Hypertemporal HDR Concept (htHDR)

October 17th, 2011 § 5 comments § permalink

My housemate at Langton Labs, Matt Goodman did an amazing photography project, planting a camera in the mountains overlooking the site of burningman, and leaving it to photograph every 6 minutes for 5 weeks!

The result was 8,000 12 megapixel images of nights, days, sun rises, sunsets, dust storms, cloud formations, and of course Black Rock City coming to life and then, as quickly, fading back into the dust.

They were compiled into this an amazing video — “Playa Time: Dust to Dust” – Burning Man 2011 Time Lapse — now blowing up on YouTube. (If you haven’t yet, go see it, “like it”, share it with your friends, and then come back here.)

What stood out for me, while editing this video was the difference between night and day. The two are fascinating in their own right but worlds apart. I figured it was time for them to meet. I used my goto HDR tool Photomatix Pro to create this fusion:

(click to see high res.)

The character of the night and day shots is very different, the sun providing a blanket of illumination revealing the whole scene, whereas night veils everything except for that which wishes to be seen, advertising itself through beams of photons spewed in all directions.

I call these hypertemporal HDR images, because it uses the concept of HDR to blend and align photos of different exposures, but draws from photos taken at very different times.

Sign up here to be notified high resolution image prints from this time lapse.

I have also used the same technique to make an image of an amazing laser projector built by another of my housemates at Langton Labs:

(click to see high res.)

1. I turned on bright work lights, set the camera on a tripod and took an architectural shot (highest F-stop, lowest ISO, remotely triggered, long exposure)

2. I turned off the lights, while Michael Broxton fired up the laser. I adjusted the settings for a 2-4 second exposure and blew smoke into the laser light path for the photograph until I was happy with the result. (You can’t even see me in the photo blowing smoke!)

3. I edited the photos independently using Lightroom, until I was happy that the features that each was contributing to the whole, were nicely defined. Then I merged the two using the fusion option of Photomatix Pro. (I use the Lightroom to Photomatix export plugin.)


On the internet, you realize that you never really invent something, but kind of refactor what others have already done. Here are two wonderful demonstrations of the same concept applied to generate the sense of time flowing within one photograph, and I’ll probably play with that in the future as well.

Slices of the day by Sam Javanrouh

timelapsed downtown toronto

And a full tutorial and gallery of HDTR (http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/fun/hdtr/?gallery) “high dynamic time range”, where a single photo contains a blend of times across a full day by Martin Krzywinski:

capturing the flow of time in a single frame


And really, you should watch the video:

Shailendra Kumar Upadhyay – Obituary

May 24th, 2011 § 6 comments § permalink

Shailendra Kumar Upadhyay (born April 17, 1929) died climbing Everest on May 9, 2011. As he liked to say, he was “82 years young”.

I first met Shailendra in Nepal in the summer of 2008 in Kathmandu.

Shailendra Kumar Upadhyay

By any standard measure he was already an old man, but he was still actively involved in the political process of his country. And it was an tumultuous process. The king had recently been deposed. The Maoists who had been staging a multi year guerrilla insurgency that had extended to the majority of rural Nepal had been invited to join the government. Shailendra was right in the middle of these affairs, and he was the right person to act as the intermediary between the disparate parties.

Shailendra Kumar Upadhyay

In the past he had been both a rebel and part of the government. In India he had been part of Mahatma Ghandi’s movement opposing British rule. In Nepal he had been jailed for his anti monarchic political views (1960) but then recruited to represent his country at the UN (1972-1978), as an ambassador to various countries, and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1986-1990).

Even though he was officially retired, he helped negotiate the power transition with the rebel leader Prachandra, based on his political credibility as an independent thinker.

In the summer of 2008 he was participating in the Constitutional Assembly of Nepal. After the King had been deposed, the military and civil government were attempting to define a new government structure.

Shailendra introduced me to the notion of constitutional consultants, professionals that go around the world to countries who are in the process of writing constitutions and try to provide parental supervision. He also introduced me to various dignitaries in Nepal, including a chairman of the Communist Party. (Intriguingly, there are a couple Communist Parties.)

I’ve also had the pleasure of his company on long hikes where he was always a fount of stories from his eventful life. For example, story time would start with me asking a question like, “Shailendra, how many times have you been married?” He would think for a moment and reply with a question, “Officially?” I’d clarify, “Officially OR unofficially.” And then he’d clear his throat and start the story.

As a product and refugee from the Soviet Union, I was also intrigued by stories about how as a member of the Nepali Communist Polit Bureau, he would raise money for the party from the Soviet Communist Party.

(Or raised chickens, or wrote a book Tryst with Diplomacy, or …)

In 2008, Shailendra mentioned that he had a dream of climbing Mount Everest. He also made an offhand comment about wanting to die there, but then laughed.

Shailendra Kumar Upadhyay

Over the next couple of years his planning and training became more serious. When he came to fundraise in the US, he stayed with us at Langton Labs and I tried my best to assist him. Shailendra was starting to feel less relevant with age and wanted to make a bold statement. He would have been the oldest person person and the first octogenarian to climb the tallest mountain.

He died pursuing his goal and this is my memorial to him.


The following videos have been compiled based on interviews conducted when Shailendra stayed in San Francisco last year.

1. Are you afraid to die on Everest?

2. Thoughts on the Elderly …

3. Thoughts on Technology …

4. This was the promotional video for fundraising purposes, edited by Vika Evdokimenko:

5. Role of Nepal in world politics, Israel, the Maoists, the constitutional assembly …



  • A grandson’s obituary
  • BBC reporting
  • Daily Mail
  • Fundraising Site and here.
  • Youth Culture Insight

    November 21st, 2003 § 0 comments § permalink

    an eloquent girl provided the closing argument to a spontaneous performance by her prenubile troupe. though i’m not clear on what she said, the whole flock scurried away quickly and not without a fuss when i expressed an intention to “hand these videos over to the authorities.”

    Young Girls Smoking in Christ’s Pieces, Cambridge, UK from Peretz Partensky on Vimeo.

    Coincidentally, these 12 year old girls are 18 now and of legal age, so I feel it’s ok to post this video. I took it in on a stroll in the park in Cambridge, UK with my friend Dana in 2004.

    “Cause I want to smoke”

    Dana – “Is smoking Cool?”

    “Yeah! Yeah!”

    “I’m high, so high.”

    “Do these look like chocolate cigarettes?”