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I was lucky enough to spend  two weeks on La Palma in the Canary Islands this August with my family. Whilst we were unlucky with the weather in the first week (it rained, was cloudy and the air was very dusty blowing across from the Sahara) the second week was much better with some stunning skies and views to be seen.

My original plans for various time-lapses was thrown out of sync (not entirely unusual for any UK based astronomer) and I ended up with just 4-5 nights to capture what really needed about 8-9. Whilst there's a lot I couldn't do, I was able to get a fair amount including two nights up in the vicinity of the Observatories on the Roque de Los Muchachos.


Some of La Palma's most striking views involve clouds - the Caldera de Taburiente (a stunning sight from wherever you look) regularly fills up with clouds looking like a bubbling cauldron and sometimes clouds cascade over the Cumbre Nueva - a mountain ridge across the middle of the island. This ridge often holds back those clouds - it's not unusual to drive from the sunny west side through a tunnel onto the east side where it's cloudy, raining and much cooler. I was able to capture a quick time-lapse of clouds cascading over the Cumber Nueva from the Mirador El Time whilst enjoying a coffee at the cafe there. It doesn't get much better than that!!


The earlier time-lapses were captured in the vicinity of the villa we stayed in, El Sitio in Fagundo, Puntagorda. Some of the later ones were captured at the 'Hacienda La Palma' from about 4500ft (1370m) altitude and some from in or around the Roque de Los Muchachos. The skies at Hacienda La Palma and up at the Roque were stunning with virtually no light pollution. Even lower areas had skies far better than usually seen in the UK. Phenomenon such as the Zodiacal light (where dust particles along the plane of the ecliptic are illuminated) were very obvious and whereas in the UK the predominant colour I have to process out of images taken is orange from light pollution, in La Palma the skies' natural green glow was very obvious in my images. That said, La Palma is a cloudy island - most of the clear nights in my second week there were due to my being at higher altitude. It was a common sight to see overcast skies hundred of metres below but not a cloud above.


This video is a compilation of some of the time-lapses I did get. I made plenty of mistakes on these time-lapses, not least I should perhaps have gone when there was more moonlight to light up the ground a bit, a little different from the approach to astroimaging we're more used to.. all the more reason to go back and try them again of course  :grin: 


Hope you enjoy.. don't forget to make sure the HD button is on when watching and turn the sound up, or down depending on preference  :cool: 


Kate and the kids are visible in a couple of spots, I deliberately left them in - but I removed the selfie taken at the top of the Roque de Los Muchachos just after sunrise one morning as I looked about 90!!! Four sleepless nights hadn't done me any favours!

 

Equipment: I used a Canon 6D, modded Canon 650D, 24-105mm Sigma lens, 14mm f/2.8 Samyang Lens and a 8mm Samyang Fisheye. Tracking and panning were done using a Vixen Polarie with a time-lapse adaptor.

 

https://vimeo.com/139641078

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That's really nice James, the video & the write up above, thanks.

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Lovely report and stunning video. I am going to Tenerife in January and I hope the weather obliges and I get some of these fabulous views. Thanks very much for posting.

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I am going to Tenerife in January and I hope the weather obliges and I get some of these fabulous views.

Hope you have a good time and fingers crossed the weather co-operates. James' tip on the weather on the two sides of the island could be useful.

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What a super video. Those clouds during the day look like a waterfall. How interesting :)

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Hope you have a good time and fingers crossed the weather co-operates. James' tip on the weather on the two sides of the island could be useful.

He's going to Tenerife, I was on La Palma :) That said some of the same 'rules' may apply. Just try and get some altitude and bring lots of warm clothes, the temperature can drop off fast up there...

Hope the skies cooperate laudropb :)

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Fantastic James. That cloud looking like a massive breaking wave was quite scary.

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Excellent James, watched it twice, will watch it again later.

Did you zoom the lens while imaging or in video editing ?

Dave

Edited by Davey-T

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Fabulous work.  Very professional finish.  I agree the cloud movements are very interesting to watch time lapsed, particularly the ones on the top of the mountain where they are waves breaking against the rocks.

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Thank you all for the kind comments :)

Excellent James, watched it twice, will watch it again later.

Did you zoom the lens while imaging or in video editing ?

Dave

Dave, it did it in editing (I used Panolapse). I need more practice with zooming whilst doing a timelapse as when I tried it manually it went just a little bit wrong :)

James

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The panning night time time lapse shots are just amazing!!! As good as anything the BBC have done.

Thanks for making this!

PeterW

PS music ain't bad either!

Edited by PeterW

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Thank you Peter - the panning was done with a Vixen Polarie with a 'Timelapse' adaptor.. in that respect they were easy to set up and leave the camera capturing whilst the Polarie rotated it.

I'm grateful for everyone's nice comments but if you liked my timelapse then have a look at what the real experts are doing - there's a stunner by Christophe Malin on Vimeo, Island in the Sky it's called. Babak Tafreshi has also done some fantastic timelapses in La Palma (and other places) :)

James

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Excellent, a lot of hard work has gone into producing that, well done. Not so keen on the clouds though, hope they keep them down there. :smiley:

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sorry for the late response. love it !!

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Thank you Peter - the panning was done with a Vixen Polarie with a 'Timelapse' adaptor.. in that respect they were easy to set up and leave the camera capturing whilst the Polarie rotated it.

I'm grateful for everyone's nice comments but if you liked my timelapse then have a look at what the real experts are doing - there's a stunner by Christophe Malin on Vimeo, Island in the Sky it's called. Babak Tafreshi has also done some fantastic timelapses in La Palma (and other places) :)

James

I think you are doing yourself a disservice, your timelapse is equally as good as those.

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