Time-lapse photography of clouds and other phenomena in the sky

Martin Setvak

Gallery 2021

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My recent timelapsing gear consists of two APS-C cameras: Samsung NX500 (with Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS, Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye II and a Asahi Takumar SMC 55mm F2 M42 lenses) and Ricoh GXR camera with its A16 (24-85mm) zoom unit. Comments on why I use these cameras can be found in the Introduction to time-lapse photography page, and my typical settings and additional comments on timelapsing with Ricoh cameras are here. Notes on timelapsing with the Samsung NX500 can be found here.   All the times below are given in UTC (GMT).  

Sources of satellite and other meteorological data used below: CHMIEUMETSAT  and  NOAA CLASS.

Note: movie files below, which are stored as .mkv (encrypted here either as x.264 RGB High444, or x.265 RGB) are identical to those stored as .mp4 (here as standard x.264 YUV420p High), but should have somewhat better quality, namely in transitions of the blue sky (around sunset and sunrise). However, to play these, you will most likely have to do so outside of your browser, either using a system movie player, or one of the external ones (e.g. MPC-HC or VLC).

2021-02-25   15:44 - 16:37 UTC  (0h 53m)
Samsung NX 500 & Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye II,  interval 5 seconds, speed 150x

20210225_1544-1637utc_Okrouhlik_1920x1080_H264.mp4  (31 MB)
20210225_1544-1637utc_Okrouhlik_1920x1080_H265.mkv  (30 MB, H.265)

Dusty sunset.  This timelapse was taken at the end of several-days period, when most of the western and central Europe was covered by Sahara dust. First part of the sequence shows clouds of dust traveling roughly eastward, from the Sun to upper left parts of the frame. The thin dust in this sequence can be seen near the Sun only due to stronger forward scattering of the light by very small dust particles. As the frame covers approx. 150° x 100°, the scattering angle near the upper left and right corners reaches about 90°, where the scattering of the solar light is much weaker, and therefore the dust can't be seen here anymore. Later, around the sunset itself, the sky seems to have cleared up already. Captured above partially frozen pond Ovčáry, Okrouhlík, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic.

The dust can be nicely seen also in the M9 band image from VIIRS instrument of the NOAA-20 satellite, taken at 11:25 UTC, or in this image from Meteosat-8 satelite (located above west Indian Ocean), taken in HRV band at  15:30 UTC (shortly before start of the timelapse). Presence of the (Sahara) dust above central Europe is also confirmed by the vertical lidar profile from the CALIPSO satellite, acquired early afternoon (source: NASA LARC). 

2021-03-31   15:48 - 18:08 UTC  (2h 20m)
Samsung NX 500 & Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye II,  interval 5 seconds, speed 150x

20210331_1548-1808utc_cirrus_Praha-Kacerov_1728x1080_H264.mp4  (120 MB)
20210331_1548-1808utc_cirrus_Praha-Kacerov_1728x1080_H265.mkv   (138 MB, H.265)

Cirrus fallstreaks (virga) at sunset.    During the months when we had to work from home (due to COVID-19), I was grateful for the view from my "Home Office Window" at Kačerov. The view  stretches from southeast (left), south and west to northwest (right), showing southern parts of Praha (Kačerov, Krč and Libuš. Sometimes, as in this case, it was difficult to focus on my work, with the splendid viewes of the late afternoon sky. In this timelapse you can notice, among other, dynamics of the fallstreaks, parts of the cirrus clouds "snowing" down. Also, at some parts of the sequence (you may need to replay the timelapse several times over) you may even gain an impression of 3D structure of these clouds. Captured from Praha - Kačerov, Czech Republic.

Evolution of the thin cirrus above Central Europe is here: MSG_CE_VIS-IR 

2021-04-27    17:30 - 19:30 UTC  (2h 00m)
Samsung NX 500 & Asahi Takumar SMC 55mm F2 M42 (set at F5.6),  interval 5 seconds, speed 150x

   (70 MB)
20210427_1730-1930utc_Praha_1920x1080_H265.mkv    (71 MB, H.265)

Historical center of Prague (Old Town) from sunset till rise of full Moon, captured from viewpoint Na Opyši, at east entrance to Prague Castle. See also this image of  the rising Moon at higher resolution (3600x2000), and its legend.

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