New music video from Philter

I was kindly allowed to use music from Philter on some of my latest time lapse experiments. Magnus Gangstad, the man behind Philter is working on his new album. And has just released his latest music video on Vimeo. The album is due in May. This sounds (and looks) promising.

…and a scary touch in the end…

Philter – Revolver (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO) from Philter on Vimeo.

New music video from Philter

One year in 2 minutes

Follow me on twitter: @eirikso :-)

And vote this one UP on Reddit here.

One year in 2 minutes from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

Link to video on YouTube. Visit The Philter Lounge to download and listen to more amazing music by Magnus Gangstad.

Update: By popular demand. Both from the comments and from twitter. The version with no zoom-effect.

Link to video on youtube.

The story

Since 2005 I have done different projects documenting the change of the seasons outside our living room window. The first project was a couple of stills taken with a compact camera. The video I made got nearly 100 000 views on YouTube. Not much today, but this was in 2005…

The next video I made was done in 2007 and with a Canon 400D. Based on stills shot at irregular intervals. That video got more than two million views on YouTube, one million on Vimeo and was featured on CNN, The Weather Channel, NHK in Japan and countless other TV stations, web sites and exhibitions.

In 2009 I documented the changes with video clips shot with my Canon 5D Mark II. The three videos I made are closing in on one million views and have also been featured on TV, in commercials and music videos.

But none of these three projects have been a true time lapse. They’re not videos based on a camera that has snapped images at regular images all through one year.

The true time lapse

I placed my old SLR in our window in january last year. Hooked it up to our home server and gave it power through an adapter. Then I used software to control the camera. It has snapped one image every 30 minutes for one year now. Both the Mac and the Camera was hooked up to a UPS as well. I have lost a couple of images due to some computer crashes and camera crashes. But in general the system has been remarkably stable and given me more than 16 000 images to play with.

The first thing I did was to make a still image showing a whole year.

The system

The camera was my trusted old Canon 400D with an EF-S 10-22. Used for several years before I bought my 5D Mark II. I mounted it on a special shelf and covered it with black cloth to avoid reflections in the window. I actually glued the camera to the shelf to make sure it wouldn’t move for a year. Then I did some test shots and ended up with ISO400 and f6,3. The exposure time was set to auto along with the white balance.

I decided to shoot both RAW and high quality JPG. The only problem I’ve had with the camera is a couple of crashes while it was transferring the image to the computer. Something that could only be solved with a complete reset of the camera. Not turning it off and on again. But cutting the power completely and power it back on.

And at this point it’s time to thank my family and all people visiting us during this year. We’ve had an SLR in our living room making a clear shutter release sound every half hour for a year…

How I made the video

One of the things I wanted to do was to make a true time lapse. The first video is the two minute version that you saw at the top of this post. It’s made of images shot during the day all through 2010. First I added all the images to Apple Aperture. In general I prefer Adobe Lightroom, but I couldn’t do all the time based selections and searches I wanted in Lightroom. So, I used Aperture to select images. I exported all images taken between 0900 and 1400 because I wanted daytime images only for this video. Then I imported them to Lightroom to do some adjustments. Better white balance, some sharpening, lens correction etc.

Then I exported all the images as TIFF to a folder. To make a movie of all the stills I imported them to MPEG Streamclip and exported a QuickTime using the lossless Apple Intermediate codec. That huge 3888×2592, 30fps video went into Adobe Premiere CS5 for finishing. That’s where I added the music, text and slow zoom. Because the original image is very high resolution I could do a digital zoom even on the 1920×1080 video I wanted to make.

The downloads and commercial use?

You can download the full quality video on BitTorrent on Mininova.

It is licensed with a creative commons license. Meaning that you can use it for whatever as long as it is non commercial, you give me credit and you share any alterations with the same license.

I’ll also make a full quality version with no eirikso.com-logo available for purchase to the people that want to use the video commercially.

What about the night shots?

I am working on a video based on all the images. Nine minutes in total. The geek version. That will feature images from both day and night.

How can I support your work?

Register at flattr.com and push the button at the bottom of this article.

Or send me something on my wish list:
– a Canon EF 100mm F2.8 L Macro IS
– a Fujifilm FinePix X100
– or maybe a Canon S95… ;-)

Hahahaha. That last idea was kind of stupid. Can’t think of anyone that would do that, so even better: Spread the word and protect the environment. If we destroy mother nature she will stop producing wonderful stuff like this.

And follow this blog, @eirikso on twitter and my YouTube channel to see what projects I start this year.

One year in 2 minutes

One year in one image

Follow me on Twitter if you want to know about my projects before everyone else: @eirikso

Update: the videos I made from the same footage is here.

I’m currently working on a new time lapse project. Not a sort-of-time-lapse. But a true one. To put it short: I’ve had an SLR camera in my window at the same spot for one year. Snapping an image every half hour. Resulting in some pretty nice time lapse videos I’ll post here in a couple of days. But first a still image.

