web analytics

— urbantick

Tag "snow"

A few days in the Swiss Alps around Saas Fee and on is completely drawn into a world of rough mountains and beautiful snow scenes. Its this time of the year again, its freezing cold and condensation collects at the windows through the night. Your breath is visible as you step outside, the air is thin and views are clear. Winter is finally here.

Video by Patryk Kizny showing amazing views of boiling clouds from the highest mountain peaks, landscapes of the glacier of SaasFee and other locations develop into much more abstract audio-visual form along with the weather changes. The film is also a tribute to free of light pollution places featuring fantastic views of the MilkyWay.

The short timelapse film “Altissimo” has been shot entirely in motion-controlled timelapse technique. The team shot over 45 000 single frames (over 700 GB of RAW data) using a few cameras in various locations of Switzerland during a one-week stay in Switzerland in May, 20111.

Read More

The seasons are a fundamental experience of the passage of time. There are other indicators on shorter timespan, but the seasons really give this great sense of stability, continuity and achievement – a year has passed. It is not from nothing that mostly the seasons lend themselves for the illustrations of deep feelings, such as feeling light, fresh and in love like spring or low, calm and heavy as in autumn. It also very often stands for the abstraction of a life cycle. Being born, growing up, getting old and dying, as in spring, summer, autumn and winter.
It is not as if there are better seasons or worse, but strong character associations exist as part of the culture and for cultures worldwide according to the local seasonal conditions.

Image taken from serc.carleton.edu / On a 500 million year scale, we see the Great Ice Ages!

The UK, just had one of the snowiest winters for over thirty years. There was some covering on this HERE. A lot of people on the street start now explaining these events with the global warming. It has sunken in, that something is happening with our planet.
However cold and warm periods where always part of the overall shift beyond the seasons, on the scale of thousands of years. This time however the increase in temperature is different.
The seasonal build up and melting away of ice in the arctic and mountain regions is part of the seasonal phenomena. This way the ice works as a fresh water storage for the planet. If there is now more ice melting away than is produced during the colder month less fresh water is available during the hotter month.

Image taken from Eiger International / IceProtector Optiforce in action, location unknown.

Several projects are now testing methods to keep the ice cool during the summer. In Switzerland special ice blankets are used to cover the ice and snow to protect it from the summer sun. However you can probably not attest them of saving the planet, but more their ski slopes, jumps and half pipes for the next season of winter tourists. Nevertheless the same technique has now been used in trials for larger scale test to tackle global warming phenomena. A produce of the sheet material is the Landolt Group based in central Switzerland.
This is how it works: “A lightweight dual-layer composite, its top layer consists of polyester to reflect ultraviolet light while the bottom, composed of polypropylene, is a polymer that is often used to block heat. Its purpose is to prevent a glacier’s top snow layer and permanent ice base from melting in the summer. At a cost of $12 million per square mile, the material has already proved successful in a small pilot in which its use on the Gurschen glacier resulted in 80% less melt than surrounding snow and ice two years in a row.” (as explained on threehugger)

It looks a bit funny, but has this poetic element to it that we were introduced to by Christo and Jeanne-Claude with their wrappings of natural and artificial features. At first when I saw the images I thought it is a joke or another Christo copying project, but it appears to be serious. Everyone seems to know about this – why hasn’t anyone told me this before?

Image by Wolfgang Volz, taken from NYC.gov / Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980-83

The blankets are now tested around the globe, from Europe to Aspen. Here a clip that introduces the snowtorium in Jackson WY.

Discovery Channel documents a project to use the ice blankets in Greenland to stop the ice melting away as a result of the global warming. This is for a change a real hands on solution. The climate summit in Denmark is only a few weeks in the past but the debate about the problem of global warming is already dried out. Would be nice to see more of these hands on proposals and less talking about who is responsible.
Picked up through mammoth.

Read More

After all this snow here in the UK it now finally seems to warmen up and melt the white coat away. It was really a lot of snow almost for about two weeks and covering the whole of the UK, from northern Scotland down to the southern coast. Satellite image can be found HERE.
It was a lot of fun, the sledging, skidding, walking, snowball fights, freezing, watching white feather like flocks, enjoying the calmness, snowman building – snowman, where has my snowman gone? Inspired by the ice melting timeLapse.

Music Moon Walk by Taurus Project on mp3unsigned.com

Read More

Simply because it is so nice and I enjoy the snow here in the UK. Isn’t it amazing how the land change and the perception of it shifts from the UK we know to a nordic almost polar region image. The power of the image to evoke memories and preconceptions works even on the level of the map or as here, a satellite photo. To compare here a link to a zoom in on Greenland.
Interesting also how the land is structures. There are various shades of white and I am pretty sure the dark spots are settlements. There are Manchester, Birmingham, Plymouth, Leeds and Glasgow. There might also be the north-west end of London appear between the clouds.
Its a real winter fairy tail on how the country rests under the cover of sweet sugar dust for a while. Spring will come round render the islands green again, summer warms up the air and autumn might bring the brown colours. And hopefully it will come back as the clock strikes the same season again.

