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A Lesson in Variety – Two Must-See Timelapse Projects

By Jules Ebe on August 14th 2013

New Class Favorite

We come across a lot of timelapse projects – from meteor showers to room sized camera obscuras to the passage of the seasons. This technique has undoubtedly become a favorite of many photographers for sharing their favorite subject.

But as a form of art becomes inundated with hundreds of uploads every month (if not week),

how does a photographer keep it fresh and interesting?

One thing that we have noticed is the ability to take a different angle on a subject that we have all become familiar with from the moment we learn when class lets out in Kindergarten – the passage of time.

In the following two examples – LA and New York – you’ll see two very distinct versions of how to communicate the ‘peeling away’ or passing of time. Photography was once considered a way to capture a singular moment in time and preserve it. These two examples show how artists continue to push that concept and turn it on its head. A portrait becomes a moving, living thing that constantly changes – not just a single snapshot.

Time is Dimension | Fong Qi Wei







You will notice that in each image, we see the splicing of time and can follow the cityscape and interact with it in a new way. No longer is it moving – as we have come to identify as a feature of photographic time-lapse. We can clearly see that this photograph does not capture one single moment, but transforms in an almost abstract way the passage of time and the space in which it is contained.

Midtown | District 9 Media

You may notice in Midtown, the pulsating life of New York City is captured through several different angles and perspectives. The music flows throughout and the timing is given variety to add to the overall portrait of a city that never really sleeps.

Think about the subject and then tailor the framing, timing, and perspective to best communicate the principal character of that subject. Variety is key.

According to the description, the “time-lapse production was produced using more than 50,000 still frames, shot over the course of 6 months.” The crew was also “chased off” by cops and the cold weather on several occasions. Given the length of time one must devote to producing a time-lapse of this length and quality – be prepared to devote many sleepless nights and weeks or even months of work in both production and post.

For the Gear Heads: Canon 5D Mark III | Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 II | Canon 24-105mm f/4 | Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 II

Credits: Fong Qi Wei and District 9 Media

Until Next Time …

Stay Inspired ~ Jules

[via Gizmodo and Vimeo]


is a Southern California based Conceptual Artist and Photographer. Her work has been featured in several print publications and selections can be seen in local gallery exhibitions. Connect with her on Facebook and Google+.


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  1. moonyenoom

    its district 7 media fyi. not district 9…

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  2. Greg

    That’s so good

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  3. Ai

    Fing Qi Wei’s works are photographs taken in Singapore; how/where did you get the info that they’re pictures of LA? As a Singaporean I immediately recognised them as distinctively local, and the last few images of national landmarks made it even more obvious.

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  4. Matt

    Awesome time lapse work! It’s definitely some great inspiration. I think you made a mistake on your post though. The video shows that it was created by District 7 Media, while your post says District 9.

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