If you have been reading this blog for the last month you know that I am currently obsessed with a mountain in San Luis Obispo named Bishop Peak.
I am so obsessed that I am taking 71,808 photos of it over the next year.
This is public art – a collection of images that will be assembled in the Baker Center at Cal Poly. The photo collection will grow during the year, and at the end – next March – it will be complete.
I have selected just eight of the photos to present in this blog so that you can see how diverse the weather has been on my mountain of obsession:
The project, so far, has involved building a weatherproof camera box, designing and building a circuit to run the camera as a time-lapse device, installing this box and camera on the roof of the Kennedy Library at Cal Poly, then troubleshooting the system until all the bugs are worked out. The adventure has involved my CNC router for the box and the circuit board, studying Python for the Raspberry Pi computer, and putting all the pieces together into a working whole. I started it up on March 3, 2016, at about 9:00 a.m.
Once the camera started to produce images, I wrote an AppleScript to crop and label each selected photo (one each day). Those images can then be sent to a photo lab to be printed on aluminum sheet material. I am still awaiting the results of my first shipment.
I’m working with the engineers now to fabricate a frame to hold the 365 images that come from the project.
My original plan was to make these photos, and then choose one each day that shows how beautiful Bishop Peak can be. What I didn’t expect was the real thing I have created here. It’s a year-long weather study! Since installing the camera, I have collected over 5,000 photos of the mountain that show everything from a moonset to driving rain to beautiful white clouds in a blue sky. The camera takes a photo every five minutes, and it is simply amazing how much can change in those five short minutes.
I am amassing an astonishing collection of very different photos.
I know that as summer comes I will see more and more of the same: clear blue skies, mountain. Not much difference. In the meantime, though, this has been a forty-day wild ride through every type of weather (well, not every type – it never snows here). But, the photos show some wonderful extremes, and I am collecting the images on my computer for my project.
This last image shows the moon partly eclipsed by Bishop Peak. This occurred at 5:05 a.m. on March 22, 2016. This last week we had the moon setting as the sun was coming up, and I am excited to see the photos of that! (I’ll get the photos from the camera in about ten days).
You can read the next installment here: My timely obsession with realtime clocks.