“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
— Ansel Adams

Timelapsing Atlanta to Phoenix - 3.5 hours in 49 seconds

Sit still, don't get up, unless needed, try to get comfortable within your bubble, which includes you plus 5 inches in any direction. Don't get me wrong, I love traveling, and the plane ride is my preferred option over car rides. I love the view from the window, the speed, and the time to catch up on things (like sleep!... and sometimes work). Window seats are great for the view, but you lose the ability to easily get out and stretch or slip to the bathroom, usually I prefer the window so I can see (I'm a visual person, probably why I enjoy photography). But I hate taking the typical "view from my window" photo, the birds-eye view with that darn wing in the way, it's inevitable! (can't get rid of it! and panning to the side is usually impossible - on rare occasion though I get that opportunity).

Anyway, I decided to show off my timelapse video I captured when I was going from Atlanta to Phoenix. I thought since it's a long flight I could grab a nice long capture, with lots of changes to weather and so-on (also for a future project in mid-May for another trip to LA... which I'll record another timelapse and brag a bit more).

To prepare I decided to use a GoPro, instead of the Garmin Virb, really just because I'm not as familiar with the Garmin and knew I would have a higher chance of success with the GoPro. So I pulled out the suction cup, stuck it on the window (not sure what the people beside me were thinking at this time), and I attached the GoPro, set the settings to capture every 10 seconds. Then because GoPro batteries die so quick, and because Delta knew I would need power, usually because my phone is almost dead once I get on the plane (somehow this happens all the time), but I plugged in the GoPro to the provided power source at my seat (Thank you Delta), and it lasted the entire trip, from gate to gate.

Once I got to my hotel, I setup my computer, imported the footage, worked some magic in After Effects, then added some fancy music and titles. Unfortunately my recent conversion from iPhone 6 to Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (I love this phone the more I have it) was finding out Instagram adds new great features to Android phones AFTER iOS phones get it; like posting 60 second videos instead of the former limit of 15 seconds, yep, I'm still stuck with a 15 second limit, while I can watch everyone else post 60 seconds! Thus, I had to create a 15 second version of my timelapse, remove the text and upload it to show off there too... I was pretty humble about this project, I mean I posted it everywhere I could think! (except here... until now) Watch:

Turn the music up! Watch in HD, and be ready once you click PLAY (you only get 49 seconds)

I also wanted to record the return flight, thinking we would land just after sunset. How cool would it be to record a timelapse on the plane passing over a huge storm in central USA and catch the sunset? Except an hour before landing I saw the camera stopped recording, due to a powerless power plug at my seat (thanks Delta!). But we also landed before the sun had set, we were too quick (thanks Delta!!), Fail #2 now. So I plugged into another outlet, and reset the camera to capture every 2 seconds for the final 30 minutes of the trip. I need to edit that still... but stay tuned for the trip to Los Angeles, and I'm hoping to capture a great sunset for the return flight. Otherwise it'll have to be for my flight to Europe coming up soon, where I could capture sunset and sunrise!!! I'm really excited now about that!

Phoenix is Hot! (in the summer... and dry)

Last week I visited downtown Phoenix for an entire week, but only had a limited amount of time to explore, really when I had an afternoon off for 2 days that week. I absolutely loved the local people, something about the southwest culture that has such a great vibe and atmosphere around city spots.

Looking west on Fillmore St. in Phoenix, AZ

Looking west on Fillmore St. in Phoenix, AZ

Monday afternoon I decided to spend my free afternoon exploring the city. So I spent a little time researching some areas, signed up for a bike share program, it's called Grid (I signed up for the $15/mo since it includes 60 mins/day free, rather than $7/hr -- best if you're going to use it more than 2 times). However, I probably spent more time looking for the nearest location where the bikes were (literally were 2 blocks from my hotel, but I walked about 5). Luckily I signed up online, because there's no way to pay at the stations, you just punch in a code on the back of the bike, which unlocks a locking bar, and that's when I pulled it away from the pole and slid the lock back in... which you're not supposed to do, it locked the back wheel and ended my ride... so I ended up standing there trying to hold up a heavy bike in the middle of the sidewalk and punch in my number to unlock it again. That's when I saw two holes to slide the lock bar on the side while riding, rather than inserting through the bike (hope that's not too confusing).

After getting on the bike, I rode probably 8 blocks, instead of 5, took a few wrong turns and then parked at the 2nd nearest location to a bike shop cafe; The Velo Bike Shop/Bicycle Nomad Cafe and hung out in the bike shop a bit, then moved over to the coffee area where I talked to the owner, Keith. For those who don't know, I dream of opening a bike shop cafe one day (preferably in Europe near the coast somewhere). So I talked to Keith for quite some time, learned his story and background and then grabbed a few promotional photos for him and one of him too.

I spent the rest of my time there, then walked back to my hotel. Along the way I found a tease to the heat that Phoenix gets as summer was starting to show it's signs. Walking in the sunlight was HOT! But once I got in the shade it felt beautiful... I love climates with no humidity, you can escape the heat fast if needed. I even sat outside on a shaded porch during the week, midday there and it felt amazing, was more comfortable there than inside the restaurant.

It wasn't until Saturday that I had my next opportunity to venture out, and a group of colleagues and I decided to head 20 minutes south to South Mountain Park and hike up a trail, thankfully it was another day that the temperature only rose to 78F (25C) -- which feels great in dry climates. Once getting to the top, the breeze was keeping us cool from the sun beating down on us, and we found an edge to sit upon and look over the city and metro area, while just relaxing and talking amongst each other.

Sitting on the edge of a cliff overlooking Phoenix metro area with a colleague (the rest of our group was just to the side and behind taking this pic)

Sitting on the edge of a cliff overlooking Phoenix metro area with a colleague (the rest of our group was just to the side and behind taking this pic)

When it was time to leave I looked back at how great of a spot just that little downtown area was, next time I hope to adventure out to the surrounding neighborhoods (if I ever get to visit there again). But the people were super friendly, the locals had many great suggestions for spots and places to check out, as you know I love local restaurants, cafes and popular hang out spots. We even saw Deon Cole live at a stand-up comedy show, met a French couple who I hope to see when I visit Italy at the end of the year, and again found a new connection for a potential bike shop cafe, maybe I can start one up in Atlanta too.

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