Catched a Dragon last night, flying in the skies above until fading into the darkness of the night, aka Earth shadow. Was on it's way to the ISS. Crew Dragon first manned flight from America since about 9 years in May 2020.
Is it a plane? Is it a bird? Or maybe it is a rocket in the sky? No! It is superm...
Okay, okay, it's a plane. Many of them, actually. And over the course of a few hours.
Shot from the inside of my small camper van, parking next to the lake in the middle of the south island of New Zealand.
Lake Tekapo is known for low light pollution and a very clear sky, which makes it a good place for star observation.
It is also known for a special cyan-blueish color of it's water. It is caused by tiny particles of rock, which were ground off the mountain by the glaciers that feed the lake.
In 1965, the Newzealanders took advantage of the crisp clear sky and built a huge observatory right on top of the hill next to Lake Tekapo, which was later named Mt John University Observatory.
Time is something very strange. In this short video, I added a little magic to it, to underline this property, the strangeness of time.
Also, I guess, noone would question, that time surely flies nowadays. And in these modern times, it even seems to constantly accelerate.
The feeled time that is. What kind of actual reality hides behind our concept of time, nobody really knows. Time is a strange thing, indeed.
If in a hurry, watch second 7 to 10.
Otherwise, imagin walking uphill on unknown terrain in the early morning hours, even before sunrise. In complete darkness. Everything around you is pitch black.
No civilisation, no human beeing around for at least six hours of hiking. Exept for a couple of other adventurers in the wood hut, that you left behind about an hour ago, in the darkness and the silence of the approaching morning.
On the track, you hear not much more than your own breath and your steps on the rough terrain. Occationally, the sound of some small stones, rolling downhill. Your ears follow them untill they suddenly stop, when finding a new place to settle down.
You yourself, you're heading for the summit. The very peak of this mountain, that still is covered in the cold, and seemingly infinite, blackness around you.
The only light you have is a narrow beem, shining down from your headlamp. You roughly see the next few steps of the small path. But still, the direction is clear. You're going uphill, walking, climbing, crawling even at times. The path is partly steep and very rocky.
Though, no vegetation is getting in your way. It's too far up for most flora. You left behind the timber line yesterday, shortly before you spotted your hut for the night, emerging from the mist.
You overcome all the stones, the mountain throws at you. Depris, boulders, spiky rocks. Nothing will stop you. Only thing you fear is time. You need to reach the summit before the sun does.
And you do. You're on top of the mountain. The very top! You turn east and stare in the distance, dimly lit by the first signs of dawn. Sun hasn't risen yet. You even have a view minutes to set up your camera and plan the framing of your timelapse.
But this is only one part of why you came here. You step back and wait for the sun to rise behind the far away mountain range. You're calm now, you're here. You're focused on the moment. This is why you came here first and foremost. You came to experience this unique moment, with everything there is.
While you wait, it's slowly getting cold. The wind is whipping up here, sweeping over the mountain range. It's freezing and harsh. You put on your extra layer of gloves and scarfs, cover your head and face with scarf and hood, and seek shelter in the splitstream of a large boulder. Without the rough wind, you get fairly comfortable again, while you hear the wind whistling over the rocks.
The sun is about to rise and you start your timelapse. Only then you realize those swirling clouds below you in the valley, as well as those above. You're in a blank layer in between the clouds. This is going to be great. Maybe short, but great!
As soon as the first rays of the arising sun reach you, you can feel the warmth on your face, and after a few minutes even through your clothes. It also tints your surrounding into a warm and cosy orange with a touch of rose. You're facinated by the scenery, which is both, harsh and lovely. In equal shares.
Just before the sun makes a move to hide again behind the top layer of clouds, it illuminates the bottom layer with the warm and golden shine of a vibrant sunrise, to reveal the beautiful patterns and the movement of those wind-driven patches of fog in the skies below.
That was the moment you were waiting for, without knowing it. Of course, the time before and after is closely connected and inherent to this moment, but this marked the climax, the actuall peak of this journey.
Slowly you begin to pack up and get ready for the way down. The path you came up is now a good deal more noticeable and less weary. You can now see all the rocky, sharp bits, lurking in the ground. The boulders, the gravel, the stony path. All those things that you mainly only felt and heared on your way up, are now visible at a distance in advance.
The journey isn't over, but it got easier. And certainly, for your way back to civilisation, you can look forward to many more impressions of the beauty, the diversity, and the sheer mightiness of nature.
This wind mill is one of four on the Rosskopf mountain top in the Black Forest, near the city of Freiburg. I figured out, where I had to go, as well as at what time of the year, to have the sun rising roughly behind the wind mills.
Armed with a 700 mm telescope, a sun filter and my faithful camera, I went there just before sunrise.
To position one of the wind mills precisely in front of the sun, I had to be very fast and mobile on a range of a few meters and in the time frame of a couple of minutes.
Therefore I didn't bring the bulky stand of the telescope. Instead I shot this series of pictures more or less freehand. Which makes it especially hard to find the sun in the sky, with the sun filter mounted. (Which you wanna have mounted, no matter what, when your eye or the camera is behind a telescope that is pointing at the sun..)
If you look closely, you can even see some sun spots on the right side of the solar disc.
A powerfull wind was pushing those clouds like mad. The steam is literally exploding and expanding vastly into the sky above, before it is wiped away by the strong winds. Soon the clouds were blocking the sky completely with very little sunlight coming throug.
This is realtime. You might not believe it, but it's true. They are ridiculously fast.
I was feeding them a tiny little something, a leftover from breakfast. And they were struggeling to bunker it away in their anthill. There is more unedited footage to come - somewhen..