Ralph Arwood Photography

Everything Else

GoPro Max 360 Fun

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Having the ability to pan the video through a full 360 degrees can make for some unusual views. This is the first time I have watched my nose gear in action.
When working with the Garmin VIRB 360 camera the output, only pans if you tell it too. With the GoPro Max it will sometimes pan on it own with acceleration or turns. The last segment of this video is an example of this. Taxing in to my hangar and turning to park, the camera paned on its own.

GoPro 8 vs GoPro Max Vertical mount

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Always striving for the perfect photograph, my friend Brian suggested that having the cameras mounted vertically might give us a better camera alignment.  The test below was done with that in mind. Unfortunately the wind resistance caused the cameras to vibrate front and back. Because the GoPro Max is further from the center of the mount, it appeared to move much more than the GoPro 8. Given the amount of vibration I observed, the results are amazingly good.

GoPro 8 vs GoPro Max

Sunday, November 24, 2019

In the first video both cameras are set to the highest quality, wide angle, and maximum stabilization.

In this video both cameras are set to the highest quality, linear, and maximum stabilization.

GoPro Max vs Garmin VIRB

Friday, November 22, 2019

This was a test to compare the GoPro Max 360 to the Garmin VIRB 360. Both cameras were in the standard 360 mode. A standard 1K video was then output from the files and compared side by side.

I made two changes to the setup since the earlier test. In the earlier test the cross bar that the cameras were mounted to was made of plastic. It was too flexible and did not hold the cameras stable. This test was done with an aluminum bar that is much more stable. I also changed the vertical RAM mount to the shorter 2 inch bar. While this improved the cameras stability, for best results each camera should be on its own mount.

GoPro 8 vs VIRB 360

Thursday, November 14, 2019

This test campares the GoPro 8 to the Garmin VIRB 360. The mass of the two cameras and the wind resistance they create exceeds the ability of the mount to hold the cameras steady. While taxing  and in flight there was excessive movement of the cameras fore and aft. Since both cameras were subject to the same movement, it is useful to see how they deal with this motion.
The Garmin VIRB software offers two modes of stabilization, vibration reduction and stabilize only. Testing both modes, I could not see a significance between them. The video below is the stabilize only mode.

GoPro 7 vs GoPro 8

Friday, November 1, 2019

The first two videos below are split screen views of the GoPro 7 vs the GoPro 8.  Because of slightly different angle of views between the two cameras and the way they handle the image stabilization, it is not possible to get an exact match in the combined view.

While the new mount built into the GoPro 8 is very handy, it is not as stiff as the GoPro 7 mount. Even with the mount tight, it is still possible for the horizon to shift.

For further comparison, the videos below show the same Splash and Dash on the Caloosahatchee recorded by the GoPro 7, GoPro 8 and the Garmin VIRB 360.

GoPro 7

GoPro 8

Garmin VIRB 360 Front view

Garmin VIRB 360 Back view
The Garmin VIRB 360 records a full 360 degrees. Here is the same video as above, but looking backwards.

The GoPro 8 also has a time lapse mode. The video below is a two hour IFR currency flight condensed into less than four minutes.

Hurricane Irma Part 5

Sunday, September 24, 2017

September 24, 2017
As the mud settles, we keep finding more damage. All the floor boards are warping. The floor is tilting at odd angles and the doors are hard to open. Looking under the house, there is more damage to the foundation.

Hurricane Irma Part 4

Monday, September 18, 2017

More tidal surge damage.

Hurricane Irma Part 3

Monday, September 18, 2017

The mud has dried enough I could get under the house and check the foundation. There are multiple damaged piles. Many are tilting, several are cracked and one has split in half. 
All of the floor boards are warping. The floor in the southeast corner of the house is dropping down.

Broken Pile

Pile cracked at the top

Hurricane Irma Part 2

Monday, September 18, 2017

Before and After Photographs

Hurricane Irma Part 1

Sunday, September 10, 2017

On September 10, 2017 Hurricane Irma struck Southwest Florida as a category 4 storm. This was the 57th anniversary of Hurricane Donna, which also struck Southwest Florida as a category 4 storm. As Irma passed to the north, Everglades City was inundated with 12-15 feet of sea water.

