Florida » Clearwater Beach

this was shot over two days as the camera battery died shortly into the first day (despite thinking i had plugged it in long enough to charge it). there were a lot more people on the road this weekend compared to a few weeks earlier when the beaches had just closed (where it felt like barely anyone was out).

i still did the drive all the way south both days.. driving to the beaches and back (and also out of the way east before heading home the second day), i drove a total of 208.7 miles, and was able to average 7.0 mi/kWh in my electric car (the equivalent of over 235 mpg). with electricity rates being lower in may (likely due to less demand, meaning less usage of dirty & expensive fossil fuel sources on the grid), the cost to do this drive was just over 1.5 cents per mile. gotta love electric vehicles (for many reasons).. i look forward to seeing the transition to renewable energy and clean transportation unfolding much more quickly than most people expected or imagined.

i planned the drive on the second day to get to a spot where i could mount the camera and start the time-lapse right around the same time of day that the first one stopped [it ended up being about 4 minutes later on sunday to drive past the same spot of the last shot on saturday], and luckily it was sunny both days and the camera position was similar enough on the mount/rig, so the jump between days is barely noticeable, even knowing when it happens in the video. this was shot using an lg 360 cam as it can do time-lapse intervals at 2 seconds rather than the 8 second minimum of the ricoh theta s camera i also have [i welcome donations or a gift of an insta360 one x, one r, or other newer 360 camera that has more capability and better quality for stills and video]. i also shot an infrared time-lapse parts of both days, though this is just the little planet shot, as davinci resolve kept giving an error during multiple hours-long attempts to render the whole video the past few days (and i’ve only used davinci resolve briefly a couple times so far, and need to figure out any of its quirks like this).

here’s a version with the full uncropped infrared images. the infrared time-lapse was shot with a raspberry pi noir camera board v2 with a lee 87c filter (that is causing some strange flare when the sun hits it, possibly as the flexible filter is bent/warped). [it looks like the failure during rendering that was happening before was due to davinci resolve still needing a significant amount of temporary space on the internal disk (which was low) despite specifying an external drive as the location to save the file.]

this last version has the infrared shots cropped to a widescreen aspect ratio. i had also thought about doing a cylindrical projection of the 360 degree shots in place of the stereographic little planet, though may save this for another shot where there are clouds in the sky.

here are the details (and order) of the cameras and exposure settings used for the star-lapse shots in this video:

2014.10.25 Crystal Beach
– Canon 5D with Sigma 12-24mm Lens, 30 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 3200, zoom at 12mm
– GoPro Hero4 Silver, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800

2014.10.27 R.E. Olds Park, Oldsmar
– GoPro Hero4 Silver, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800
– GoPro Hero4 Silver, 5 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800
(followed by walking + driving at same 5 second exposure)

2014.11.02 Crystal Beach
– Canon 5D with Sigma 12-24mm Lens, 30 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 3200, zoom at 12mm
– Sony NEX-5N with Sony 16mm Pancake Lens with VCL-ECU1 Ultra Wide 0.75x Converter, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 1600
– Canon 5D with Sigma 8mm Circular Fisheye Lens, 30 sec @ f/3.5, ISO 3200
– GoPro Hero4 Silver, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800

2014.11.03 Indian Rocks Beach
– Canon 5D with Sigma 12-24mm Lens, 30 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 3200, zoom at 12mm
– Canon 5D with Sigma 12-24mm Lens, 30 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 1600, zoom at 12mm
– Canon 5D with Sigma 8mm Circular Fisheye Lens, 30 sec @ f/3.5, ISO 1600
– Sony NEX-5N with Sony 16mm Pancake Lens with VCL-ECU1 Ultra Wide 0.75x Converter, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800
– GoPro Hero4 Silver, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800

2014.11.04 Trinity (car on unfinished street)
– Canon 5D with Sigma 12-24mm Lens, 30 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 1600, zoom at 12mm
– Canon 5D with Sigma 8mm Circular Fisheye Lens, 30 sec @ f/3.5, ISO 1600
– Sony NEX-5N with Sony 16mm Pancake Lens with VCL-ECU1 Ultra Wide 0.75x Converter, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 400
– GoPro Hero4 Silver, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800

2014.11.07 Crystal Beach
– Canon 5D with Canon 35/2 Lens, 30 sec @ f/2, ISO 800
– Canon 5D with Canon 35/2 Lens, 30 sec @ f/2, ISO 400
– Sony NEX-5N with Nikon 20/2.8 Lens (via LensBaby Tilt Transformer adapter), 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 1600
– Sony NEX-5N with Nikon 20/2.8 Lens (via LensBaby Tilt Transformer adapter), 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800

