Keck in Motion Hits the Web

I expected the video to be popular, maybe not this popular. So far several major websites have picked up the video. First is was and Universe Today, then Phil at Bad Astronomy was nice enough to post the vid. Now it is Wired Magazine that has posted the video along with an article. I expect the video will pass 10k views sometime in the next hour.

For those readers that might be stopping by Darker View for the first time… Welcome!

A video like this takes a surprising amount of work to assemble. It is rewarding to see that the results of that effort are not in vain. Sharing my experience on the mountain, celebrating the efforts of the great guys of our summit daycrew, it is very satisfying to see that so many folks are interested in what we do.

If you like what you see, why not stick around, we have more to share!

Keck in Motion Scene Guide

I have been getting a few questions about the video. To answer a few of them I have compiled a guide to the scenes. Some quick explanations to what you are seeing, information on the camera used as well as the exposure information.

The video is a combination of two techniques. Many scenes were filmed as standard video then accelerated during editing to allow the motion to become clear. Examples of this are scenes of telescopes slewing and the interferometer delay lines moving.

Slower subjects, such as clouds or the stars moving across the sky, were photographed as time lapse. Here a large number of still images were taken. These are then processed and converted to video using Photoshop CS5 before loading into the video editing software, Adobe Premiere Elements. To construct the time lapse sequences sometimes required thousands of separate images, quickly filling memory cards and exhausting batteries. After dark it is long exposure time lapse that is used, with individual exposures often 15 seconds to one minute long.

Continue reading “Keck in Motion Scene Guide”

A Premiere

Tomorrow night will see the premiere of my latest work. Over the last few months I have been assembling a video on Keck titled Keck in Motion. The nice part is that the first public screening will see the video on a big screen indeed… The showing will be at the Kahilu Theater. It will be run as a introduction piece before the Keck lecture

The video has seen the usual creative cycles during production… Enthusiasm followed by disillusionment, in alternating phases. Despite some doubts along the way, I have to admit the final version is not all that bad. Everyone who has seen it uniformly gives great reviews, but as the author, I see all the flaws and things I could improve. Whatever reservations I might have, the time has come to simply say… It is done. I have turned over copies to Larry and Mariko, ready for projection on a big screen tomorrow night.

The video has been seen a couple private showings to a selected audience. In particular it has been seen by the guys on the summit crew, many of whom appear in the video. Some bits of the video have been seen here before, particularly the three lasers sequence. Some of the material was stuff I had accumulated across the years, many pieces were custom shot to complete the project. Somehow it works into a very nice narrative and a complete story in three minutes, thirty-six seconds.

Look to see the video posted here after the premiere. Peeking at my Vimeo account will not help, I have not uploaded it yet. I suspect it will get spread around a little, used for Keck PR. It does show what a special place Keck is. Better yet, it highlights the hard work it takes to keep Keck on-sky every night. Because of that, this video is dedicated to the guys of the summit crew.

Lasers 3 over Mauna Kea from Andrew Cooper on Vimeo.