Feeling a primal need to get out of the apartment for a couple of hours, I took advantage of a break (more or less) in the inclement weather today for a photo & video making trip up to Bethany Lake Park, a green space located under several sets of power-transmission wires.

First up, I took both slo-mo and time-lapse footage of a little waterfall-dam-thing at one end of the lake. Then I set up for a long time-lapse cloud shoot, during which I took out the Lumix to get some random snapshots. I mean, what else was I going to do, just stand around? My timing was pretty good, considering that one of the bald eagles who live near the park chose that moment to fly past. I can’t claim that I snapped a good picture of the poor creature (it was being harassed by two smaller birds who objected to its presence in their airspace) but hey, that I got a picture at all is a minor achievement.

Of course the Lumix decided to use the nearby cable stay (seen on the left) as the focus object in this shot. Thanks, Panasonic’s programmers!

On the way back to the bus I got a bit drizzled on, and noticed that the raindrops hitting a small puddle along the path might make for good slo-mo footage. Here’s that result, following the first bit at the dam/waterfall/thing:

I genuinely believed that the waterfall would be the most interesting part of the footage I came home with. D’oh!

The first time I watched the two slo-mo waterfall shots I took, I realized I was more invested in the insects buzzing through the frame than I was in the waterfall itself after the first few seconds. Maybe I should have tried harder to get one of the dragonflies into a slo-mo shot…

To my surprise, the time-lapse at the dam/waterfall/thing came out good enough to serve as the lead-in for the cloudscape:

Upon first viewing of the cloudscape I thought something had gone wrong with the camera when I noticed the bright flashes later in the video. Then I realized those were raindrops catching the sunlight.

Despite my forgetting to set the time-lapse preset to use 4K resolution, I feel like the results came out fairly okay. I mean, those clouds! Gotta admit, I feel like the 0.5-second frame rate is vastly superior to the 10-second rate I used previously. There’s certainly a time and place for both, but for cloudscapes? More frequent is more better. Watching clouds go “zoom!” never really gets old but catching the detail of them changing & interacting is supremely satisfying.

Also, yes, I bumped the tripod early in the cloud shoot. Sigh. I’d leaned my backpack against it, then needed to get into the backpack. Sloppy!

Another thing I’m learning to appreciate is the different investment & reward you get from the time-lapse work versus the slo-mo work. I can get several minutes of interesting footage out of just a few seconds on the GoPro in slo-mo, while barely a minute of 24-frames-per-second time-lapse takes a lot of standing around waiting (or wandering off for a while, but I’m not doing that with my camera set up out in public). I don’t know how many of these “mixed” hikes I’m going to try for in the future, though I suppose since the slo-mo work takes literally so little time that means there’s no reason I can’t work a few of those shots in to any trip I take.

Next time… possibly ducks. Which I packed along on this trip but didn’t use because of the high chance of losing them in the lake and/or down the stream. Priorities!