6.3 Using Time-Lapse Photography to Illustrate the Dynamic Atmosphere

Tuesday, 8 January 2019: 3:30 PM
North 229AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Walker S. Ashley, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL

Students are often expected to understand dynamic, four-dimensional phenomena by examining motionless images in a textbook, abstract diagrams in PowerPoint, or a series of complex equations with no visual accompaniment. This static course content delivery method limits student comprehension and can fail to promote discovery. Our world is not frozen in time; why should our visuals aids be motionless?

This presentation describes the time-lapse photography technique and how it can transform visuals—whose motion or change may appear initially imperceptible or subtle to the eye—into striking features with discernible fluid motion. This technique may be applied to any phenomena or area of study that features change, promoting student exploration and understanding. Samples from over a decade of thunderstorm observation will be presented. Through these visuals, the structure, characteristics, and dynamics of storms and other atmospheric phenomena may be explored with more depth than traditional pedagogical techniques. Recommended methods, economical and effective hardware solutions (e.g., webcams), and free software tools for constructing time-lapse imagery will be provided.

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