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The Making of Hawaiian Paradise Time Lapse 1

July 20th, 2013

The Making of Hawaiian Paradise Time Lapse 1

Hawaiian Paradise Time Lapse 1

This is a series of time lapse sequences I took from around Hawai'i, on the islands of O'ahu and Hawai'i (Big Island). The shots here range from about an hour on the shortest to 8 hours on the longest one. Each second in the video corresponds to anywhere between 1 to 6 minutes, with each sequence taking hundreds of images to compile. A total of 9200 photos were taken. Below is a description of each time lapse scene.

1) 0:09 The sun setting over the Ala Wai Golf Course, with the many hotels and skyscrapers of world-famous Waikiki beach behind it. The crescent moon (also lit by earthshine) and Venus (bright dot above and left of the Moon) set along with the sun.

2) 0:31 What looked to be a bland sunset at Sand Island, near Honolulu International Airport (HNL), turned the sky into a blood-red color.

3) 0:40 The sunset lights up a beautiful pattern of clouds right above Waikiki.

4) 0:54 Sunset looking south, at Diamond Head State Monument in the upper left, the University of Hawai'i Manoa campus on the lower left, and Waikiki beach on the upper right. Some shaking is visible from the strong winds that evening.

5) 1:18 Looking south with Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park on the right. The Milky Way Galaxy can be seen setting over the hills on the right, while thick clouds passed overhead.

6) 1:26 Looking north from the middle of Honolulu, Polaris is visible with all the stars circling around it. Taken using a camera sensitive to both visible and infrared light.

7) 1:48 Looking northeast on the summit of Manua Kea, with the Keck II telescope visible on the right. The moonshine casts a dark blue hue on the sky.

8) 1:55 The Gemini Adaptive Optics laser in use. The lasers are used to correct the effect of atmospheric blurring and are equipped on the Keck, Gemini, and Subaru telescopes. As the telescopes track their targets, the laser beam sweeps with it in the sky. From left to right the telescopes are CFHT, Gemini, UH88, and UKIRT.

9) 1:57 The Submillimeter Array, looking west. Orion can be seen on the left side setting. The flashing in the beginning is from me illuminating the dishes of the telescope. Most streaks of light are actually from satellites, rather than aircraft (which generally avoid the Mauna Kea summit because of all of its lasers).

10) 2:11 Same location as above, now looking east towards the rising sky. From left to right, Keck I (partially visible on the edge), Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF, perched in the background), Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), Gemini, University of Hawaii 88" Telescope (UH88), and United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) are visible. Three geostationary satellites can be seen successively lit and diminish (the next one being higher than the previous one) at about 2:13, above and between UH88 and UKIRT. Moonrise (and not sunrise) is visible at the end.

11) 2:24 Looking to the north with Subaru on the right. The North Star is visible as a nearly stationary star. Keck II's AO laser tracks to the west, appearing to cut Subaru in half.

Scene 12: Subaru Telescope With the Milky Way Rising Behind It (2:38)
Equipment: D5000, 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR

This is another view of Subaru's dome as seen from the driveway entrance to the telescope. The center of the Milky Way can be seen rising behind the dome. Meanwhile the setting Moon casts an orange shadow on the dome, and then everything turns pitch black. This was my 3rd ever attempt at time lapse and star trail photography.

The Milky Way rising:


Another 30 second exposure of Subaru's dome moving in the moonlight:


The Sun rising after observing that night over a lot of clouds, looking towards Hilo:


The inversion layer of clouds sitting between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa:


13) 2:42 Looking southwest, with the summit of Mauna Loa visible on the left. The Galactic center sets towards the right. A car makes a brief appearance. The flashing lights towards the lower right are probably from people using flashlights. Two meteors are also visible.

14) 3:03 A fisheye view looking northeast from UKIRT. From left to right are CFHT, Gemini, and the UH88. The Milky Way is visible stretching across the sky, and the North Star is visible towards the left. Around 3:19 the zodiacal light is visible towards the right. Dawn starts to break at the end. A lot of passing streaks in this sequence are from satellites, which tend to appear right before sunrise since they can easily reflect sunlight (it is already "day time" at their orbiting altitude).

15) 3:24 Both Keck and Gemini's laser in use.

16) 3:36 View of Subaru, Keck, and IRTF from left to right, looking to the west. The diffuse white band in the sky is the Milky Way. The glow of Honolulu's lights 400 miles away are visible on the horizon, between Keck and Subaru. The mountain of Haleakala on Maui is visible on the right. The Andromeda Galaxy is visible as a prominent smudge at the center top around 1:45. The slow-moving light on the bottom right is most likely a ship.

17) 3:52 the Milky Way setting behind Waikiki, as seen in the infrared.

18) 4:11 An electrical storm passes through Honolulu.

19) 4:15 A pure infrared view of Honolulu and the Moon setting over the ocean.

20) 4:22 A visible + infrared shot of Orion rising behind clouds over Manoa Valley during the Orionids.

21) 4:38 HNL at night, with the reef runway on the left. Two rainstorms are also visible at different times.

22) 5:13 Diamond Head during sunrise, with the belt of Venus at the end.

23) 5:30 Sunrise view looking towards Koko Crater (left) and Koko head (right), with H1 on the left.

24) 5:55 The full moon setting over Waikiki just as the sun rises.

Kaena Point West

July 20th, 2013

Kaena Point West

This past weekend one of my fiance's friends from her undergraduate days visited us on O'ahu, after completing a 6 month internship on the Big Island. So we did the usual tour of O'ahu, showing her most of the west side of the island including Ko Olina, Makaha, and Kaena Point. We watched the sunset at Kaena Point along with a few of my photographer friends, so we naturally took plenty of photos. The sunset wasn't the most spectacular, but I've been wanting to photograph more seascapes lately after finishing my latest time lapse movie (stay tuned for that post). There are just endless varieties of seascapes one can take, and each one is never the same. Below is one of my photos from that day, which I'm thinking of calling "Into the Deep." I happened to catch a particularly large wave as it washed upon some rocks near Kaena Point, which is at the northwestern tip of O'ahu. I took a lot of variations of the same scene, but this one was my favorite. By this point the sun had already set and there was still a nice warm glow from the horizon. This is a nice color contrast to the azure blue color of the sea. The rocks on the lower right side looks like it is being swallowed by the wave, hence the name.