This video shows the damage done to our home in Everglades City. We are fortunate to have flood insurance. Our policy is administered by Hartford Insurance. They would prefer that we not move anything until an adjuster sees the damage. Unfortunately, most of the adjusters throughout the country are in Texas, helping with the Hurricane Harvey recovery. The rapid growth of mold on everything inside the home made it impossible to wait for an adjuster. This video documents what we found after the storm surge and the extent of the damage. As time permits I will also post before and after photographs of our home.

FWC collects evidence of a female panther north of Caloosahatchee River!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Panther Team has collected strong evidence a female Florida panther has finally crossed the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida.
You can see their  press release here.

Photos courtesy of FWC.

Aurora above Kleppjárnsstöðum

Friday, September 8, 2017

The two videos above are timelapse. The video below is realtime.

The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) and Aurora Australis (Southern Lights) are the result of electrons colliding with the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere.  The electrons are energized through acceleration processes in the downwind tail (night side) of the magnetosphere and at lower altitudes along auroral field lines. The accelerated electrons follow the magnetic field of Earth down to the Polar Regions where they collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms and molecules in Earth’s upper atmosphere. In these collisions, the electrons transfer their energy to the atmosphere thus exciting the atoms and molecules to higher energy states. When they relax back down to lower energy states, they release their energy in the form of light. This is similar to how a neon light works. The aurora typically forms 80 to 500 km above Earth’s surface.

Earth’s magnetic field guides the electrons such that

Northern Lights Timelapse

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Realtime Northern Lights

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

My friend Brian Hampton and I have returned to Iceland to continue our quest to photograph the Northern Lights. With the help of our friend and long time guide Kristján Kristjánsson, we found a great location close to the Hotel Husafell. Kristján was our guide when we photographed the Holuhraun eruption of the Bárðarbunga volcano.

The lights were very intense last night. The video is realtime, made possible with the technology available in the Sony alpha 7Sii camera. The video is about 9 minutes long.


Monday, September 4, 2017

In July we had the good fortune to visit the Pantanal of Brazil. 
Spending time with wild Jaguars along the Rio Cuiabá and its tributaries was a highlight of the trip. 
The tour was arranged by Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris. We traveled with them to Antarctica two years ago. They always do a good job
Our Van Os photo guide was Paul Bannick. Paul is an accomplished nature and bird photographer. His book Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls will be published this October.
Our Brazilian guide was Paulo Boute. Paulo is one of the pioneering birders and ornithologists in Brazil. Paulo has over 35 years of experience guiding birders and photographers throughout Brazil.

During the dry season the jaguars come to the river to hunt. They are accustomed to seeing boats and people on the river as they search for their prey. This gave us the opportunity to spend many hours watching them.
The video below is of a young brother and sister.

Transit of Mercury

Monday, May 9, 2016

A rare celestial event occurred today when Mercury passes between the sun and the earth.  The transit of Mercury last occurred in 2006, and it will not happen again until 2019.
Mercury is the tiny black dot on the lower half of the sun.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

For many years Gisela and I have volunteered at the wildlife hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Gisela uses her nursing skills to help care for the animal patients. I have worked as a critter courier and occasional as a photographer. One of the perks of the job is that you get to release critters back into the wild. Because we spend a good bit of time in the wilds of South Florida, we are often asked to release critters that would fare better away from people.
Raising baby raccoons requires a lot of human / raccoon interaction. The raccoons get use to being around people. Before they are ready for release into the wild their contact with people is limited so that they will behave as normal raccoons. By the time they are ready for release they are not afraid of people but will maintain their distance. Many of the bottle fed raccoons do better if they are released where they will have little human contact until they are fully acclimated to the wild.
The ride from the...

Land of Fire and Ice

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Last October I had the pleasure of returning to Iceland with my friend Brian Hampton to photograph the Bárðarbunga volcanic system.  Our Icelandic guide Kristján G Kristjànsson  owner of Mountain Taximade the trip possible and more importantly as safe as it could be around an active volcano. The speed of the flowing lava was impressive, faster than any river I have ever seen. As we photographed the northern lights the glow of the volcano was visiable more than 70 kilometers away.