Níłtsą́: the Navajo word for ‘rain’. Two years in the making. Almost 80 total days of chasing. Tens of thousands of miles driven. All packed into 12 minutes of the best storms and moments from the 2021/22 monsoon in Arizona. These films are my entire heart and passion for what I do.
Sometimes I’m so tired I don’t even want to chase, and I have to MAKE myself get into the truck and start driving. And it’s almost always worth it. One of my supporters on Patreon answered my call for a possible new name for the series. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to, and it would take something special to get me to do it. Leonard’s wife suggested Niltsa, and I immediately fell in love with it. It’s a gorgeous word.
“雄大 (YUDAI)” means magnificent in Japanese. The film is a Timelapse and Hyperlapse depiction of magnificent Japan.
Japan, island country lying off the east coast of Asia. It consists of a great string of islands in a northeast-southwest arc that stretches for approximately 1,500 miles (2,400 km) through the western North Pacific Ocean. Nearly the entire land area is taken up by the country’s four main islands; from north to south these are Hokkaido (Hokkaidō), Honshu (Honshū), Shikoku, and Kyushu (Kyūshū). Honshu is the largest of the four, followed in size by Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. In addition, there are numerous smaller islands, the major groups of which are the Ryukyu (Nansei) Islands (including the island of Okinawa) to the south and west of Kyushu and the Izu, Bonin (Ogasawara), and Volcano (Kazan) islands to the south and east of central Honshu. The national capital, Tokyo (Tōkyō), in east-central Honshu, is one of the world’s most populous cities.
This is Moab is a film that was designed to highlight the wide variety of landscapes that you can experience when you visit Moab, Utah – and most of these locations are not located in Arches or Canyonlands National Parks.
Moab Utah is a many things to many people, but what ever it is that brings you to Moab (vacation, off-roading, rock climbing, biking, hiking, photography, painting, rafting, camping) you may not realize that if you just visit the two national parks (Arches and Canyonlands) you’re missing out on 98% of what Moab has to offer.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Moab manages over 1.8 MILLION acres of breathtaking red rock canyons, cliffs, fins, spires and hoodoos – and all of this public land is located outside of the National Parks.
Then there’s the LaSal Mountains, the second largest in all of Utah – with elevations reaching 13,000 feet. Tired of the 100 degree desert heat? Take a drive on the LaSal Mountain Loop Rd and enjoy cooler weather and spectacular mountain scenery.
Moab, Utah is one of the most amazing locations you can visit – whether you’re seeking adventure, solitude, or anything in between. If you’re a painter, photographer, hiker, biker, rock climber, rafter, off-roader, or traveling in an RV or camper – Moab has what you’re looking for. As a photographer Moab offers some of the finest landscapes anywhere on earth – with millions of acres of red-rock sandstone arches, spires, fins, canyons, and hoodoos.
Moab is also home to the second tallest mountain range in Utah – the La Sal Mountains with peaks reaching over 13,000 feet in elevation. Often these peaks are snow-capped even in the spring and early Summer – making for a beautiful contrast between desert landscape and mountains. In summer take a short 1 hour drive from the desert climate of Moab with temperatures near 100 degrees to sitting under an Aspen grove on the La Sal mountains with temperatures in the mid 70’s.
Love stargazing? You’ll love the dark skies around Moab. Head into Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, or Dead Horse Point State Park and enjoy some of the darkest skies in the country. The International Dark Sky Association has designated these locations as dark-sky parks, and you’ll soon discover why. But don’t stop there – anytime you leave town, you’ll discover that the lack of any significant light pollution and the dry high-desert climate ensures a wonderful view of the night sky on most nights. You’ll also be happy to know that Moab is also one of the safest places to hang outdoors – as there really isn’t much in the way of predatory wildlife.
Ever see a rainbow at night? Moonbows (aka lunar rainbows) are a rare and mesmerizing phenomenon caused by light from a full moon shining on rain or the spray of a large waterfall. This first-of-its-kind video captures the famous moonbows of Yosemite National Park in a way that has never been seen before – by filming at real-time speed!
Until recently, the only way to film by moonlight was to use timelapse to gain more light through longer exposures. While timelapse is a useful filming technique, the fast motion doesn’t illustrate the immense scale of Yosemite’s waterfalls. I wanted to capture a true-to-life moonbow experience using a cinematic 24 frames-per-second frame rate. To meet this goal, I started experimenting with a new camera, fast lenses, and advanced noise-reduction software during the 2016 moonbow season. Every April, May, and June since then I would collect more footage and refine my low-light shooting skills while enjoying the incredible beauty of Yosemite in spring. In all, the footage in this video was filmed during 11 separate visits to Yosemite.
Filming at 24 frames-per-second allowed me to capture brief details that would easily be missed by timelapse. The shooting star (see if you can spot it!) was my favorite fleeting moment. I also enjoyed being able to film the fine textures of the falling water, the hypnotic ebb and flow of the wind-borne mist, and the excited reactions from people enjoying Yosemite at night. Filming at normal speed also accommodated live audio recording of Yosemite’s nocturnal soundscape.
In addition to the technical challenges of filming moonbows, I also needed to know when and where to see them. As with rainbows, moonbows require a precise alignment of the light source (the full moon, in this case), an area of rain or mist in the air, and the person observing. Using 3D-modeling software, I developed a method to visualize when moonbows could be seen for a given location. These calculations have helped me discover new compositions for photographing this striking phenomenon, and in 2018 I created the website YosemiteMoonbow.com so that I could share this information with others who want to see the moonbow from popular vantage points in the park.
