New timelapse volcano videos…a two-fer!

First, a little bit about how I make these videos.

I actually first got inspired to make these myself after seeing a few made by YouTube user MashedUniverse’s videos of the Barðarbunga/Nornahraun eruption. I had made short musical video vignettes in the past, and was itching to try the same with the Mila live webcam images which seemed perfectly suited for timelapse. The program I found that fit my budget (free download) was Chronlapse, a bare-bones and simple-to-use program that automatically grabs Print-Screen images at any interval you choose and then lets you put them together at the framerate you choose to create an MP4 movie. I then open the movie in Windows Movie Maker to add titles, credits, the occasional crossfade when the image sequence is interrupted (as it occasionally is) by failed camera signal or ISP-quirkyness. I also use Movie Maker to add the music.  Most of my videos are recorded at 15 second intervals and then made into a video at 24 frames per second, though I am considering an experiment with 10 second intervals at 30 fps.

I most often do these recordings on my five-year-old Compaq laptop rather than my desktop computer, as there is not yet a free program I’ve found that can record screen-prints from a URL “in the background”. What you see on the screen is exactly what you get. This can be a problem if you get frequent prompts to upgrade your Flash player or antivirus programs, in which case I recommend searching online for an add-on for your browser that lets you set it to be “always on top”.

The music I choose is most often from Magnatune.com, as my membership allows me to use their music under Creative Commons license. Otherwise I look for music by bands who themselves encourage free noncommercial use of their songs such as Sigur Rós. I try to pick instrumental tunes, but not always..and I have been known to take requests.

The last recording session covered almost four days of eruption, but the first two days were plagued with frequent camera-downtimes and signal-freezeups. The final day recorded interruption-free though, so I decided to split the images into two movies.

This first movie includes several visits to the eruption and the camera by assorted vehicles and personnel including one prominent aeroplane passing overhead.  Something with a bit of an up-tempo seemed to be more appropriate.

I was just processing the second movie when I found the most recent weekly bulletin on the status of the eruption..which made several mentions of activity slowing down. That sort of put me thinking about the time that will inevitably come when the eruption ends. At that time I will be glad for the people of Iceland who have suffered all that sulfur dioxide these long months, but I will miss the watching-and-waiting as well as the piles of beautiful images and videos this event has spawned. The idea of a volcano sleeping came to mind. Perhaps quiescent volcanoes are dreaming?

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