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London: Day & Night | A Mesmerizing Diptych Time-Lapse

By Hanssie on March 18th 2016

It seems that everywhere you look, another time-lapse video pops up. With the latest cameras and gadgets to make creating a time-lapse relatively easy (if you don’t factor in the countless sleepless hours typically in the middle of nowhere) time-lapse videos are commonplace. And too much of a good thing can be…well, too much.

It really takes some creativity and outside of the box thinking to come up with something new under the sun, especially when it comes to a time-lapse and I think the following fits into that category. I’ve featured the work of Paris filmmaker Franck Matellini (a.k.a. Matel) before when he posted another side-by-side time-lapse showing us the similarities between one of my favorite cities – New York and a city I know I’ll love once I visit someday – Paris. (See that here).


In Matel’s latest release, he takes the same side-by-side concept and instead, focuses on a city he lived in for a few years – London. The video highlights London’s most famous sites showing both what the city looks like by day and at night simultaneously. A time-lapse like this has its share of challenges – getting the framing just right two different times a day. Matel said that the last shot, of the famed London Eye was the most challenging as tripods are not allowed in many of the tourist areas that appear in the video and security is very tight. Matel would mark the areas he shot in so he could remember where to place the tripod for the night scenes. Of course, working with the reflections in the water and around throngs of people are always a challenge for any shoot.

The result is this one-and-a-half minute diptych-themed time-lapse, shot with a Sony A7RII and edited in Lightroom, After Effects and Premiere.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dede Vidal

    London is, definitely, a great city to take photos. Is a city so well planned that it gives your mind to run around creatively.

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  2. Shawn Kelley

    Amazing! I enjoyed every sequence. Quite creative!!!

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  3. R. John Anderson

    This is new and different. It’s good to see ideas like these.

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  4. Barbara Webb

    Beautiful Photos Really neat too

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  5. Drew Pertl

    That last shot was amazing. How was it done?

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    • Matel

      Thanks Drew. It was shot from the London Eye which was the most challenging shot for a timelapse as you’re not allowed to bring tripods inside, and I needed to watch for reflections/dirt on the window. I managed as best I could by placing the lens against the glass for the duration of the timelapse and then stabilised in post-prod. I went around the London Eye twice to get a sunset & night which are composed in After Effects for the final shot.

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