OpinioN8

Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information

The clip that turned me on to time lapse photography is the first one embedded below from BBC Worldwide, now on youtube. Its of a bramble claiming a good deal of territory for its own. Its advance is inexorable. Not only is this a reminder of the power of nature, I'm sure most of us have bee into a garden where this sort of plant behaviour has happened, it gives me immense hope for the future of the planet. After we have finished polluting it with places to live, and sewers and wind farms and nuclear waste dumps and used lead acid batteries and so on and on and on, brambles (and bamboos and dandelions and Japanese knotweed and Russian vines) will recalim it for for nature.

So when I discovered that there is a time lapse app for my iphone I decided to give it a go and I'm not too displeased with the results. I've also discovered that I can buy (and have bought) both wide angle and fish eye lenses for the iphone. 

My landing window looks out to the South and a bit East so I get a bit of a sort of a view of the sunrise, which would be really quite spectacular if it wasn't for the 'ouses in between. 

I set my kit up to try and capture some of these and some of the results are embedded here. The last few weeks have been quite disappointing for this exercise. The weather has been often cloudy all night and at dawn so mainly what I've been getting are grey skies growing lighter. 

The couple of videos I have added below start at 6:30am and apart from a few neighbours lights on and off nothing happens until about 7am when the sky starts to light up. Dawn is at about 7:30 but the sun is not seen until after 9.

I've tried to give some clue as to what is going on in the Youtube descriptions. Of my home made videos I think my favourite is the 2012-01-17 dawn because of the changing impressionist nature of the sun behind the cloud.

I'd say I'm quite pleased with these little films but for two things:

1) the quality of the camera which does not really do justice to the scene

2) the vantage point - I'd see much more if I lived on Mountview Road - can anyone lend me a south facing window, please?

One of the things this has taught me is about the nature of the changing days. I've always known that the days get longer from December to June but I'd always imagined it to be a symmetrical process with each day being as much longer than the previous one as every other, and with dawn getting earlier at the same rate as sunset gets later. In fact neither of these things is true. Taking a look at a table of sunrise and sunset times e.g for Jan 2012 we can see that sunrise stays at 8:06 for the 1st - 4th while sunset goes back a minute a day. From Jan 1st to Jun 21st dawn gets earlier by only 3 hours and 23 minutes while sunset goes back by 5 hours and 19 minutes. I had no idea.

Tags: Time lapse, crouch end, dawn, iphone, sunrise, sunset

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