Florida » Redington Shores

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.

 

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.