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    Posted June 30, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Colorado and Utah wildfires

    SteveMoraco and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Western wildfires

    5 Day Timelapse of the Colorado Springs Waldo Canyon Fire

    5 Days ago, about 3 hours after the Waldo Canyon Fire began, my best friend Meghan texted me saying "Please tell me you're time lapsing this" and here I sit just shy of a week later having edited together one of the most impressive, dramatic, horrific, terrifying things I've ever seen in my life.

    I ran my Canon 7D camera for 5 days straight - taking 1 still picture every 4 to 30 seconds depending on weather conditions. I combined all of those frames (nearly 20,000) into a collection of video clips that amounted to around 16 minutes at 24 of those frames per second. The night before posting the video, I went to my college room-mate (a film major) and consulted with him as to what music he thought would fit the incredibly tumultuous feeling of the fire timelapse. We had to find something with many crescendos and equally many times of peace to allow the proper mood in the video, and some how against all odds we found the perfect tracks in Hans Zimmer's Angels and Demons soundtrack. We've both always been of the opinion that music makes a video (true of almost all great movies) and so we knew a little of the gravity of what we were picking.

    I spent the rest of my night editing in captions and exporting the video, but not until I watched it the first time through myself with my mother at my right hand did I know it had all come together perfectly. She had seen the timelapses before and of course was affected and saddened, but this time with the music it became a narrative, it became real, and she broke out crying. The music, as you will see as you watch it, fits the narrative of the fire perfectly, and I couldn't be more thrilled or more surprised with the result.

    It was well received: I posted it at around 9 AM Friday morning, and as I write this friday night at 11 it has roughly 30,000 views on youtube. Over the course of the day I was contacted by local news agencies and one interviewed me for the evening news. That interview can be found here:

    CNN even called me to license the time lapse for their use in national news the coming days.

    I hope that this post will serve to clarify my process a little and to further spread the story of this historic documentary video of the Waldo Canyon Fire. Enjoy.

    And now, my notes from the Youtube description:

    By Steve Moraco

    Please watch in full screen and in HD if at all possible! This is intended to be viewed full screen on monitors and screens with a 16:10 aspect ratio.

    You can find the Vimeo version here: http://vimeo.com/stevemoraco/waldocanyon

    My photography page: Facebook.com/SMPhot
    My website: SteveMoraco.com

    Shot as a series of 20,000 8MP Jpeg images on a Canon 7D with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Made on a Mac using Adobe's Lightroom and Premiere. Exported in full 24fps 1080p.

    0:00 - Air
    9:10 - Fire
    Both are tracks from Angels & Demons OST by Hans Zimmer.
    No copyright infringement intended.

    This is presented non-commercially as a dramatic and entertaining, yet respectful educational document in view of the fact that such an event is one that involved great loss for too many, but yet is one that we all have some shared curiosity in seeing. I hope that my use of the word "entertainment" will be seen as delicately as I intended it.

    I have no affiliation with KOAA, they just happened to present the chronological news timeline I worked from. That can be found here: http://www.koaa.com/full-coverage/waldo-canyon-fire/

    Thanks to my family for carefully avoiding bumping the tripod that has been on our deck for the last week, and especially mom who has been incredibly helpful in reminding me to check the camera battery.

    Thanks also and again to the innumerable caring people who are fighting or documenting this fire in their various ways for the protection of our wonderful community.

    See the original here: http://youtu.be/ZBA7eHY022k
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