2014.11.09 Crystal Beach
– Canon 5D with Canon 35/2 Lens, 30 sec @ f/2, ISO 1600
– Sony NEX-5N with Nikon 20/2.8 Lens (via LensBaby Tilt Transformer adapter), 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 3200

2014.11.10 Clearwater Beach
– Canon 5D with Canon 35/2 Lens, 30 sec @ f/2, ISO 800
– Sony NEX-5N with Nikon 20/2.8 Lens (via LensBaby Tilt Transformer adapter), 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 1600

i shot these over a year and a half ago so i don’t remember all the exact details.. (and i didn’t include details above for all of the few frames / quick shots between the longer starlapse shots.. this isn’t meant to be the most scientific test as i have made some quick adjustments to the images in lightroom too) i think i first started these tests to explore how well the new gopro camera would perform with its nightlapse mode compared to my then current setup for ultra-wide angle night shots with the 12-24mm lens. (all the gopro shots have been ‘defished’ in lightroom as this is how i would process them and this could possibly replace the 12-24mm setup) i think i was thinking that when i travel, it’d be neat to be able to shoot everything with the gopro camera rather than have to bring multiple camera systems (especially as the gopro can be charged and run off of usb power, and the life on the road videos i was working on back then were taking a very long time to edit having been shot with multiple cameras). then i probably became curious as to how the 5d setup would compare to the nex-5n for night shots, and also tried the 5d with the 8mm lens as depending on how that looked, i could sell the 12-24mm and begin to reduce the amount of gear i had if i were to defish the circular fisheye image (which i didn’t do in this video) and effectively use that as an ultra-wide angle lens. after doing these tests, i decided to compare the 35/2 and the 20/2.8 with both cameras as these would give a similar field of view with the full frame vs cropped aps-c size sensor.

a few weeks later, after seeing that i don’t necessarily need all of this gear that i had to make certain shots, i sold most of my canon gear except i kept one 5d body with the 8mm lens as i could still use this with a custom rig i had to create little planet images and time-lapses (i had the first ricoh theta camera back then though the quality was nowhere near what my custom setup could do and it couldn’t shoot at night). nearly a year later, toward the end of the summer of 2015, i ended up selling the whole 360 degree rig, including the camera, lens, motor, custom head, and tripod mounting components. it was nice to get rid of so much extra weight that was just sitting here taking up space. i can’t remember the last time i had used the rig and shot something before that. the last time i used the 8mm was to shoot these tests and i only used the 5d one other time after the tests to shoot a few pinhole images. shortly after selling the gear for the 360 degree rig, ricoh announced the latest theta s camera that would be able to shoot night shots. gotta love divine guidance! :) perfect timing on selling the gear. the theta s camera is so, so much simpler to use than my old setup. my old setup could’ve gotten some more detail but the tradeoff for being able to use a camera that weighs next to nothing and fits in my pocket versus having to lug around many pounds of gear plus large and heavy tripods or stands to mount it is definitely worth it. i can shoot so many more images having less gear to carry, and i can go much further with less and mount a smaller camera in many more unique places. to be able to shoot a single elevated 360×180 degree image, i’d be looking at 45-50 lbs of gear i’d have to carry with the old rig compared to less than 2 lbs with the new setup (and i can hold the new pole i use above my head for a higher vantage point than the large light stand i used to lug around). simplify your gear. (and your life) it takes away the burden so you can focus your time and energy on creating images and embracing the moment rather than carrying and keeping track of things.

locations include:

Bicentennial Park
Brooker Creek Preserve
Clearwater Beach
Cooper’s Bayou Park
Courtney Campbell Causeway
Crystal Beach
Dunedin Causeway
Fred Howard Park
John Chestnut Senior Park
Lansbrook Lakefront Park
Philippe Park
Pop Stansell Park
R.E. Olds Park
Sunset Beach
The Dunedin Youth Guild Park
Veterans Memorial Marina Park

sounds of waves at clearwater beach while shooting time-lapses of the stars

here’s a reverse little planet, a stereographic tunnel.. some stitching errors are visible in this one (the wind was blowing constantly and was pretty strong so the clouds in the last shot were in a different position in the sky than in the first shot and couldn’t align properly) here’s the first take on the top shot (before I decided to slow the frame rate down to compensate for the wind)..

