Artist Compiles 3 Million Images Into A Year-Long Mosaic of Time-Lapsed Skies (Video)

ken murphy history of the skyKen Murphy/via

Over at the Cloud Appreciation Society they talk of how clouds are "Nature’s poetry, and the most egalitarian of her displays, since everyone can have a fantastic view of them." San Francisco-based artist Ken Murphy must have thought the same when he rigged up a camera that would shoot images of his city's skies for a year, culminating in a beautiful time-lapse video mosaic of over 3 million images that show the skies' variegated moods.

Murphy installed a camera programmed to take an image every ten seconds (or 8,640 photos a day) on the rooftop of the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco. Compiling the millions of resulting images in a single video that chronologically shows 360 mini-videos -- one for almost each day, and all starting at the same time, just before sunrise. Watching the video, it's amazing to see all this visual information compressed into one continuous view.

Murphy, who is a “musician, programmer, artist, and tinkerer,” calls the Kickstarter-funded project "A History of the Sky" and explains that

Time-lapse movies are compelling because they give us a glimpse of events that are continually occurring around us, but at a rate normally far too slow to for us to observe directly. A History of the Sky enables the viewer to appreciate the rhythms of weather, the lengthening and shortening of days, and other atmospheric events on an immediate aesthetic level: the clouds, fog, wind, and rain form a rich visual texture, and sunrises and sunsets cascade across the screen.

The project is in progress: Murphy plans to continue documenting the skies, with the intention of creating a final piece with a large projected grid of 365 movies that will "[cycle] in parallel through consecutive 24-hour periods. The viewer can stand back and observe the atmospheric phenomena of an entire year in just a few minutes, or approach the piece to focus on a particular day."

A truly beautiful project, for all the avid sky-watchers out there. For more information, see Murphy's website.

Artist Compiles 3 Million Images Into A Year-Long Mosaic of Time-Lapsed Skies (Video)
Using a camera programmed to take pictures every ten seconds for a year, artist Ken Murphy creates a beautiful visual montage of San Francisco's changing skies.

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