Quarantine Blog of 2020 Part One

Quarantine Portrait


This is me dressed to go to grocery store.  Coranovirus has changed our lives and has affected the whole world.  I remember reading about the virus and realizing the most vulnerable age group was my age group. For some reason that surprised me but the good thing, my grand children were relatively safe but not completely.  So what to do in home confinement.  Had lot of things planned for the spring that are not going to happen.

Before going on I'd like to point out that I feel very blessed with my life even in these rough times..  I am a lucky guy.  My wife, my children, my grand children, my friends all make feel very blessed.  Also, I have this photography habit that keeps me occupied and keeps challenges me to keep going on.  I realize this photography habit is not a necessity in life, but I do enjoy it...

So, I am not complaining BUT.  in March my photographer buddy Greg and I had where scheduled to shoot the NCAA Gynastics tournament and it was cancelled.

A small wedding I was scheduled to photograph was cancelled.  They got married with just family present.

Two modeling sessions where cancelled, hopefully to be rescheduled sometime in the future.

One camping trip and two kayak  fishing trips where cancelled.  Hopefully next year.

Photography trip Tennessee to photograph black bear cancelled

Photography trip to Ohio to photograph eagles cancelled

I was planning my biggest photography project I had ever tried to pull off since retiring in 2011. It was going to be a month long project with help from some of my favorite photographer friends, Bob, Greg, Jacki and Steve.  Planned on renting a special place just for the photo sessions.  Had couple of the models on board and was going to ask more when the world changed!!!

What to do while waiting on this beer named virus thing to play out..

I decided to drink beer and watch grass grow, and photograph the grass growing of course.....

Watching Grass Grow video

I decided to photograph time lapse photography of plants around my house and even started growing plants in my office to photograph them.  I've shot many little time lapse videos but it was not something I concentrated on. I have been still photographer all my life but am not a videographer.  I use Photoshop to process my images into a video and bought an inexpensive video program to help me edit the videos.  Many failures and some successes but enjoying the whole process. One thing I did not consider when starting this is what to do with these plants after I photograph them.   I've been planting them in my yard and the deer and rabbits have really  enjoyed the ones I have planted so far...

Time-lapse photography is a technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured (the frame rate) is much more spread out than the frequency used to view the sequence. When played at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing.

Past time lapse videos

Morning Glory flower

Tiger Lily

Morning Glory reaching out

Rhododendren blooming

Time lapse setups for the quarantine of 2020

Time lapse setup outside with GoPro

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I find the GoPro hard to use in these long time lapse videos.  Better suited for short time lapse. The longest interval between photos is 1 minute.  For me, I find almost impossible to change the card and not move the position of the camera which shows up in the time lapse.  Batteries only last for one or two hours so have to hook the camera to a/c.  I cut one end out of a plastic container box to shoot out of and use the rest of the plastic box to cover the camera. I use bungee cords to secure the plastic container over the camera to protect the camera from rain. This particular setup the camera is being secured on a small tripod with cable ties to try to keep the camera from moving.  The camera is  on top of two milk cartons.

Time lape set up in my office Inside

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The nice thing about the inside setup is I already had the lights.  I use these lights for my copy work.  Upon reading about growing plants  indoor I discovered that you need lights that have the full color spectrum and will burn for long time.  It just so happens that the lights I already had to use for copy work were good for growing plants inside.  So that worked out for me.  I change this set up around but usually I have two time lapse setups going at same time.  One with my other Go Pro and the other one with my Nikon D700.  The Nikon D700 has a time interval app that you can set your times to whatever you thing you need.  Every once in while I might shoot three setups at a time using my Nikon D850 which has tile lapse interval app also but I don't like using it because that is camera I use to shoot my regular still photo projects.  It is the main camera i use for majority of my photography.

New setup indoors with grass

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The set up in the house has changed and will probably keep changing as I get other ideas.  At this time I have grass growing in the indoor set up and the grass is growing very good.  Better then anything else I have tried.  Which is ironic because if you look at my backyard I have all  these bare spaces where grass does not grow.  I will be trying to transplant this indoor grass into the bare spots in the backyard.....

Other outdoor time lapse set up using Nikon camera

Other outdoor time lapse set up using a Nikon camera

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This outdoor time lapse setup I use a Nikon D5500 with a cutout plastic container upside down to protect the  camera from the weather.  This is paced on top of small table.  The Nikon D5500 DX-format is a discontinued Nikon camera that I picked up at a cheap price.  It does have the time lapse interval app and touch screen which is nice but the body does not have a manual focus mode and the lens I use with it does not have a manual focus either which can be a problem at times. Camera is securely attached to a solid plate tripod being held in place by heavy rock.

Time lapse videos 2020

These are the time lapse videos I have created during the quarantine of 2020.

I will make a short comment on each one.

Pansies growing

Growing pansies flowers.  Not enough flowers, water spilling out bottom of pot  interesting but not cool for this time lapse.  Technical problems.

Day Lily

This one had potential but had some technical problems.  The worst technical problem was a bug in the Go Pro camera that when count reach 9999 the camera would stop and shut off. Took awhile figure this out. Go Pro had a bug fix on their site but I could not get it download but I figured out if I delete not only the digital files on the card but all the Go Pro files this  fixed the problem.  Unfortunately I didn't figure out the problem till after the Go Pro stopped at keys times as the flower was opening.     

Azalea blooming

This one had all kind of potential.  Still having technical problems with "flicker" and movement but the worst thing was right before the individual flowers I was focused on with the camera started to bloom completely  the whole flower started turning brown and dying.  Not sure what the problem was, light too hot, did not like 24 hour light, the roots balled up, too much water, my green thumb is really black thumb......

I tried saving the video by shooting individual photos of some of the flowers had not turned brown yet and finishing the video with these individual images.

Okay, but could have been so much better.

Sun Flowers seeds growing and reaching for the sky

This is a fun One that I enjoy.  Had some focus problems but I get a kick watching the movement of the sunflower plants fighting and reaching up to the light.

Dandelion turning into a seed machine

Dandelion turning into a seed spreading plant.  This is probably my favorite time lapse so far. To me, it is like discovering a mystery I have not seen before.....How many time looked at on a yard and you see all those yellow dandelion flowers and you wonder.  Is dandelion wine any good? And you look the next day and all those yellow flowers are now white puffy balls on a stem.  How the heck did that happen?  Now I know little part of the mystery.

End of Quarantine Blog of 2020 - Part 1

Hopefully I will have a "Quarantine Blog of 2020 - Part 2" soon in the future.

As I look for more  time lapses  to do and hopefully I can keep improving on them I will be sharing them in the future.   What else is there to do during a quarantine except drink beer and photograph grass growing...

Thanks for looking