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In it for the long haul

With so much going on at the moment, it's pretty hard planning anything in these turbulent times, so it's with some relief and trepidation that a project I started early last year has recently reached it's conclusion. I have been involved with the mechanical design and construction work of a new independent fuel terminal in Timaru, down here in the South Island of New Zealand. Now, regardless of what you think of the aesthetic and environmental impact of these industrial sites, they are currently an essential part of our lives, supplying the fuel for our cars and aeroplanes which (right now) we're suddenly finding ourselves adapting to not being able to use as much!

As part of the project, and because this is a brown-field site (i.e. not an operating fuel terminal), I've had a DSLR mounted atop a 9m pole, right next to the site offices, capturing images throughout the process - one image every 15 minutes, for the last 15 months.

The camera view was defined primarily by safe locations for mounting and available power supplies, which made for some challenging processing, shooting into the sun and dealing with the associated shadows, highlighted dust on the lens and the occasional persistent bug-on-the-windscreen, which have all contributed the the learning experience!

And now I have the 24,179 raw files (we turned the camera off at night, for those of you who crunch the numbers!) cropped, edited and sequenced together into a single video.

The sequence was shot and edited using a combination of MagicLantern, LRTimelapse, Adobe Photoshop CC, Lightroom and Premiere to trim out the occasional rainstorm, smooth out the differing exposures, deflicker each sequence and then cull the random periods where work wasn't happening in sight of the camera!

Fog, anyone?

Roughly once a month I would check out the camera, download images and clean the glass. Then, trying really hard to not drop the memory card and crossing my fingers that I *had* downloaded everything, I'd reformat the card, cross my fingers that I hadn't bumped the focus ring, knocked the camera, or perhaps forgotten to turn it back on again...close the box and walk away again.

Arty, but perhaps not quite as-intended!

I'm incredibly grateful to the guys on site for their assistance in installing the camera, and ferrying me up and down to it in the EWP or mancage each month

Finally, I have an edited video of the whole process - it's been a surprisingly rewarding challenge and the end result? Well, for all that work... it's done in a minute and a half... Enjoy!

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