Motion Arts Pro | State of the Art: The Time Lapse Comes of Age - A Roundup

By: David Schonauer
Publish Date: July 12, 2017, 5:17 p.m.


Time lapse has been around for a long time.

But never has this type of motion art been more popular or so creatively used to explore geography and nature and, of course, the infinitely intriguing concept of time passage. Time lapse allows viewers to witness and revel in details of the world around us that would otherwise go unnoticed even though they are in plain sight — the exquisite formation and reformation of clouds, the quirky paths people take through cities, the changing starscape above us as Earth rotates through space. Time lapse is booming in part because there has never been such a plethora of sophisticated tools to create the work. But the technology merely serves a purpose, blending the power of still and motion photography to see in new ways.

Today we have gathered together a number of time-lapse projects that have rocked the internet in recent days. Among them are a number of projects exploring cities from a master of the travelog time lapse, including walks along the streets of Rome, Salzburg and Prague. Also awesome is a time-lapse celebration of Japanese cherry blossoms, a tilt-shift view of Scotland, and a time lapse made with everyday objects you might find in your own home.


1. Salzburg in Infrared, with Music by Mozart



If you are a fan of infrared photography and time lapse videos, you’ll love Siege of Salzburg, a motion project by Matthew Rycroft, a South African filmmaker who now lives in Salzburg, Austria, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Inspired by Mozart’s music and the city, Rycroft created a time lapse that unfolds like an opera with three acts; he shot Siege entirely with a Sony a6300 camera specially converted for full spectrum infrared photography, reports PetaPixel.


2. BTS On a Time-Lapse Shoot In the Alps

While time lapses are exciting to watch, shooting them is often boring, notes DIY Photography: “You turn up at a location that doesn’t yet look its best and set up your equipment. Then you wait, ready for just the right moment to tell your camera to start shooting away.” But as you’ll see in filmmaker Drew Geraci's MediaZermatt — Timelapse Behind the Scene, shooting time lapse videos can be exciting when you’re at 13,000ft in subzero temperatures in the Swiss Alps.


3. A Hyperlapse Roman Holiday

Kirill Neiezhmakov has created a number of state-of-the-art time-lapse and hyperlapse motion projects focusing on cities around the world. His particular set of skills is on full display in A Gift From Rome, which, notes DIY Photography, he shot over the course of six days in May 2016 using Canon 60D and 70D cameras and a variety of lenses.


4. White Nights in St. Petersburg


Speaking of Kirill Neiezhmakov: His video White Nights in St. Petersburg  is another top-notch travelog, this one taking viewers through a night-to day tour of the Russian city. “Kirill’s got hyperlapse down to an art form, with some very cool tricks in post to take things to the next level,” declares DIY Photography.


5. A Glass of Prague


One more from Neiezhmakov: “He walks us through the city streets and offers us a pint of beer to refresh in his latest video, called A Glass of Prague," notes DIYP. As with his other work,  Neiezhmakov shot with Canon 60D and 70D cameras and a bagful of lenses: a Sigma 10-20 mm f/4-5.6; a Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8; a Samyang 8 mm f/3.5; a Canon 17-55 mm f/2.8 and a Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8L.


6. Japanese Cherry Blossoms Fading Into View

Freelance cameraman Jack Johnston  blends travel and nature with his time lapse view of Japanese cherry blossoms fading into view, which, notes PetaPixel, he shot with a drone. “A few months ago I was asked to film a series of lapse time shots of the Cherry Blossom trees in Japan for a BBC Springwatch Special,” Johnston writes. “After months of testing and working out the kinks in the process, this is a selection of shots that featured in the final show.”


7. A Drones-Eye View of a Pennsylvania Farm Through Four Season

Along the same lines, Denver-based photographer and filmmaker Will Strathmann  used a drone to capture the change of seasons at a farm in Pennsylvania. Strathmann first visited the farm in the spring of 2015; he returned once every season and recreated the same shot by flying his drone on the exact same flight path. After the final visit in January 2017, he took all the images he captured, edited them to match more exactly, and created the video, notes PetaPixel.


8. A Tilt-Shift Drone Time-Lapse View of Scotland


Filmmakers keep ratcheting up the creativity with tech: Adding to the idea of drones-eye-view time lapses, commercial drone cinematographer Barry Grant  adds the effect of a tilt-shift lens to depict Scotland’s landscape in miniature. “I first saw this effect online several years ago in photographs, and then video. I always wanted to figure out how it was done,” Grant tells  DIY Photography, adding, “The best type has lots of movement. Cars, trains, people, animals, waves and rivers.”


9. An Infinite Loop of the Earth’s Rotation


When we look up, we see the stars and sun as objects that appear to move across our sky, but of course in reality it’s us that’s spinning around, at up to 1,000 miles per hour, notes DIY Photography. YouTuber AlphaPhoenix  adds some perspective with his video Infinite Polaris Time Lapse. Rather than showing the stars moving across the heavens, the video shows a 24-hour period in which the stars are static while the earth rotates around.


10. A Beautiful Time Lapse Made With Everyday Objects

You don’t need the cosmos to make a mind-bending time lapse. Filmmakers Thomas Blanchard  and Oilhack  created an abstract and colorful time lapse called Galaxy Gates using a few everyday items you might have in your own home: paint, oil, milk and liquid soap. But, notes DIY Photography, sourcing common materials doesn’t mean the job is easy: Blanchard and Oilhack say that less than two percent of all the stills they took ended up being used in the video.