Seattle to Heathrow: Time Lapse

On my latest flight from Seattle to Heathrow I took a stab at making a time lapse.


We were scheduled to leave Seattle at 7:20pm1, so I was hoping capture the aurora borealis during the night portion of the flight since we would be flying at at a pretty high latitude, even dipping into the arctic circle for a bit.


Unfortunately I failed to account for the fact that during the summer darkness is at a premium which I should have remembered given my prior travels to high northern latitudes. So, we never reached night and I didn’t capture any auroras.


It was still a good test and I’ve learned some things to refine for next time2. I’ll be getting a larger SD card for sure and will probably use a slightly different mounting technique so I don’t have to shoot through the Go Pro case. I also want to figure out a window cover I can put over it so A) my reflection doesn’t show up; and B) I’m not blasting the entire cabin with light while everyone tries to sleep (sorry guys!).

Gear list:

  • GoPro HD HERO2 with BacPac
  • Generic suction cup mount w/ tripod mount
  • 8GB SD Card
  • Time Lapse Assembler for OSX
  1. we were delayed a half-hour because of a gauge issue on the potable water tank 

  2. tentatively early September 

Dateline: Istanbul, Day 1 – A Delay

Istanbul, Turkey
22 June 2009

I got up extra early this morning, around the the crack of 9am or so to find several messages from Charlie.

I finally left the hostel just before 11 and made my way to the central train station via the metro. My plan was to reverse my route that I took coming in.

Amazing, everything worked out great! I got on the metro, got to the train station, walked back through the entire train station to the other side, found a bus to the Boryspil airport, and all was good. Even better, I had lots of time to kill, which was surprising because I had left later than I planned.

My plane out of Boryspil was a bit late, but we eventually did get off the ground and I slept most of the way, as I usually do on flights less than 3 hours.

Getting through Turkish customs was pretty easy. I bought a visa before going through customs1, picked up my bag, and cleared customs via the green line2

I decided the best plan was to wait for Charlie. His plane was scheduled to land in about three hours and I wasn’t sure he could figure out where to go.

I found a food court and grabbed some lunch, which was an adventure in-and-of itself. In my attempt to eat local foods, I try to stay away from places such as McDonald’s and Burger King. I found a nice little place to eat that had a combo meal for something like 13 liras3.

The picture on the menu looked good, so I said “Combo please with Coca-Cola.” The woman at the register asked what I wanted, so I said, “Combo Meal,” trying to repeat the the words on the menu as close as I could. It was no use though. She waved over another woman who was able to translate for me.

Well, as it turned out, you still had to pick what you wanted for the main course with the combo meal. The titles weren’t very descriptive, so I just asked her what she liked and went with that.

Slightly frustrated, and even more embarrassed, I quickly devoured the entire meal (I didn’t have a chance to get breakfast before I left due to problem solving Charlie’s flight issue).

With at least another 2 hours until Charlie’s flight arrived, and feeling a bit worn out, I decided to seek refuge in the local Starbucks.

Not wanting to miss him, I waited about 30 minutes after Charlie’s plane landed before I headed over to the area where the passengers came out. Unfortunately, it would be another hour until I saw his happy face. When Charlie finally emerged, I’m pretty sure seeing me standing there was the happiest moment in his life.

We made our way down to the metro, up to the tram, and all the way to the hostel with a minimum of fuss. Despite the fact that he had just been traveling for over 24 hours, Charlie still wanted to go out. So we made a quick tour of the surrounding area before going to bed.

18.0 mm || 0.5 || f/4.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
İstanbul, İstanbul, Turkey

In summery, I feel like this day exemplifies exactly why traveling by air sucks.

  1. Note: They don’t take Russian Rubles or Estonian Kroons 

  2. I’ve got nothing to declare! (And I don’t know why I’m shouting)  

  3. about $7.75 

Competition Weekend Begins

After many hours of travel, I’m finally in San Luis Obispo. My journey actually took a rather unfortunate turn even before I left.

As I was checking into my flight online last night, there was a message saying that my flight from Seattle to Salt Lake City (SLC) was going to be delayed by 90 minutes. Well, this was no good since my connecting flight from SLC to Santa Barbara (SBA) would be gone by then.

I called up Delta and talked to a service representative about what my options were. I basically had two options:

  1. Fly to SLC and catch the 9:30pm flight to Santa Barbara
  2. Fly to Los Angeles (LAX) and get picked up there

I decided to fly to LAX since I didn’t want to fly in so late to SBA. Unfortunately, the LAX flight left over an hour earlier then the SLC flight and I had already spent at least 45 minutes on the phone with Delta. Thus, I only ended up getting 3 hours of sleep.

Woke up and left the house at 4:50am. When I got to the airport, I took a look at the flight board and saw that there was a 6:00am flight to SLC that would allow me to make my original connection from SLC to SBA. After vigorously asking several different gate attendants, it seemed that the flight to SLC was indeed completely full (no doubt because there was a plane load of people trying to do exactly what I was doing).

So I flew into LAX on an Embraer ERJ-145, which I thought was kind of odd because usually 737-type planes fly that route. As I as getting off, I overheard a girl talking to her dad about her flight to SLC being delayed and how she was going to San Luis Obispo (SLO). This obviously piqued my interest, so I asked her how she was able to get a ticket. After talking with Delta for over an hour, she was able to get a ticket from LAX to SLO on American Eagle, who are apparently codeshare partners with Delta.

I thanked her for the information and went to find a check-in reservationist at the Delta counter. After presenting my case to the reservationist, she was baffled why the person who helped me with my arrangements last night wasn’t able to figure out that I could get all the way to Santa Barbara on American Eagle.

A short time later, I found myself on a flight to the Santa Barbara Airport on a Saab 340 turboprop, arriving only 10 minutes later then I would have if my original flight had worked as planned.

I’m now sitting in on the floor of a restaurant that’s being remodeled. The management at the local Holiday Inn Express has graciously allowed us to use the space as an impromptu work area.

The competition starts tomorrow and you can watch it live (kind of) at

You can also check back here or at the official CSM NERDS website