Moonbows are just as common in nature as rainbows, but they often go unnoticed because human vision isn’t as sensitive to color in low light. When you first arrive at the base of the falls, you might see the bow as a gray arc in the mist, but as your eyes get acclimated to the dark, the moonbow will grow more vivid, especially when wind intensifies the spray. Compared to humans, cameras are much better at perceiving color in the dark, easily revealing the hidden beauty of moonlit nights.
Capturing the Yosemite moonbow with video hasn’t been easy. These dark scenes are a stretch for even the best low-light cameras, to say nothing of the challenges of trying to do quality photography while being sprayed with water in the cold dark of night. But that’s all part of the moonbow experience. There’s something a little wild about heading out into the forest at night to stand in the spray of a raging waterfall, but it’s always a good time!
Bryce Canyon National Park, a sprawling reserve in southern Utah, is known for crimson-colored hoodoos, which are spire-shaped rock formations. The park’s main road leads past the expansive Bryce Amphitheater, a hoodoo-filled depression lying below the Rim Trail hiking path. It has overlooks at Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point. Prime viewing times are around sunup and sundown.
Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. Its Museum District houses the Van Gogh Museum, works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk. Cycling is key to the city’s character, and there are numerous bike paths.
‘Mourne’ explores the beautiful and rugged landscapes of the Kingdom of Mourne, some of the most scenic on the Island of Ireland. Shot over a full year, from September 2020 to September 2021, I set myself the ambitious aim to capture the most comprehensive timelapse study of the Mourne Mountains and one that felt true to the challenging conditions the landscape presents. The project involved over 100 treks with a weight of 20kg and 40 wild camps many in sub zero conditions. I’ve never been as cold and battered by the elements. The driving rain. Wind strong enough to blow you off your feet. Hiking in snow up to your waist. The year felt like a battle. I like to think the mountains won.
It really has been a labour of love, spending countless hours capturing the slow transition of the seasons. Watching the land, textures and colours slowly change, the clouds caressing and spilling over mountain peak and valleys.
The Mourne Mountains, also called the Mournes or Mountains of Mourne, are a granite mountain range in County Down in the south-east of Northern Ireland. They include the highest mountains in Northern Ireland, the highest of which is Slieve Donard at 850 m.
It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since I made my first Vorticity film. The one goal I had that year was to get a tornado on time-lapse for the first time ever. That happened and it’s been a wild, incredible ride since. The storms I’ve witnessed have been moving, stunning and a few of them, legendary (at least to us chasers!).
The 2021 season was no different. The number of supercells we saw and the level of structure was absolutely amazing. From Sudan, Texas to Malta, Montana…the chases were a blast and the time-lapses I caught were just fantastic fun. So many supercells, so many chases…I think I counted about 27 days we chased from late April to late June. Definitely one of the more active springs in recent years. It was good enough that I felt I could put out another worthy entry in the Vorticity series, so hopefully you agree!
Immerse yourself in the exciting world of mushrooms. Shot in the most beautiful forests in Denmark. See and listen to this timelapse film in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Headphones are highly recommended.
Only in silence can we hear the song of nature.
FUNGI Fungi are living organisms that are made up of larger cells with a cell nucleus which contains all the genetic material. Fungi are thus what we call eukaryotic organisms, which is one of the three domains of biology: animals (Animalia), plants (Plantae) and fungi (Fungi). The rest of the eukaryotic organisms, which do not fit into these three kingdoms, are called protists.
Fungi is a kingdom with about 144,000 known and described species of organisms. But it is estimated that there may be between 2.2 million and 3.8 million total species. They can be single celled or very complex multicellular organisms. The fungi kingdom includes yeasts, rusts, smuts, mildews, molds, and mushrooms. Fungi are among the most widely distributed organisms on Earth and they are of very big environmental and medical importance.
MUSHROOMS Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies that some fungi produce – typically above ground on the soil or on decaying wood or other food sources. Mushroom varies in size, shape, color, and longevity. Some mushrooms are microscopic and completely invisible to the unaided eye while others are gigantic structures. The fine threads under-ground that makes up the main body of the fungi is called mycelium. The mycelium stretches out beneath the mushroom in search of water and food. Unlike a plant, a fungus can’t make its own food by using energy from the sun. Instead, the fungus produces enzymes which are released by the mycelium and break down dead plants and animals. This organic matter is then absorbed through the mycelium and used by the fungus for growth. The mushrooms, because of their size, are easily seen in fields and forests and consequently were the only fungi known before the invention of the microscope.
OYSTER MUSHROOMS Oyster mushrooms is the common name for the species Pleurotus ostreatus. The funghi normally grow naturally on and near trees in temperate and subtropic forests. They are found around the world including in the UK and Ireland, most of mainland Europe, Asia, and parts of North America. Unlike many fungi, these mushrooms are not seasonal and can be found all year round. Oyster mushrooms are one of the most widely consumed mushrooms in the world and are grown commercially in many countries. They aren’t just tasty; they can be really healthy to eat. They contain antioxidants and are high in several vitamins and minerals. They even have the potential to lower cholesterol levels, slow the spread of cancer and decrease inflammation in the body. Oyster mushrooms get their name from their oyster or shell shaped cap that grow in tiers or clusters. They have a very short or non-existent stem. The color is typically light grey or greyish-brown. Oyster mushrooms are medium to large in size with caps averaging from 5 to 25 centimeters in diameter. Oyster mushrooms use powerful enzymes to break down and eat hardwood. Oyster mushrooms are one of the few carnivorous mushrooms. The mycelia of oyster mushrooms secrete a powerful toxin to stuns passing microscopic nematode, which are small roundworms. The fungi use their sprawling fibers to seek out and enter the mouths of these microscopic nematodes and suck out their guts. This gives the fungi nitrogen for growth.