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More Fireflies ...

More Fireflies ...

We're still chasing fireflies. I can certainly admit that it is one of the great joys of summer for me. Since one of my other great joys is photography I've been having a blast capturing these interesting little critters.

After a few adjustments to the settings last evening I set my camera on time-lapse mode and walked away. I wanted to capture a number of images so I could stack them together, have a short time-lapse clip, and just generally be able to play around with them a bit. I enjoy experimenting with turning photos into videos in different ways. The result is the composition video and images below. Enjoy!

 

Photos:

1300 - Fireflies and house on hillside

This next one I took a step further and edited with Topaz Impressions by Topaz Labs. It's a really cool stand-alone program and photoshop plugin that makes your photos look like paintings. Sound Interesting? Check out the link below the photo and try out the free demo!

1300 - Firelfies Impressions Version
 
 

Safe Harbor Dam

Safe Harbor Dam

Last week we had a bit of a warm snap and we very excited to get out of the house and explore a little. Once of the places we visited was the safe harbor dam. I had a very particular photo I was after that day. Too soon for details, but we'll just say it had to do with the Conestoga River Inlet to the Susquehanna River. Fun stuff coming up this summer!!

That's where you'll find the Safe Harbor Dam, sitting just above the inlet in Conestoga, PA. The massive gravity dam and hydroelectric power station is one of three concrete gravity dams along the Lower Susquehanna River from the Great Depression-era. It's 75ft tall, and 4,869 feet long, and at the time of our visit the river flow was 66,000 cubic feet per second!

Brookfield Renewables purchased the dam a few years ago, but continue to allow public access for fishing out on the bridge. A sign on the property directs inquiries to pa@brookfieldrenewable.com. Here's a snapshot of their rules:

Safe Harbor Visitor Rules posted on the staircase to the point at the Conestoga River Inlet.


360 Video:

Come take a walk with me on the stoplog bridge! I had my Kodak SP3604ks with me to capture the Public Fishing area in 360! Have a look around:

Flat Video:


Photos:

Safe Harbor Dam viewed from the point where the waters of the Conestoga River join the Susquehanna River.

That massive trestle stretching over the Conestoga River will one day in the next few years connect the Manor Township section of the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail with the southern portion of the trail that stretches all the way to Atglen. As you can see, the point where the Conestoga River meets the Susquehanna is popular for fishing. The shore of the point can be access via a staircase below the visitor parking area.

Skyline Drive 360 - Reading, PA

Skyline Drive 360 - Reading, PA

The first blog post of the year and it isn't even going to be about Lancaster. We rang in the new year with some sick days here at home, so we haven't been getting out much yet. Anxious to get out, but also needing to avoid the cold, we took a little drive up to Reading, Pa so I could capture a 360 video of the infamous Skyline Drive.

Since getting my SP360 setup back in December I've been looking for unique spots for 360 experiments. 360 Video definitely has a bit of a learning  curve, BUT I like to share what I capture as I continue to learn. I've been converting a lot of the videos to tiny planets and such for Instagram. Be sure to follow along over there to see what I'm up to!

 

I find Skyline Drive to be very interesting. We make it up to the area quite a bit throughout the year. In this video I drive down from North to South passing the William Penn Memorial Firetower, a few Overlook pull-offs, and of course the Reading Pagoda. While some of the stonework and other features are in need of repair there is lots to explore and discover, and tons of photo opportunities. Just check out the slideshow below from my Skyline Drive Gallery on http://dochterdigitalmedia.com.

Photo Gallery


Videos

The first video is the 360 driving footage from the north side of Mount Penn. After turning onto Skyline Drive from McKnights Gap Rd I pulled over quickly to turn on the camera. So I began recording at the Northernmost edge of the Park property and filmed until just after passing the Reading Pagoda.


The second video is shorter than the first and flattened. While trimming for Instagram I selected some of the highlight portions of the drive and controlled the perspective using Insta360 Studio.  While I enjoy 360 and using VR headsets three is still much to learn on my end and many advances to come in the technology. I think flattening the 360 footage using Insta360 Studio is a great way to utilize the advantages of 360 video in a format most people use to consume their content (i.e. not looking around frantically with a giant thing strapped to your face). I hope you've been enjoying these short 360 clips. Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what you think.


For more details on what is available to do on Skyline Drive, as well as information about the Reading Pagoda, The William Penn Memorial Firetower, events, and more simply visit http://www.pagodaskyline.org/

Best of 2016

Best of 2016

For the past couple of days I've been working on a "Best of 2016" Collection of my photos. That was a hard dig through the trove, but I've come up with a collection I'm pretty happy with.

Since I had so many video clips from my GoPro and the new Pixpro SP360, I thought I would make a little compilation video. No words, just music, video clips, and photos. You know how I like them. It was kind of hard to fit all the ones I wanted in there (guess what? I had to cut a few I DIDN'T want to). Be sure to check it out! I hope you have as much fun watching it as I had making it.

BEST OF 2016 VIDEO

BEST OF 2016 PHOTOS

Fall Foliage Spots

Fall Foliage Spots

While the foliage was a little late to start changing, it has been absolutely beautiful this year.  The calm days have also meant a lot of the leaves have stayed in the trees longer. 

I personally expect some change this weekend. With rain, cooler temps, and wind in the forecast it's going to put a lot more leaves on the ground. It's also going to bring out some rapid color change in the remaining green.

Here are a few views we encountered over the last week.

 

Homestead remnants at the Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve.    

Homestead remnants at the Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve. 

 

Zip lining at Mast Farm Corn Maze in Morgantown, Pa. Love the valley views in this area.

Zip lining at Mast Farm Corn Maze in Morgantown, Pa. Love the valley views in this area.

Fall foliage at the Octoraro Reservoir. 

Fall foliage at the Octoraro Reservoir. 

A kayaker with a furry friend taking in the view of the foliage at Speedwell Forge Lake. 

A kayaker with a furry friend taking in the view of the foliage at Speedwell Forge Lake. 

 

NEW MAP

I've started a new map to highlight some of the best foliage around the area. Be sure to save it as a favorite in Google Maps. Then you can take it with you on the go.

 

I'm in search of a few ambitious explorers to contribute their perspective. If you would like to help contribute to our maps, hit the button below to sign up.