light fantastic ... "I Come Again"

Loaded 26 March 2012.

light fantastic - a celebration of the electromagnetic spectrum from 390 nanometres to 750 nanometres

This fun video series celebrates all things stunningly beautiful in light - telling a story where possible.

And this tale inspired by TED logo David Christian's "Big History" .  project fits the ticket perfectly ...

  • stunning images (albeit a bit low res - I must get a better camera)
  • stunning music
  • and a story of such magnitude it almost defies the telling.

So I hope you like this second "Light Fantastic" - "I Come Again". Other stories are in the ether but ...

Serendipity always

This clip started out life as a supplement or replacement for the images behind LIGHT FANTASTIC #1  "Thus spake CubbyHouse - Sunrise and dawn in the Capertee Valley NSW" choreographed to the first few minutes of Wikipedia logo Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathrustra" . I had even done the time calls to set it to that music. But it languished and other things consumed me. Then in January, "STORIES in STONE" were born and casting around for other music to be the base for another Story in Stone, Wikipedia logo Handel's Coronation Anthem "Zadok the Priest" . came onto my radar.

The rhythm of this music is very similar to "Also Sprach" ... a long relatively gentle lead up gaining momentum then exploding in a spectacular crescendo. And so it is probably little wonder that while I slept, the muses dragged a now 2-year old piece of footage out of the vault and demanded it be embellished.

And in keeping with "Stories in Stone", the awesome view of the brilliant light first peeking over and through the clouds then engulfing them demanded some context, leading to the "Big History" type exposition.

Behind the scenes

Nothing new here. Indeed the old video camera is really showing its limitations. My next toy will have to be an HD video cam.

The actual sunrise is a mix of normal speed for the first third, then +30%, then +100%. It is matched to music slowed 10% from the original tempo.

There was a massive mismatch for the approach to sunrise. The zoom-in is just 8 seconds long then there is 7 seconds static, with gently moving clouds, before first contact. The matching music is nearly seventy seconds long. Eeeek! It is not perfect, but slowing the zoom to 10%, ie 2-and-a-half frames per second and hence the "jumpy" inch-in, coupled with the music tempo increased nearly 18% gave a result where the music beat and the frame inching are nearly aligned. A digital zoom-in after the original footage zoom ends, and which extends until after first contact, completes the illusion of filming a stately approach to a sun disk substantially filling the frame.

Classical music purists will be horrified at the sound track. Just minutes of a six minute work with the tempos butchered - first 18% faster, then 10% slower, then normal. But I figure if this music is going to inspire anyone, it will be those who do not yet know it, and they can discover youtube logo the whole work at a normal (slow here) tempo with lyrics  at their leisure. My non-classical aural tester gave it the tumbs up, other than she could not make out the words being sung. And I could not do that myself until I saw a libretto!

Technical snippets

Nothing substantive for this project thank goodness. Tinkering with tempos so as to better marry the footage to the music's rhythm has taught me how narrow the band of potential variation is before the music sounds absurd or aural artefacts are all too evident.


Evans Lookout is part of the UNESCO UNESCO logo Greater Blue Mountains Area World Heritage Site.

BTW, I love that line "8 minutes flight time". Now just have to find some sensible use for it.

And here is ABC logo an interesting article on the sun  - that may contradict some specific statistics used in the video.

Click into Gallery LF-2 to see the BIG HISTORY text and detail used in the video in a new tab.