Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best of 2012, Video Edition

The year is drawing to a close. I've been meaning to update the formatting of the blog so that I can show larger pictures and videos. Everyone's going through their archives and compiling "best of" type lists. I can't argue with that, so here are my 10 favorite videos that I made this year... This years list is going to feature the new high speed camera that my department got about a year ago.

10. A day in the Image Lab

A Day in the Image Lab from Matt Kuchta on Vimeo.
Ever wonder what it is that we really do? Here's a little view of what goes in to making some of the high speed videos.

9. The Angry Bluebird

Bluebird Toughness from Matt Kuchta on Vimeo.
We had a male bluebird decide that his reflection in our window had to go away. It took some creative window treatments to dissuade him, but given the fact that he and his mate fledged about five or six chicks this last year, he seems to have done okay.

8. Smashing Roses

Roses from Matt Kuchta on Vimeo.
We had some leftover liquid nitrogen - and what else is better than smashing frozen flowers?

7. Hummingbirds

HummingbirdMontage from Matt Kuchta on Vimeo.
A staple of any high speed library. Hummingbirds are fascinating and the only way to really understand how they do what they do is with a high speed camera.

5. Frames of Reference

Frames of Reference from Matt Kuchta on Vimeo.
Water balloons are always cool. I like this one because it takes people a few beats to figure out what's going on.

6. Waterballoon Bursting

WaterBalloonGlissando from Matt Kuchta on Vimeo.
Water balloons are cool. Bursting them is also cool. Slicing them with a straight razor even more so.

4. Coffee and Cream

Coffee and Cream from Matt Kuchta on Vimeo.
Drops of water are another staple of the high speed trade. Here's some non-dairy creamer dropped into coffee. I think the overall effect is quite fascinating and deserves some additional study.

3. The World in a Drop of Water

World in a Drop from Matt Kuchta on Vimeo.

Here's a demonstration of optics. It took a few tries before I got the right effect, but pulling on the transparent picture of the continents works quite well.

2. Ping Pong Ball Reactor

PingPongReactor-Long from Matt Kuchta on Vimeo.
This is the latest effort - it's mostly normal-speed video, but it's the first time I've included time lapse, normal, and high speed footage into the same movie. I like the combined narrative that they provide.

1. Rubber Duck Volcano

Rubber Duck Volcano from Matt Kuchta on Vimeo.
The top spot goes to what can only be described as our most epic project to date. Liquid nitrogen, 35 gallons of water, and over 100 rubber ducks.

Special Mention: Pouring Bees

Installing the Bees from Matt Kuchta on Vimeo.

I'm including one more, because it deserves special attention. If you've ever wondered how keepers get bees into a new hive, this is what it looks like at almost 100x slower than normal speed. There are times when I get really awesome opportunities to do things outside my normal (as much as it is) routine. I had the chance to take the high speed camera and visit Neil Gaiman (yes, that one) as he was installing new bees into his hives. And for the record, if you get a call asking if you'd like to visit Neil and get video of him shaking thousands of bees out of a box, you say yes.

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