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Tag: DJI Osmo Pocket

How Sheltering at Home Helped Me to Find Spring

So, this is a story that boils down to simply opening your eyes and paying attention to your surroundings. But sometimes it takes a pandemic to help you reshuffle your priorities…

It’s important to look for bright spots as we travel through this COVID-19 alternate reality.

For me, one of the few upsides has been the opportunity to pay more attention to the wonders of the early days of springtime, when nature starts to kick it into high gear. Those wonderful buds suddenly appear and the colors begin to pop. Before you know it, there are flowers everywhere.

But it happens so quickly. During every other year I can remember, I never paid enough attention to it all. I was too busy moving and driving and focused elsewhere. And then the renewal would be gone. The greens not so bright. The tree blossoms all gone. Till the following year.

Well, 2020, of course, has been different. Social distancing and sheltering at home provided the perfect opportunity for me to simply look out the window and actually see spring taking hold.

And I’m also happy to report that I took advantage of the early morning hours over the past weeks to get out and capture a few video time-lapses and nature b-roll with my DJI Osmo Pocket camera.

Yes, I tracked the early spring that I discovered all around me and then edited the imagery together in under a minute. My little video project made me smile. Perhaps it will do the same for you. Please take a look.

This year, I didn’t miss spring.
And I am glad.

I pledge not to forget this practice next year, when I hope life has returned to normal for all of us.

One Way to Handle the Isolation

It’s time to take a breath and focus on staying centered while we travel through these uncharted waters of the coronavirus pandemic. A good step is simply to look up. Here’s why…

This existence is hard to imagine. You’re supposed to stay at home. Everything is shut down. Don’t touch anything. If you’re outside, don’t get near anyone. And never touch your face. This all sounds like a premise for a sci-fi flick.

It’s barely more than a week since COVID-19 has radically changed life in the greater New York City area. Even a trip to the grocery store feels like you’re taking a risk.

And I know that we’re just getting started.

Maintain Virtual Connections
Our sudden new norm is extreme physical isolation. And except for the truly dedicated introverts amongst us, that’s hardly a normal state.

The good news is there are still lots of ways to stay connected… virtually. Even if you can’t reach out and touch someone, you can still pick up the phone. (That old AT&T marketing campaign now feels so prescient.) And for those today who despise old-school phone use, video chats are great. Suddenly, I’ve seen Zoom become a common household tool for group video calls with family and friends.

It’s bad out there, but technology has certainly cushioned the blow from necessary social distancing. I can’t fathom what true isolation really felt like back in 1918 without smartphones and web connectivity.

Find the Beauty That’s Still There
As I write this, it’s still okay to go outside for a walk, as long as you avoid others. If you’re close enough to nature, that’s always a great destination to visit. Beyond the obvious physical and emotional benefits of hiking in a park or walking on a beach, these locations can offer other opportunities.

I’ve brought along my tiny DJI Osmo Pocket camera to shoot time-lapse videos of some of the beautiful environments I’ve passed through recently during my walks. I’ve found it to be an especially calming practice.

Take a look at these nature shots with three sunrises…

Stay Centered
Nature doesn’t skip a beat. Time flows. And if you look closely, people are still around. Many patterns continue as before.

Our daily routines have been shattered. No doubt. But I find it nourishing to observe some of the larger norms of existence still firmly in place.

So, If you can, it’s time to go out and take a walk.

How your Timelapse Videos will Reveal a Different Reality

Shooting timelapse videos will remind you about the very nature of existence. Here are a few of the ways they can expand your perspective.

Capturing that perfect moment with your camera can be a life-long ambition. Along your photographic journey, you might want to also consider the opposite exercise. Explore the opportunity to scoop up the ever-changing landscape in front of you… across time.

Use Your Camera as a Time Machine
Many cameras and smartphones today can act as a time machine and perform the trick of timelapse video capture. You’ve just got to give some thought to which environments you’d like to explore and how they might look when you squeeze twenty minutes down to twenty seconds.

Shooting timelapse videos is easy to do. You’ve simply got to keep your camera steady and allow it to slowly snap a frame of video every two or three seconds. Along the way, it stitches the frames together to generate a scene that moves at lighting speed when you play it back.

Beyond the exploration of timelapse video as an art form, this technology is also exciting, because it bottles up time and then reveals your world in ways you’ve never experienced before. It’s a whole new way to experience reality.

Here’s what I’ve learned from these timelapse videos I’ve recently shot.

So Many Rushing Clouds
I’m always impressed by the hidden intensity of ‘normal’ weather conditions in timelapse mode.
Clouds Timelapse at Calf Pasture Beach
Clouds do not lumber along. Here on a beach, I see that they are clearly on a mission to quickly reach some important destination.

Our Fleeting Existence
When you speed up time, people become momentary blips. While this video’s final form creates a dance of frenetic fun in a snow storm, it’s also a sobering reminder of our own brief presence in space and time.
Snowy Day Timelapse at Cranbury Park
So, always remember to enjoy the dance.

Your Own Sunrise
Capturing a quickly-moving sun at dawn is hardly an original concept. It’s a scene we’ve all be exposed to countless times on TV and at the movies. Still, there’s always a way to make a sunrise your own.
Sunrise Timelapse by Saugatuck River and Route 95
Where you choose to experience your sunrise is always the unique factor.

Adding Motion
You may have noticed the panning movement in my time-lapse video examples. This trick is courtesy of the ‘motionlapse’ mode in my DJI Osmo Pocket Gimbal camera. After every snapped frame, the gimbal auto-pans a wee bit as part of a preprogrammed move. And that creates the effect of a smooth pan across the shot.

Timelapse videos are fun to do and usually generate amazing results. Just don’t forget one important variable. These videos will take a while to shoot. So plan ahead.

Capturing time takes time.

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