Tagged: video

Mavericks 2010

The forecasts predicted a heavy swell and calm weather, so on went the green light for the annual competition at Mavericks, California’s most infamous and best-endowed surf break.  Come contest morning, Saturday, February 13th, 2010, the waves arrived, larger and smoother than expected, with clean faces up to fifty feet…

The conspicuous sign at the entrance to Mavericks Beach reads “Warning: Deadly Waves At Any Time,” and it’s not joking.  As the first heat began, a series of breakers washed into the nearby crowd, first a dribble and then four feet deep, sending the fortunate scurrying up the cliff, and the unlucky into the drink.  The gruesome tally: one broken leg, another busted ankle, dozens of complete soakings, and hundreds of pounds of innocent consumer electronics sent to a watery grave.  Good ’ol Neptune scored himself some boss new gear, y’all!

Thankfully, I avoided that chaos and, around noon, pointed my super-telephoto camera rig into the lineup from a much-more-relaxed position just off U.S. Highway 1, about two miles distant.  The resulting video, cropped tighter in post-production, is a mega-zoomed, telescope-style view of Mavericks: the tiny sliver of the scene near the horizon that, on-site with your arm fully extended, would have fit behind half of your pinkie fingernail.  For the photogeeks, that’s an equivalent focal length of about 4000mm.

Let’s take a look!  Onshore at bottom, we see the observation scaffolding, the aforementioned warning sign, and a competitor stretching on the breakwater that the ocean earlier crested.  Behind, there’s the action: one surfer paddling out stand up, others bobbing to and fro, and, near the end, an Incredible Display Of Ballsiness on the lip of a huge wave:

Mavericks Surf Contest 2010

Click here to see a slighter larger, higher quality version.  Apologies for the audio, which, in slightly raw fashion, accurately represents the afternoon breeze, ping of the harbor beacon, and two guys next to me yapping about Sean Connery.

Later in the day, a South African gentleman went on to win the contest.  Hey, they have some whopper waves there, too!

Experiments In Time Lapse

Day and night for the past hundred years, propellerheads worldwide have worked to make technology better and cheaper.  By doing so, they’ve enabled us to engage in pursuits that our forefathers could barely dream of.  To toast our bread with a machine!  To fly cross-country on that wonderful airplane!  To watch moving pictures, plucked from the ether, as they dance on the screens of our new-fangled televisions! 

And with recent improvements to consumer-grade cameras, rejoice!  The night time lapse video is now within our reach!

Golden Gate Bridge, Towers In Fog

Ergo the above video: a time lapse of a low evening cloud deck blowing past San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge.  Created earlier this summer, by shooting 300 or so still photographs, one per second, with Canon DSLR gear, and then assembling them back-to-back, using some inexpensive video production software.

Beyond its atmospheric nature, what I like best about this clip are the subtle details within.  The mist curling around the superstructure and lighting up as the brighter headlights traverse the bridge.  And, check out the floating duck, in the water slightly to the right of bottom center!

Apologies for the silent video - I’m currently in search of suitable audio accompaniment.  If you’ve got any ideas, please contact me.

Stay tuned for more of these, as I’ll be posting details of some of the juiciest ones in the future.