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The subjects of the first site will be an young oak tree, along side a fallen and decaying oak.
This is a very common subject among the rolling hills of Southern California. Contacts have been made with the owners of large tracts of such landscape that have very little financial value. As such, they are likely to remain undeveloped for the 30 year period needed to produce a compelling sequence for such an image.

Other rapid development sites should include a calving glacier, coastal cliff erosion and beach deposition, a forest ecology cycle, volcanoes, calcite deposition in a cavern and river valley evolution. Catastrophic events like forest fires, landslides and floods will provide excellent sites where rapid changes occur as conditions return to more perdurable states.

In addition, urban sites of construction and demolition should be included. The use of very long exposure times to blur motion and record only what has become static is an interesting variation for man made sites which may include many elements in motion. Rather than the jumpy, flash in and out look these elements would present with a standard shutter speed and intervalometer, such multi-minute exposers would surround static objects with halos of activity.

Obviously to mount the camera, one needs a very stable site; that, to have an interesting sequence of images, must face a suitably unstable site. Finding sites with this combination of qualities seems one of most crucial challenges of such a project. Examples might be Anacapa Island, where a capture unit could be placed on the main island, and look towards the eastern end, which is eroding very quickly. Another would be a site looking at a glacier entering the opposite side of a fiord in Alaska or the Baltic.

Other sites which will only develop compelling image sequences over very long time scales, will of course be the most interesting and difficult to capture. Any site is subject to some geologic activity, so the deferential between the subject site and the mounting site must be carefully assessed. Image manipulation can compensate for some motion of the capture site. In fact such technology can also be used to combine historic images of a particular site that may not have been taken from precisely same position, and manipulate and morph them together to develop an after the fact time lapse sequence. These movies may be used to augment footage we acquire, or simply included as an alternate technique.

Accessibility is also a factor vis a vis preventing vandalism, recovering the data periodically and equipment maintenance. The need to physically visit the sites will put a severe burden on the human infrastructure, but also provides a somatic connection to the project that seems inspiring. I would thoroughly enjoy a ritual of climbing the cliffs of Anacapa Island once a year to tweak the system. Of course, the availability of wireless links, such as cell phone networks and satellite downloads of the data would preclude physical data recovery and be possible in even the remotest sites, given the funding.


copyright (c) 2004 Proud Ape Productions
Images courtesy NASA and NOAA
email: Nesdon Booth
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