Black Out

November 06, 2009 By: erik Category: Colindres, Complaining, Experiments, Photos 149 views

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Colindres Blackout - Nov 5, 2009 (crop)Last night at eleven o’clock our power went out. I’m unfortunately accustomed to this because our circuit breaker is incredibly weak and about twice a month flips to the off position out of sheer laziness. So I got up to flip it back on, but it was already in the on position. It was at that point that I noticed how dark it was outside the window. After fumbling through the darkness towards the window, I looked out into the blackness. It had been raining with low clouds all day, and there was no light reflecting off the clouds from Colindres, nor from nearby Laredo or Santoña. The entire region was blacked out!

Thankfully, I still had my iPhone so that I could complain about the blackout on Twitter! I immediately set about setting up my tripod, camera, and intervalometer to capture some long exposure shots of the town. Unfortunately, the views from my house are pretty boring, but I did what I could.

Colindres Blackout - Nov 5, 2009
This was my first attempt, a two-minute exposure, aimed down at the main thoroughfare. All the light in the photo is coming from car headlights.

Colindres Blackout - Nov 5, 2009
Here, I left the shutter open for eight minutes. You can clearly make out the crane and even the familiar shape of Mount Buciero, the mountain in the background.

Colindres Blackout - Nov 5, 2009
Finally I aimed it down my street, and took a nine-minute exposure. The school on the right had some backup lighting, which is why it looks so alive. While the shutter was open for this one, the power came back on, but I was able to close it before the street lamps warmed up to full power.

Now if only the power would go out when the sky was clear! That would be awesome!

Just for the record, I blame Guy Fawkes.

  • Definitely the fault of Mr Fawkes and his gunpowder plotters. This weather front is a good ‘un. Great shots, very crisp, you clearly have a rather fabulous camera!

  • Half the timelapses I try to do get shut short by blackouts or by the main-breaker flipping. It’s just as well, even the ones that don’t usually are too monotonous anyways.

    It really makes me wonder how I’m ever going to get an electric vehicle charged, if I could ever afford one, without installing my own solar panels or windmill, that is.

    There is a dealership right here in Malaga that sells the Vectrix Vx-1 scooter, which, to keep charged, would cost me about the same as I spend on gas in my moped, if I could manage to plug it in. The battery module is not detachable, and you void the warranty if you use an extension cord.

  • Uncle Neil

    Here where I live there are no lights to be seen anywhere in any direction at any time. We don’t have any curtains or shades. With the nearest city being 130 miles to the South those stars are visible right to the horizon. There are no cities due North right to the Arctic Circle which is cool. I would not like it to be different. The milky way has outstanding definition. We can count orbiting satellites and watch the space station. It doesn’t take much Aurora activity to make a mesmerizing display. Just looking at, and identifying, stars on a cool clear night never gets old. The only man sounds we hear come from regular flights at 30 or 40 thousand feet.
    Neil Rasmussen

    • I would love to see some “Aurora activity” some day. I can never tell if the videos of it that I see are timelapsed or not. I might have to go to Stockholm* again.

      *Which is a little south (47° instead of 53° latitude), I was surprised to learn.