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time lapse videoTime-lapse photography is an effective technique for showing the passing of time using still images shot over controlled intervals. While many sequences look complex and difficult to achieve, time-lapse photography is in fact a fairly approachable art form How To Create Cool Time-Lapse Videos With ChronoLapse How To Create Cool Time-Lapse Videos With ChronoLapse Have you ever watched a speed-drawing video on YouTube? You know the ones - they often feature some great Photoshop artist showing off their skill by creating a beautiful piece of art right in front... Read More you can even try with a smartphone Frame X Frame – A Free Photography App For iOS With Stop-Motion, Anti-Shake & More Frame X Frame – A Free Photography App For iOS With Stop-Motion, Anti-Shake & More How do you promote a physical iPhone accessory when most people wouldn't think of buying much beyond a bluetooth headset and maybe a case? According to Joby, you release a free app that fully demonstrates... Read More .

That’s not to say it’s an easy skill to master, and the best photographers spend hours on rooftops with telephoto lenses, tripods 5 Essential Digital Photography Accessories You Can Make Yourself 5 Essential Digital Photography Accessories You Can Make Yourself Read More and other specialised bits of kit 10+ Cool Accessories Every Photographer Wants 10+ Cool Accessories Every Photographer Wants Read More for sequences that last mere seconds. Today’s Stuff to Watch is a collection of some of the best time-lapse videos on the web.

So sit back, watch the world 10 Unique Live Webcam Feeds To Watch Around The World 10 Unique Live Webcam Feeds To Watch Around The World Remote webcams peeping into your lives may make you go all choleric, but when they point at some fascinating places around the world, they can make you gawk. Real-time webcam feeds that capture unique events... Read More go by and get inspired with these stunning scenes.

“Where Are We Going?” – David Coiffier

Professional videographer, photographer and editor David Coiffier shows us how it’s done with his globe-trotting time-lapse that captures stunning detail and overall sharpness. Shot on a Canon DSLR with mostly L series glass, David used Lightroom, the now-discontinued Shake and Final Cut to edit his sequence into this beautiful film.

In the comments David has offered much advice to those who have asked just how it was all done. According to David his choice of lens “has an impact on overall sharpness, but I think most significant reason is the Shake render engine I used on every shot.”

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“Walking On Air” – NASA (Expedition 30)

This particular film made headlines this year when the team known as Expedition 30 decided that shooting a time-lapse video of the earth from 200 miles up was a good idea. In case you’ve not seen it yet – it was, and even if you have seen it there’s a good chance you’ll click again anyway.

Set to the song Walking In The Air from the children’s Christmas classic The Snowman (perhaps not the best choice?), this video not only showcases our planet’s most populated zones with patterns of light but also the earth’s atmosphere which is clearly visible in a number of shots.

“Running On Empty” – Ross Ching

Not your average “sit it down and let it run” time-lapse video, this effort from Ross Ching involves a little more work, sharp editing and some clever thinking. Ross has taken the city of Los Angeles and removed all the cars to create a completely surreal minute and a half of video.

In case you’re wondering, Ross explains:

1. Record for 20-30 mins. 

2. Go frame by frame and grab pieces of the road that aren’t obstructed by a car. Eventually, you will have every piece of the road. 

3. Put the static image of the road in with the moving background.

You can read even more about how it was done on his website.

“Eyjafjallajökull” – Sean Steigemeier

Described as “a trial run for another day” by author Sean Steigemeier, this time-lapse was put together as European air travel came to a standstill during the 2010 volcanic eruptions in Iceland.

Sean used a Canon 5D Mark II with a 16-35mm f/2.8 L series lens and made use of a motorised dolly for those steady, panning shots. This video reaffirms my urge to one day visit this beautiful country, eruptions or no eruptions.

“Manhattan in Motion” – Mindrelic

New York is a photogenic city full of life, impressive rooftop views and lots and lots of water towers. It does however take a certain amount of talent to make it look this good, and this film contains some truly stunning angles and camera movements that you don’t see in every cityscape time-lapse.

The finished product is 5 minutes of pure awesome, cut down from over an hour’s worth of original footage – now that’s a lot of stills.

“The Mountain” – TSO Photography

El Teide is Spain’s highest mountain at an altitude of 3718m, and here it is in all its glory in this time-lapse video shot over a week by Norwegian Terje Sørgjerd. who admits to only having about 10 hours of sleep over the whole shoot.

Because there was a large sandstorm rolling in from the Sahara during part the shoot, Terje was worried about one particular shot being ruined. Luckily this resulted in something even Terje didn’t expect, as he explains:

My camera was set for a 5 hour sequence of the Milky Way during this time and I was sure my whole scene was ruined … if you ever wondered how the Milky Way would look through a Sahara sandstorm, look at 00:32.

Conclusion

Achieving time-lapse results like these certainly isn’t easy, but giving it a go yourself isn’t hard either. You can get started with a smartphone and a clever app, and your hobby can eventually eat away at your funds thanks to expensive lenses, tripods and motorised dollies.

If you’ve seen any time-lapse videos you like, created any yourself or simply want to add your thoughts regarding any of the videos featured in this post then leave a comment in the field below.

  1. Shawn Ashree Baba
    July 17, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Amazing! I'm a huge sucker for things like this.

  2. Vipul Jain
    July 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    1 word for Manhattan in Motion - Serenity
    1 word for you Tim - Thanks :)

    • Tim Brookes
      July 11, 2012 at 12:44 am

      Glad you enjoyed!

  3. Rant89
    July 10, 2012 at 9:49 am

    What's the song in the Eyjafjallajökull video? I think they are sigur ros but I don't know wich song. Beautiful videos, by the way...

    • Tim Brookes
      July 11, 2012 at 12:44 am

      I too thought it was Sigur Ros the first time I heard it, but it turns out it's guitarist/vocalist's solo project. The artist is "Jónsi" and the song is "Kolniðu". You can listen/find out more at Jonsi.com.

  4. memo1288
    July 9, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Very nice list! I had already seen the last two, but the others were also very beautiful.

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