burgruine thaur and romediuskirche from above [aerial view]

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growing up with a ubiquity of historic buildings and castles nearby, i never really felt that they were that special. that is, until friends from around the world asked about them and were very excited to see them up close.

i recently took a dji phantom for a flight around the nearby castle ruins in thaur, which date back to the late 12th century. as it turns out, the ruins had quite a vivid history comprising nobility, illegitimate children, the church, and lots of plight. the aerial view is especially interesting when compared to the below etching from 1699 on wikipedia.

castle ruins from above - burgruine thaur, austria

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[category: photo] [tags: , ]

squirting cucumbers in action [slow motion video]

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not too long ago, we came across a small patch of squirting cucumbers (ecballium elaterium) in spain, and wanted to see their rather spectacular mode of seed propagation in action:

using hygroballochory, the species can expel its seeds into distances of up to 12 meters.

footage was recorded with a gopro hero 3 black at 120 fps, 720p. clips are in real-time, 4x slow motion, and (last sequence) 8x slow motion (i.e.15 fps), respectively.

[category: general] [tags: , , , ]

panorama: sunset over rum, tirol

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earlier today: dusk is slowly creeping in over my home town, as the sun descends behind the northern range.

sunset over rum, tirol

aerial panorama recorded with a dji phantom 2 vision+.

[category: photo] [tags: , , ]

japanese maple [HDR photo]

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japanese maple (acer palmatum) leaves in the trauttmannsdorff castle gardens (merano, italy).

japanese maple (acer palmatum) leaves in the trauttmannsdorff castle gardens, hdr photo

[category: random photos] [tags: , ]

how to remove dark frames from a time lapse video [brinno tlc200 pro]

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4. drag&drop the removedarkness.avs into virtualdub and hit "play" to get a live preview. the video may stutter at this point, but your exported video will play fluently. the problem: i have a long-term time lapse videos that contains not just daylight footage, but also very dark footage captured during night. the camera used – the brinno tlc200 pro – actually has a setting to stop recording at night, but this only takes effect after several dark frames, resulting in a video that lacks fluency.
manual removal of these night frames is only an option for videos covering a few days, but not for long-term footage.

there is a way, however, to drop night frames automatically using free, open-source software. here’s how: [more...]

is armadillo fabric really mosquito proof?

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for the past few months, i’ve been wearing meru zip-off pants when outdoors and/or traveling. the manufacturer promises that the fabric used, called armadillo (65% polyester, 35% cotton), is “virtually mosquito proof” and i’ve been wondering how much this promise really holds in the wild.
on a recent field trip to what can only be described as “mosquito land”, i noticed that many mozzies were actually trying to bite through the pants, but eventually gave up. here’s a short video that shows one of these mosquitos trying to get through the fabric, and failing miserably:

isn’t it fascinating how bendy these probosces are?

is armadillo fabric really mosquito proof? (mosquito head and proboscis outlined in red) is armadillo fabric really mosquito proof? (mosquito head and proboscis outlined in red)
[categories: travel, video] [tags: ]

absam forest fire: three weeks later [photos]

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in mid-march, the hochmahdkopf forest fire claimed a total of 120 hectares of protective forest and turned into the biggest forest fire in tyrol’s history. restauration measures are expected to take about 15 years.
about three weeks after the fire, i did a short hike to check out the latschenegg site, and it looked like nature was beginning to reclaim the charred area:

absam forest fire: charred landscape at latschenegg absam forest fire: charred landscape at latscheneggabsam forest fire: fresh grass is sprouting at latschenegg

below are two interactive lytro pictures that capture the story:


(lytro living picture: click to refocus, click&drag for perspective shift)
(view on lytro.com

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[categories: living pictures, nature] [tags: , ]