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 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, radar and other meteorological data used below: CHMIEUMETSAT  and  NOAA CLASS.

Note: movie files below, which are stored as .mkv (encrypted here as H.265 RGB) are identical to those stored as .mp4 (here as standard H.264 YUV420), but should have somewhat better quality, namely in fine transitions of the blue sky. 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.

2021-05-25   20:00 - 20:45 UTC  (0h 45m)
Samsung NX 500 & Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS, interval 5 seconds, speed 150x

20210525_2000-2045utc_NLC_Praha-Vysehrad_1920x1080_H264.mp4   (45 MB)
20210525_2000-2045utc_NLC_Praha-Vysehrad_1920x1080_H265.mkv    (58 MB, H.265)

First NLC (noctilucent clouds) of the 2021 season observed from the Czech Republic. Captured from terrace above metro station Vyšehrad, Prague. See also this individually processed image from 20:24 UTC

Onset of the first 2021 north hemisphere NLC:  AIM CIPS level 3a daily mosaic loop 19-25 May 2021  (images source: LAPS AIM-CIPS archive) and OSWIN 25 May 2021 profile (source: Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, OSWIN VHF Radar).

2021-06-18   20:30 - 21:13 UTC  (0h 45m)
Samsung NX 500 & Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS, interval 5 seconds, speed 150x

20210618_2030-2113utc_NLC_Okrouhlik_1920x1080_H264.mp4  (43 MB)
20210618_2030-2113utc_NLC_Okrouhlik_1920x1080_H265.mkv   (45 MB, H.265)

Weaker noctilucent clouds (NLC) above Prague, captured from Okrouhlík, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic, NW view. In center of the frame is Žižkov TV tower, at left part of the image is Prague Ruzyně airport, with several landing and departing planes. See also this single image (from about 20:50 UTC), and record from the OSWIN Mesospheric Radar from that day (source: Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, OSWIN VHF Radar).

2021-06-29   19:00 - 19:45 UTC  (0h 45m)
Samsung NX 500 & Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye II,  interval 5 seconds, speed 150x

  (42 MB)
20210629_1900-1945utc_Kacerov_shelf-cloud_1728x1080_H265.mkv   (40 MB, H.265)

Shelf cloud  which formed on the leading edge of evening storms propagating northward. See also this static image from 19:32 UTC. Another timelapse taken from my "Home Office Window" at Kačerov, Prague, Czech Republic, southward fisheye view.

2021-07-13   17:52 - 18:55 UTC  (1h 03m)
Samsung NX 500 & Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye II,  interval 4 seconds, speed 120x

20210713_1752-1855utc_Kacerov_shelf-cloud_1920x1080_H264.mp4   (72 MB)
20210713_1752-1855utc_Kacerov_shelf-cloud_1920x1080_H265.mkv   (72 MB, H.265)

Shelf cloud  which formed on the leading edge of early evening storms, propagating from south-west over western parts of Czechia. See also static photo from 18:44 UTC, loop of the MSG RSS 13:00-18:45 UTC images (sandwich product), loop of CZRAD 17:00-20:00 UTC radar images (black cross shows location from which the timelapse was recorded, red bars indicate time and direction and range - about 150° - of the fish eye lens of the timelapse series), and more detailed CZRAD image from 18:50 UTC. Captured from Kačerov, Prague, Czech Republic, south-west view.

2021-08-08   18:42 - 18:50 UTC  (0h 08m)
Samsung NX 500 & Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye II,  interval 3 seconds, speed 30x

20210808_1842-1850utc_Kacerov_1920x1080_H264.mp4  (20 MB) 
20210808_1842-1850utc_Kacerov_1920x1080_H265.mkv   (19 MB, H.265)

Another shelf cloud taken from my home window at Kačerov, Prague. Very short, but awsome. In this case don't ask me about its interpretation... See also this still image from 18:45 UTC.

2021-08-19   06:55 - 08:30 UTC  (1h 35m)
Ricoh GXR A16,  interval 5 seconds, speed 150x,  interval 5 seconds, speed 150x

20210819_0655-0830utc_Rauris_1920x1080_H264.mp4   (82 MB) 
20210819_0655-0830utc_Rauris_1920x1080_H265.mkv    (84 MB, H.265)

Morning clouds above Raurisertal (Rauris Valley). Captured from balcony of the Appartement Pension Fahrnberggut, Rauris, Salzburgerland, Austria. Southward view.

