A big thanks to Matthews MSE (msegrip.com) especially to Bob Kulesh, Tyler & Ed Phillips for their generous support and patience of this lengthy endeavor. Most of the linear motion control shots were captured using their FloatCam DC Slider, a wonderful piece of engineering for the time lapse world.
'Nightfall' is a three minute tour of light through the City of Angels.
I shot "Nightfall" in an attempt to capture Los Angeles as it transitioned from day to night. As you probably know, LA is an expansive city so shooting it from many different angles was critical. Usually I was able to capture just one shot per day with a lot of driving, exploring, and scouting in between but the times sitting in traffic or a "sketchy" neighborhood often lead to new adventures and interesting places.
Nightfall in particular is my favorite time to shoot time lapse. Capturing the transition from day to night while looking back at the city as the purple shadow of Earth envelopes the eastern skyline and the warm distant twinkling halogen lights spark to life and give the fading sun a run for her money- this will never grow old or boring to me.
In this piece, it was important to me for the shots to both capture and accentuate the movement of light through the day and night and the use of multiple motion control techniques allowed me to do so.
I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed creating it.
An English translation of the lyrics-
"It is late. I am looking for my other home, taking an unfamiliar path: a small trail near the factories and the city, cutting through the forest. I can barely see nature when suddenly, night falls. I am engulfed by a world of silence, yet I am not afraid. I fall asleep for a few minutes at the most, and when I wake up, the sun is there and the forest is shining with a bright light.
I recognize this forest. It is not an ordinary forest, it is a forest of memories. My memories. The white and noisy river, my adolescence. The tall trees, the men I have loved. The birds in flight, and in the distance, my lost father.
My memories aren't memories anymore. They are there, with me, dancing and embracing, singing and smiling at me.
I look at my hands. I caress my face, and I am 20 years old. And I love like I have never loved before."
This video was created from around 3600 individual photos.
After several years and hundreds of sequences of traditional time lapse, I was looking for a way to challenge myself and grow. I started learning to capture in the motion time lapse (hyperlapse) technique, where I move the camera slightly --usually around 12 inches (~30 cm) -- for hundreds of times (between every interval). This creates an artificial parallax, and it was exciting to explore this new way of thinking, seeing, moving, and capturing.
At first, I was doing hand-held captures and moving between each shot, but after a while I began using a tripod and moving that along a path, so that I could drag the shutter and get more of the motion blur effect that I like for my time lapse work.
Each motion time lapse capture session is a little like a performance, because so many things have to go perfectly or the whole sequence fails... Usually I had to set the intervalometer to about 10 or 12 seconds, and then hope I could move the tripod, level up the shot, get the center exactly replicated -- before the intervalometer took the shot. Many times that didn't work out ! After a couple of months, I could get in a rhythm with this and had more success. This is a work in progress -- but I really like the way it has given me a new way of working and of exploring space when making my time lapse pieces... I look at the world differently now.
The Emerald City - A Scenic Short Film
by Joel Edwards
"Last year I went to Seattle to shoot a commercial spot with the Deadliest Catch Captains. Seattle is one of my favorite spots in the U.S.A. - so I booked a few extra days and drove around the area shooting B-Roll for a few days. " - Joel E.