Image by rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov / 2010/007 – 01/07 at 11 :50 UTC, Snow across Great Britain, Satellite: Terra / Thanks to Matthew Dance from wiseristhepath for the link

Read More

A short and rather hastily put together timeLapse of the snowfall over the last night here in London. It all happened very quickly, with the darkness came the snow down from the sky and started covering the landscape.
It is shot with an iPhone 3GS and put together in quicktime. Music ‘A Touch Of GenIus’ by Daniel McKenzie at Mp3unsigned.

Snowed In Over Night from urbanTick on Vimeo.

The following night was clear and very cold. London was quiet all day and especially in the evening. I went out with the GigaPan pack and my G10 to take a couple of panorama shots with the snow. It was freezing and that is probably why I didn’t pay enough attention on what I was doing and ended up with hiccups in my shots. Also the GigaPan didn’t really cope very well with the freezing temperature and gave up after two and a half panos. I have also a few new shots on my flickr account HERE. My pano at GigaPan can be accessed HERE.

Image by urbanTick

Read More

Every year again the winter season comes round and brings the cold weather. Only eleven month back in February 2009 London was snowed in and it resulted in one of the biggest travel chaos in recent years. There was no bus service and little train service. Only very few people actually managed to get in to work and it made for a perfect monday out in the snow. You probably remember the posts on this blog HERE and HERE.
The snow is back and it really hit the whole of the UK. Forecasts warned about dramatic conditions already days back and unlike last time everyone jumped on it. Sales of winter goods soared. People around the country panic bought everything of the selves of supermarkets according to todays METRO with some goods there is a 1000 percent rise of demand, as for example with thermal underwear at ASDA.
However, the amount of snow in central London today is rather disappointing. The streets are basically free of snow, the public transport runs ok and I am at work. There are signs of disruption elsewhere. Outside London there is quite a lot of snow and commuters from outside do face difficulties to get into work and a lot will not be able to come in. This results in empty streets and little traffic. My bus journey was as smooth as never.

Image by urbanTick / not much snow on the crossroad at Euston Station and empty streets down Gower Street this morning.

Airports around London, like Luton and Gatwick are having problems and Gatwick closed temporarily over night. A lot of flights are being cancelled.
It is really for the UK not a routine event. Snow hasn’t really been part of the seasonal cycle to this extend, but occurring for the second time it might become a ‘feature’ of the winter month and the country has to get used to it?
It is still snowing now here in central London and around 5cm of fresh snow are expected over the course of today.

Read More

A one year project by Eirik Solheim produced this nice timeLapse. It shows a nature scene over the period of one year, from winter to winter, including snow!
A tutorial on how this was shot and processed is available on his blog.

One year in 40 seconds from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

Read More

There is a lot of snow today in London. It has been snowing since yesterday evening and it still is. The city is not really used to it or prepared for it, so it means the daily routine is disrupted or hasn’t even started.
The BBC writes, “Heavy snowfall has left roads closed, and public transport running a skeletal service or nothing at all.”

Image from BBC London

This means not many options to travel around. Probably a lot of people cannot even get to work if they tried and Schools are closed all day.
London has seen the heaviest snowfall in 18 years, weather experts said, according to BBC. It is around 10 cm of snow until now, but could be more towards the evening. Last time, something like this happened, in January 2003, there was what was called the heaviest snowfall in 10 years with about one inch (2cm) of snow.

Image by urbanTick – a lot of snow in London!

The normal everyday rhythm has been completely changed by the weather. There is no 09h-00 to 17h00 working hours today, no scheduled transport, even the airports have closed their busy runways. The city beats differently under the snow.

Businesses have already calculated loss of £1bn because of the disrupted routines. The market reacts quickly to changing conditions. According to BBC Shares in British Airways, which has cancelled all flights from Heathrow, were down 4.25% at 115 pence, while Go-Ahead, which runs Southeastern rail services, was down 2% at 963.5p. These only because it is a day not going according to plan, but when does it go according to plan?

Finally, at around 15h00 UCL has decided to send out an email to all staff and student with instructions on how to deal with these exceptional circumstances. Trying to introduce some sort of rhythm they wrote the following line “All attempts are being made to keep UCL running but it is necessary for reasons of safety and security and on account of unavoidable short staffing to switch to the Friday shut-down routine for all buildings. Procedures in place for week-end working therefore apply…”
If it is not the Monday rhythm there will be an other one to apply.
A not quite accurate but idealistic impression of today in London

tlSnowStreet from urbanTick on Vimeo.

Read More