Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Untouched - A Time-lapse Film

From Shreenivasan Manievannan Plus  
"The Untouched” - A Time-lapse Film" is a self-project I have been working on, for the past two years across different National and State parks in the United States. The main vision of the video is to showcase the untouched beauty of National/State Parks across USA and to make awareness about conserving natural resources of our planet including the ever dipping dark skies. The time-lapse trip started with my travel to Crater Lake in Oregon when I first captured the majestic beauty of night sky over the astonishing landscape of the volcanic lake. 

So, as I kept learning the art of time-lapse, i use to start traveling to remote locations to capture specific scenes based on calculating weather conditions and astronomical alignments to the landscape. I wanted to capture exclusive alignments, cloud movements and reflections for which there was endless planning that went on my mind keeping track of wind conditions, cloud cover, storm movement, and seasonal alignment changes of astronomical elements such as Sun, Moon, Milky Way galaxy etc.

Moreover, as the expedition progressed and I started to sense and observe the effect of climate change though trying to capture these lovely places, i.e., Mono Lake, Yosemite, Crater Lake, Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier were facing substantial to severe drought conditions and was able to sense the change of water level in their water bodies such as rivers, water falls, and lakes as I tried to get back to similar locations to depict diverse seasons and light conditions over the past two years. 

The weather conditions changes were evident as well with the dropping of moisture and coastal fog cycle in the Pacific which were quite imperative for an ecological balance for coastal vegetation like redwoods that exists. The winter precipitation became a dream with very little snow fall over the sierras and volcanic peaks of Pacific Northwest. 

The winter Alaskan adventure turned out to be a memorable trip with moderate winter temperatures and rare weather patterns thru the state. The summer became hotter with rise in temperatures close to unimaginable levels in most part of the country I was traveling in. Mountain glaciers were starting become a thing of the past with many of the glaciers melting fast with the high heat and not much of winter precipitation to maintain the level. The tidal patterns scared as the high tides got the water closer to the shore and even caused coastal flooding during storms. 

The rare extreme weather outbreaks were pretty frequent due to the climatic changes happening throughout the country, though it provided some amazing light for me to capture it clearly highlighted the climate change we are going through. Henceforth, I clearly found a much robust objective to attain for my film that I get on in the beginning to mollify my passion for photography. I got even more enthused to travel across diverse parts of the country to showcase the majestic beauty of the nature which we are blessed with and make awareness to conserve them for the best of our future.

Therefore the other main issue I faced was to capture the landscape in the night. I had to travel long distances to see the stars shine bright. Because the light pollution seemed to be so bad even in places which were not big metropolitan cities. The light pollution may not look as a big problem from the outside but it has been proved that the extreme light thrown out creates health issues to human beings. 

Scientific evidence proposes that artificial light at night has negative and fatal effects on various creatures including amphibians, birds, mammals, insects and plants which depend on natural day light and star light for their activities. Moreover, too much usage of light in the night just upsurges the usage of energy there by increases the demand and shortage for power. Hence, as per International Dark Sky Association (IDA): We do require some light at night, but much of it is wasted by lights that are overly bright or left on when not required. 

Thus unshielded fixtures waste the most energy. Their lights shine upward instead of down on the ground where it's needed. In fact, IDA estimates that that up to 50 % of all outdoor light is wasted. That adds up to $3.3 billion and the release of 21 million tons of CO2 per year! Moreover to offset all that CO2, we would have to plan 875 million trees annually”. Hence I ventured out to capture the beauty of the night sky to spread the word to the masses to show what the city dwellers like me have been missing. 

According to my vision of the video, I simply wanted to show case the beauty of nature and convey that we can’t reverse time in real to travel back in time to bring back all that we destroyed by mistake. We need to conserve and combat the changes for the best of our future. I’m very hopefully that you’ll like my short presentation of the time-lapse sequences that I captured over a period of time. 

The Untouched - A Time-lapse Film from Shreenivasan Manievannan on Vimeo.