Mark Marano at Sand Key Island behind the Sheraton Sand Key in Clearwater Beach, Florida, attending Mark Kalman and Colleen Elligott’s beautiful beach wedding on August 21, 2010 in an island shirt for Florida beach attire.
 

it was a very nice, relaxing drive, especially once i got to the beach, which had little traffic. the cooler temperature, mostly empty beach islands, and peaceful feeling in the air were quite beautiful and serene. the drive through the beach islands felt like i was in another part of florida (or the country) with quiet, remote, empty beach towns. there was also less pollution which was very nice to be able to breathe in the fresh air more easily (when i wasn’t by gas or diesel vehicles).. when going over the bayside bridge, i looked out the left window, and the tampa skyline (15 miles away) appeared more clear & crisp than i had ever seen it before.

also, knowing that the camera was running automatically let me relax and just focus on the present moment, rather than needing to also concentrate on photographing what i saw during the drive (and i wasn’t able to connect back to it via wifi for some reason a little bit into the drive, so just forgot about double checking that it was still running and the images were looking good). i recall a similar thought or feeling over a decade ago, when i set up long term time-lapses / webcams to photograph the nice view from a high rise apartment i lived in for a year. it was nice to know that the photography was happening automatically and i could spend my time and energy just being present. some automation is nice so one can relax into the presence and be more in the awe & beauty of the moment, fully embracing the experience. i recall this dilemma even further back, 15+ years ago, when i was feeling that one could either live in the present moment or photograph/document the experience, but couldn’t really do both. anyhow, i look forward to when all vehicles are electric so there will be no pollution in the air and one can fully enjoy the fresh, natural air when driving with the windows open. it’s nice that we can now have a glimpse of what our future will look like with less pollution. i hope this time inspires many more people to realize what changes we need to make to improve our experience here on earth. i also look forward to when autonomous full self driving technology is complete and legal to use, so one can have a deeper sense of relaxation and more fully embrace the beauty of the surrounding landscape when going for a ride, without the need to concentrate at all on operating the vehicle.

all still images were shot at iso 60, 1/128 shutter speed, and a custom white balance, at an interval of one shot every 3 seconds, and the video is rendered at 10 fps. it looks like the very thin filter i used is quite reflective and/or perhaps slightly bent.. i’ll need to work on a solution for the strange glare its producing when the sunlight is on it for better results. seeing this issue, i rather quickly adjusted a couple images in lightroom and copy/pasted all the same basic settings to every image, and then gave the beginning images (when driving south) slightly different settings to compensate a bit for the glare that showed up in most frames in that direction. it’s by no means perfect, as the light shifted depending on which direction i was going and when i drove in & out of the shade (and as the sun started to dip toward the horizon later in the drive), though i didn’t want to go through all 4552 frames to tweak them (as originally i was going to post this on instagram which has very high compression and it would’ve been sped up to a minute to be able to post it there).. it looks like youtube’s re-compression lost a bit of the contrast and detail too, as it looks noticeably worse (softer, with muddy contrast) playing it back on youtube compared to the original file (picking the 4k setting on youtube helps, but still loses some of the fine detail of the original). anyhow, enough of the technical details.. i shot another the day after this one that i’ll be uploading next.

(some of these weren’t shot to be used in a video, though they fit in nicely) locations include: A.L. Anderson Park Bicenntennial Park Brooker Creek Buffer Preserve Clearwater Memorial Causeway Countryside Community Park Courtney Campbell Causeway Crystal Beach Ed Radice Park Fred Howard Park Harbor Palms Nature Park Honeymoon Island James E. Grey Preserve John Chestnut Park Kapok Park Lake Chautauqua Park Lake Dan and Lake Frances Preserve Lake Tarpon Lake Tarpon Canal Lansbrook Park Mobbly Bayou Wilderness Preserve North […]

mostly shot at john chestnut park, fred howard park, and sand key park [with a couple shots on the road in/near ‘the country’]

Ahh, the dilemma… must I always make it so? I know limitless possibilities exist, yet I know not what to create. Perhaps all this time I’ve been looking for definition rather than defining myself. It was a quest for the answer while all along, the only true answer lied within. how could I find what I was looking for in someone else while all this time I already had it myself yet didn’t know it? Did I really choose this, […]

Mark Marano starting a 360 degree time-lapse shot at Sand Key Park
Mihaela Coman little planet photo, Mihaela Coman stereographic projection image
 

sounds of waves at clearwater beach while recording a time-lapse of the moon, clouds, and stars

(some of these weren’t flown to be used in a video, but i’ve included them anyway) locations include: Anderson Park Aripeka Sandhills Preserve Bayside Bridge Belleview Biltmore Golf Club Brooker Creek Preserve Clearwater Beach Clearwater Memorial Causeway Courtney Campbell Causeway Bridge Crystal Beach Dunedin Causeway Florida State Fairgrounds Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex John Chestnut Senior Park Lake Maggiore Lake Tarpon Canal Marsh Pointe Mobbly Beach Park Philippe Park Pine Island Beach Park Pop Stansell Park R.E. Olds Park Sand Key […]

Had dinner with my friend Bethany at Frenchy’s Salt Water Cafe..

I took a ride out to Clearwater Beach to read and see the sun set.. Here’s a selective focus time-lapse of the waves coming in as the sun begins to go down, followed by a dense fog very quickly rolling in at dusk.. It got cold quick!