We stayed in Rauris several times before, you can check my older timelapses taken from here (or nearby) during our past visits, available in the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 galleries.

2021-08-21   11:07 - 12:41 UTC  (1h 34m)
Samsung NX 500 & Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS,  interval 4 seconds, speed 120x

20210821_1107-1241utc_Pasterze-Grossglockner_1920x1080_H264.mp4   (126 MB) 
20210821_1107-1241utc_Pasterze-Grossglockner_1920x1080_H265.mkv    (122 MB, H.265)

Icebergs from the melting Pasterze glacier, drifting around on Sandersee.  As mentioned above, we have been visiting the Hohe Tauern National Park, including Grossglocner area with the Pasterze glacier, since 2006. Over those 15 years the glacier has shrunk significantly. The boulders from which I took this timelapse, were around 2010 still at the front end of the glacier. See also the Sentinel-2 image from this day (10:17 UTC), with plotted location from which I took the timelapse and its approximate angular range.

Pasterze glacier during 2006 - 2021.  In the following photos taken from above I tried to plot the location from which I captured this timelapse. In the oldest photo from 2006, the location is rather a "qualified guess", while for the years 2009 and 2011 I'm already pretty sure about the place, despite the fact that it is still covered by remains of mix of melting ice and gravel. The 2013 photo already shows the boulders from which I took this timelapse in 2021. Identification of the location I did backwards, using also other photos (not shown here) in their full resolution. And for comparison - one historical photo from 1935 (source here).

Satellite observations of the glacier from 1985 - 2021.  Note that in the folloving images the glacier itself is not only the part which appears as the bright "tongue", much of the glacier is hidden under dark rocks and gravel. To illustrate the real extent of the glacier, its front edge is indicated in this 2015 Sentinel-2 image by red arrows.
  • Animated gif showing the difference between years 1991 and 2021, taken by Landsat-5 and Sentinel-2 almost on the same day, 30 years apart.

  • Series of satellite images from Landsat-5, Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2, covering period 1985 - 2021, shows the gradual disappearance of the glacier very well.

  • Series of satellite images from 2015 - 2021 from Sentinel-2, at somewhat better resolution as compared to the Landsat images.
Source of the Landsat-5, Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 images:  Sentinel Hub EO Browser

2021-08-25   19:10 - 23:15 UTC  (4h 05m)
Samsung NX 500 & Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS,  interval 20 seconds, speed 600x

20210825_1910-2315utc_Rauris-nocturnal-sky_1920x1080_H264.mp4   (57 MB) 
20210825_1910-2315utc_Rauris-nocturnal-sky_1920x1080_H265.mkv    (53 MB, H.265)

Moon-lit night sky above Raurisertal. During our two-weeks stay in Rauris this year, we had only two or three at least partially cloud-free nights. As this night was only three days after the full moon, the real darkness was very short, squeezed between dusk and rise of the Moon. Taken from Rauris, Salzburgerland, Austria, southward view. As you can see, the town is not concerned about light pollution too much.

2021-08-26   13:08 - 15:30 UTC  (2h 22m)
Samsung NX 500 & Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye II,  interval 4 seconds, speed 120x

20210826_1308-1530utc_Rauris_1920x1080_H264.mp4   (93 MB) 
20210826_1308-1530utc_Rauris_1920x1080_H265.mkv    (97 MB, H.265)

Afternoon clouds and showers above Raurisertal. Our stay in Rauris this year was probably the worst one as regards weather. Most of the days were rainy, at least part of the day. Here is one of those rainy afternoons...

021-08-28   05:55 - 07:30 UTC  (1h 35m)
Ricoh GXR A16,  interval 5 seconds, speed 150x

20210828_0555-0730utc_Rauris_1920x1080_H264.mp4   (82 MB) 
20210828_0555-0730utc_Rauris_1920x1080_H265.mkv    (81 MB, H.265)

Cloudy morning above Raurisertal, taken on the day of our departure from Rauris. While we were packing home, my Ricoh GXR A16 was timelapsing on the balcony...

2021-10-18   12:25 - 14:00 UTC  (1h 35m)
Samsung NX 500 & Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye II,  interval 8 seconds, speed 240x

20211018_1225-1400utc_Okrouhlik_1800x1080_H264.mp4  (55 MB)
20211018_1225-1400utc_Okrouhlik_1800x1080_H265.mkv   (58 MB, H.265)

Autumnal reflections. Pond Ovčáry, Okrouhlík, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic.

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