The resolution of the 16 000 images I now have from 2010 are 3888×2592 pixels. So I selected 3888 images snapped during the day. Then I got some generous help from my blog readers and twitter followers. To make a script that would take one line from the first image, the next line from the next image and so on. Jo Christian Oterhals, Nikolai Kristiansen and Aslak Hellesøy provided complete code for the solution.

I used the script from Aslak and made the following image:


You can click it to make it bigger.

It shows one whole year. January at the left and December to the right. You can clearly see that we have a pretty long winter and a decent summer here in Oslo, Norway.

The spring and autumn are both quite short.

It would have been nice to make an interactive version of this image. Where you could mouse over and get info on exactly when the image providing the line was taken. And maybe also bring up a thumbnail of the complete image. Maybe I’ll post all the 3888 images and hope that someone will make a solution like that…

Update:
I have now posted the full 3888 resolution image on flickr.

The diversity

Light and timing are some of the most important factors in an image. I have huge amounts of images snapped at the exact same spot. With the exact same focus point and the same f-number. The only thing that have changed is the season and the light. Bringing diversity like this:

But now I have some amazing videos to finish… :-)

One year in one image

I need some image programming advice

I am trying to build a high resolution image that consist of vertical lines from other images.

To be exact: I want to build an image that is 3888×2592 pixels. I want to build it using 3888 vertical lines that are 2592 pixels high. I have a folder with 3888 high resolution images and the new image should be build by extracting vertical line number one from the first picture, vertical line number two from the second picture, vertical line number three from the third picture and so on.

Here is a very simple illustration:
Click illustration to enlarge.

It would be possible to do this manually in photoshop. Open one image, cut the first column of pixels, paste in a new image and repeat 3888 times… But this is something that would be much easier by automation. Pseudo code:

– Create new image, 3888×2592

For n = 1 to 3888
– Open image number n
– Copy column number n (1×2592 pixels)
– Paste at column number n in new image
Next n

…the problem is that I have no idea what tool to use. Could this be programmed using automator and apple script? Using automation in photoshop? Or do I need to learn xcode and do it the hard way?

Preferably a solution that could be done on a Mac.

Any advice is appreciated!

I need some image programming advice

Best WLAN name ever

Today I decided to do a quick experiment. I’m on board the business class on a train bound for Göteborg. And as usual I have my trusted Huawei MiFi to give me internet access. With the recent fuzz around Firesheep I decided to do a quick test.

I renamed the SSID on my MiFi to “Free WiFi” and turned off the encryption. Launched Firesheep and waited. After less than fifteen minutes I had a Facebook account that I could log on to. On the status page from the MiFi I could see that I had three computers connected.

After a while I had another Facebook account I could log on to. But I just wanted my point proven. So I decided to stop and change the SSID again. This time I called my network “I will hack you with firesheep”. For some strange kind of reason nobody logged on to that one…

Update:
My headline is not correct. The best WLAN name ever is the last one in this list: Hilarious wifi network names

Best WLAN name ever

Quick App Review: Touch Retouch vs. Photo Fixer

You want to remove something from an image on your iPhone? As always, there’s an app for that. Here’s a quick test of two. Links: Touch Retouch and Photo Fixer.

Image 1: Remove the path

Touch Retouch

Brush a red layer on what you want to remove.

When you are satisfied hit “go”. Wait. And:

Photo Fixer

On this image it kept giving me a message about the fact that the area was too large. So I gave up.

Image 2: Remove the trashcan

Touch Retouch

Select and process:

Not completely satisfied, so I select more and get a decent result:

Photo Fixer

Select:

And process:

Not satisfied, so I select and process more:

Image 3: Remove the poster

Touch Retouch

Select:

Process:

Photo Fixer

Select:

Process:

Image 4: Remove the statue

Touch Retouch

Photo Fixer:

Problem with too large selection. I decided to do it in several steps.

And got this result:

My conclusion after this quick test is that Touch Retouch is easier to use, is faster and gives better results than Photo Fixer.

But Photo Fixer is the new kid on the block and will probably mature as it gets updated etc. So keep an eye on both of them.

Update:
See the comments. One of my requested features is a sort of popup that shows what’s going on under your finger. The people behind TouchRetouch tells me that this is coming in version 2.0 later in November.

…in addition to lots of other improvements:
• 1:1 image viewer;
• Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, Twitter sharing;
• Clone Stamp tool;
• Finger move hint;
• Localized help;
• Application settings;
• Improved algorithm for large pictures;
• Landscape mode;
• EXIF data support.

Looking forward to that. And it’s very nice to see that both developers have contacted me because of this quick review. I’ll keep an eye on both these apps.

Quick App Review: Touch Retouch vs. Photo Fixer