Prescribed Fire Time-lapse Assignment

Time-lapse camera in Moody Forest.

Time-lapse camera in Moody Forest.

Time-lapse camera in Moody Forest.

Time-lapse camera in Moody Forest.

What a crazy assignment covering a prescribed fire for The Nature Conservancy.  Moody Forest Natural Area is managed by TNC and Georgia DNR and covers over 4,000 acres of mixed hardwood, Longleaf pine forest and tupelo swamps along the Altamaha River near Baxley, Georgia.

Annual prescribed fire is one management technique that The Nature Conservancy uses to protect endangered wildlife and a rare old growth forest. Spring is the opportune time to burn much of the non-native undergrowth in the Longleaf Pine forest.

Much preparation went into pulling off a long term time-lapse video assignment of forest regrowth after a prescribed burn. To achieve my three month objective, I had to build a camera housing and create a visual script of before, during and after the fire. Challenges were met each day; software limitations, hardware problems, battery issues all while working long days in the field.

Equipment used were 3 Nikon D7000 DSLR cameras, a Wingscape 8mp camera, several Nikkor lenses, two tripods and a custom pelican case housing. All the equipment survived direct fire and only the custom hood melted. The design and construction phases of the housing were entertaining however the transportation and installation not as fun.

A total of 275 GB of media was captured including RAW time-lapse and still images plus HD video for the project. The editor and I are pleased with the initial results of 40 images, 2-minutes of HD time-lapse and RAW video footage documenting the burn. Many thanks go out to Chuck Martin, Erick Brown and their fire crew for keeping me safe and providing an incredible opportunity to document fire in a positive form. Stay tuned for the final video!

Time-lapse camera during a prescribed fire in Moody Forest.

Time-lapse camera during a prescribed fire in Moody Forest.

Chuck Martin of The Nature Conservancy, Georgia.

Chuck Martin of The Nature Conservancy, Georgia.

Time-lapse camera during a prescribed fire in Moody Forest.

Time-lapse camera during a prescribed fire in Moody Forest.

Melted time-lapse camera after a prescribed burn.

Melted time-lapse camera after a prescribed fire.

Full moon frame grab from the time-lapse tree camera.

Full moon frame grab from the time-lapse tree camera after the prescribed fire.

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Categories: Adventure, Natural World, Photography Techniques, The Nature Conservancy, Time-lapse Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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