Time lapse: Finding Oregon

By Phil Plait | November 30, 2011 7:07 am

Oregon is famous for rainy weather, but that’s a tad unfair. Summers are clear, and if you head inland a ways the weather can be highly conducive for clear skies fairly often.

Oregon’s landscape is dramatic, too, and makes for a fine foreground if, say, you want to spend half a year compiling images to make a lovely time lapse video. Much like this one:

Did you see those weird and vaguely menacing clouds about 40 seconds in? Wow.

This video was made by Ben Canales, John Waller, Steve Engman, and Blake Johnson of Uncage the Soul Productions. I follow Ben on Google+, as I do a lot of other photographers — it makes my day a lot better to see amazing and beautiful pictures go by in the stream.

One of my favorite things to do while watching these time lapse videos of the night sky is to try to recognize constellations and individual stars. Orion is easy enough, but did you see Vega, Lyra, Delphinus, the Andromeda Galaxy? And did you notice how squashed the Sun looked as it rose, due to our atmosphere bending its light ?

I’ve only spent a short time in Oregon, but one day of that included Crater Lake, which was a place of profound and surpassing beauty. After watching this video, it makes me want to go back.

Tip o’ the lens cap to Ben Canales on Google+.

Related posts:

Time lapse: Crater Lake
Time lapse: IRIDIUM
Well, at least light pollution makes for a pretty time lapse
The stars above, the luminescence below
The lines in the sky are stars
Trailing the sky

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Pretty pictures

Comments (30)

  1. Daniel J. Andrews

    Beautiful, and quite a varied landscape. Keep an eye open for the huge sunspot on the sun around the 2 minute mark (not that it is hard to miss).

  2. Chris

    Summer’s what are clear?

    Lose that apostrophe.

  3. Ryan

    Typo alert:
    No apostrophe is needed for “Summer’s” in the first paragraph. It’s a plural.

  4. jearley

    Nice- I live and teach here, and it was good to see some familiar places. Winter does get bad- November to June we rarely have good skies in the Rogue Valley, but eastern Oregon is primarily sagebrush desert, and is in the rain shadow of the Cascades- great dark skies.

  5. Mariocj89

    I love time lapses, I don’t know why, but make me feel really relaxed :) Thanks

  6. John Baxter

    I was at Crater Lake briefly in the late 1940s or very early 1950s. The ranger’s discussion at the boat dock (south side) was interrupted by the hand-crank fire phone ringing. That turned out to be a long distance call from Hawaii for one of the visitors who was indeed there.

    Being reached there from Hawaii would not be remarkable today–it indeed was then.

    And, Mariocj89, I fell asleep near the end of the video.

  7. Takesi Akamatsu

    Double rainbow on 2:15 of course. Can’t miss it. :)

  8. st3class

    This is why I love living in Oregon. I spent two summers working at a summer camp near Three-Fingered Jack (that crag at 2:13). The absolute clear and dark skies really reignited by interest in astronomy.

  9. Apologize for being off topic, but I’m unable to find Curiosity’s flight path anywhere on the net. Anmy help out there?

  10. CR

    When I read Phil’s post about the “vaguely menacing” clouds around the :40 mark, I was expecting to see some thunderheads piling up, but what I actually saw–though somewhat unusual in the Midwest where I currently reside–were neat, sinewy clouds that almost looked alive in time lapse. I’d have described them as “beautiful and lively” as opposed to threatening, though. (Not being mean nor antogonistically contrarian, by the way… it’s just interesting how people react differently to the same visual stimulus, no doubt based in part on each individual’s life experiences. I’m always cloud watching, perhaps even more than stargazing in recent years, so maybe that has something to do with my take on it…)

  11. TimK

    Phil, or anyone else, don’t hesitate to visit Oregon. Every corner of the state is different and filled with beauty. Warning: I’m gonna be a tourist shill here for a minute.

    Dive into the lava caves in Central Oregon. Clamber over tide pools and up sand dunes on the Oregon Coast. Spend a day on the side of Mount Hood, in any season, skiing, hiking, or snowshoeing.

    Or just do what I like to: get in the car and get lost. ūüėČ

    Don’t forget to stop at the many breweries, wineries, and distilleries at the end of the day. The drink is superb, and even if you don’t drink the food is great.

    Ben’s video makes me lonesome for home. #OregonnativestuckinSeattle

  12. Daniel J. Andrews

    I’ve only ever been up the Oregon coastal highway so now I’d like to see the eastern side and the sagebrush desert–I really like deserts (I like the coast too, but I explore them often so deserts are a fascinating change). And there’s lava caves?! Cool…those are on my list to see now!

