addition, if they had been present, but I’m pretty happy with what I got. Watch the stars go by unobscured!
The time-lapse starts at around 3:30am and ends at sunrise, 7:04am. I didn’t change the exposure settings at all, so the brightening sky becomes an almost complete white-out by the end. The moon’s light illuminates the turbine nicely until the emerging skyglow washes it out. And you can see pretty much when Logan Airport opens for business and starts getting the stacked up runway cleared.
The shooting was pretty uneventful, except for a pleasant conversation I had with a Medford patrol officer around 4:15.
Here’s another layered video of the new megawatt turbine at the MWRA. I couldn’t find a good place to park that also had a dynamic view of the turbine, but this particular view is interesting because it overlooks the MBTA Orange Line tracks going across the river in Everett. Several cars make their ghostly appearance through the video.