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                   Saturday, March 22, 2014 5:33PM CST

"Into Summer II": Winter - spring - summer season transition sequences

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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HD VIDEO: "Into Summer II": Winter - spring - summer season transition sequences

Back in 2001 in West Virginia, I got the idea to do a few season transition animations from still photos. I picked 6 locations between Charleston and Teays Valley that were full of vegetation and trees. Then, starting in March that year, I took a photo at each spot every week or so until the trees had fully 'greened out' in May. I then assembled the stills into GIF animations, entitled the project "Into Summer" and put them up on my web site.

Sometime in 2002, I suffered a hard drive crash, losing all of the original stills and animations. Throughout the many iterations of my web site and server migrations, the copy on the web was eventually lost as well. You can still see it via the Wayback Machine at archive.org (http://wvlightning.com/intosummer/), but it appears none of the GIF animations were captured.

Fast forward to 2007. I was inspired to re-do the season transition idea after seeing an award-winning news piece on the Fort Snelling Memorial Rifle Squad produced by Tom Aviles, a TV photographer in Minnesota. This piece, entitled 'Friday Squad', incorporates some brilliant live-action (realtime video) season transition shots. With my old idea re-inspired and with my HD video camera, I again picked about 10 different locations that I thought would be interesting views, most in Spring Hill Cemetery behind my former house in Charleston, WV. At each location, I set the tripod up somewhere with visual/measured reference points on the ground (5 feet from the edge of a road, 20 feet from a headstone, etc). I wrote this information down, printed out screen grabs of the camera's view and placed it all in a binder. Using that information, I was able to go back at each successive stage and reproduce the same view and angle - not perfectly, but with enough accuracy to make the transition sequences work.

I originally intended to make a full-year sequence using this method. However, we had a very dry and hot summer in West Virginia that year, and as a consequence the fall colors in October were uncharacteristically dull. I accordingly lost my motivation to continue the project, intending to do the fall scenes in another year when the colors were better. In the end, I never got around to it - only completing one full year sequence (the view from my front porch). So, the un-assembled winter-to-summer portion of the sequences have been sitting on my hard drives collecting dust since then.

Somehow, the arrival of spring following a very long and cold winter this year made me remember these forgotten videos. My motivation was piqued to finally assemble them into their intended forms. So without further adieu, here are the winter-to-summer sequences seeing the light of day for the first time in 7 years! I'm entitling these sequences "Into Summer" in homage to the original 2001 idea:

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The following comments were posted before this site switched to a new comment system on August 27, 2016:

Slight risk for thursday. Spring's currently stuck in the 2nd picture. It's almost april and all we're getting are those 2 day warmups followed by almost a week of cold weather. Is it that time of the year for that? Yes, but this cold weather's just ridiculous. That was why there was really no severe weather here in april.
- Posted by Tim

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