  13. Caitlyn

    Big reason why I don’t want to leave Portland ^_^

  14. Absolutely beautiful, and tempting since I happened to be thinking today of places to travel next year.

    The only thing missing from the video was a link to the Oregon tourism site or the Oregon equivalent of Arnold Schwarzenegger saying “Come to Calyforneeah!” Is there an Oregon equivalent of the Governator?

  15. Murff

    @jearley (5)
    I love it here in the Rogue Valley. Great views everyday I drive home from work. Just wish it would stop growing so fast!

  16. katwagner

    We love Oregon too; we’ve camped at Crater Lake a few times. Have a portrait of our daughter with a banana slug (grin!). And don’t miss the John Day Fossil Beds.

  17. Adam K

    How do they blur the star trails?

  18. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ Adam K. : Not sure but long & multiple exposures are involved I’m guessing. I found that effect quite different, dunno if I’m all that keen on that but it may grow on me.

    Minor nitpick but, personally, I would’ve liked a little more night sky too – this seemed to jump a bit quickly from one thing to the next whereas I’d have liked it to linger on each scene more letting us revel in the scene and stars longer.

    Couldn’t find Messier 31 alas, will have to look again – what time mark did that appear in please? Of course, the Oregon sky is upside down & somewhat unfamiliar to me as a Southern hemispherer! ūüėČ

    Still a great time lapse, BA, I always love these. Thanks. Oh & well done to Ben Canales, John Waller, Steve Engman, and Blake Johnson as well. :-)

  19. Ian

    As an Oregonian, this is amazing. Just wish I could slow the video down a bit and savor each shot for a few lifetimes.

    I’ve pitched my tent right there where that MSR tent is at 2:36 in the video. It’s atop a beautiful rock peninsula on the shore of Mirror Lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Here’s a panorama I took from there. http://www.flickr.com/photos/alpinephotographer/5088773136/

  20. Jerod W

    Born and raised Oregonian and missing the hell out of it nowadays. Oregon is quite diverse and if you have the time you should try to see it all.

  21. Jeffersonian

    That’s Mt Thielsen, not 3-finger Jack.

  22. Rawley

    *looks down* Oh there it is.

    *drinks some oregon beer*

  23. Isaac

    “Oregon is famous for rainy weather, but that‚Äôs a tad unfair. Summers are clear, and if you head inland a ways the weather can be highly conducive for clear skies fairly often.”

    @BA: Hush, you!

    Don’t believe him. It rains here all the time!

    15. Bobco85 Says: “The only thing missing from the video was a link to the Oregon tourism site or the Oregon equivalent of Arnold Schwarzenegger saying ‚ÄúCome to Calyforneeah!‚ÄĚ Is there an Oregon equivalent of the Governator?”

    That would be Governor Tom McCall, famous for saying something like, “Visit Oregon, spend your money, then go home!”

  24. Matt

    Grew Up in Bend. Average elevation 3600 feet. 270 Clear days per year on average. Not a lot of rain ever. If you visit Eastern Oregon, Pine Mountain Observatory is a must see. There are places in East of Bend where there are no lights at all and you can see the most amazing views of the Milky Way. I have often wondered why we get these great pictures from around the world, but none from closer to home.
    The only place that really sees all of that rain that we are famous for is the 60 mile wide strip from the coast to the Cascades.

  25. MKS

    The Wet Coast is truly beautiful and the people from BC down through WA & OR are remarkably similar than they are different.

    This video shows me the power that the ‘net is giving us — we can truly create things that give value to other people, as opposed to ‘just work for work’s sake’.

    The global human spring continues.

  26. reidh

    A clue as to why there are so few astronomers in Oregon. Weird and vaguely menacing crowds. But sirius-ly… The clouds come in and stay for sometimes 30 days at a time, while the sky spits in your face. Once in 2001 it stopped raining and the sun was out everyday for 2 weeks, in February! The “meterologists” declared a drought, and the News anchor was heard to say “..lets get back to those beautiful skies that we all love and miss so much.” Its the opposite Of S.A.D.. One gets so used to the cloud cover that you feel naked without it. From mid Oregon north to Seattle the rock music is all “grunge”, outdoors is a “plunge” , with a locker room’s “scunge”, makes you feel like a “spunge”. Way Up in OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ray gone. I call it the Grate North Waste, In the north there’s P-Land or Poor Land or Pot-Land, just across the ribber from little Van-Cower, the Meth Addict capital in Washington State. The gay and Lesbians there aren’t ‘activists’ they’re Militant. its nutz there, hence the many squirrels.

    Now as I unnerstan squirrels are grey and live on nuts, but I ‘ve seen some with big pink butts, up in the trees way up in Oregon.

    You could step outside to pee and never be seen again, way up in Oregon.

  27. reidh

    Washington state isn’t too much different, as far as weather. one guess why their tallest peak is called “Rainier”, because when the explorers got back to civilization they asked that it be named so because they said “sure its cloudy and overcast alot here, but up there its much rainier.”


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