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Move Over Hyperlapse There’s a New Kid in Town – Photographer Creates ‘Layer-Lapse’

By Justin Heyes on October 14th 2014

Who doesn’t like a good time-lapse? Being able to see hours compress into just a few minutes; it’s almost like fast forwarding the world. But now, there is a new time-lapse method created by photographer Julian Tryba called a layer-lapse. In a layer-lapse, the objects in each sequence (be it buildings, roads or even the sky) run at different speeds and times than others.

[REWIND:Time in Motion: Dawn to Dusk Shimmers in Animated Layered Landscapes]

In Boston Layer-Lapse, Tryba animates the streets of Boston to the music stylings of Alex Adair. The project took about 100 hours to shoot, 350 hours to edit, and 150,000 photos totaling around 6 terabytes. Each of the clips has has anywhere from 35 to 100 different layers phasing in and out. The majority of the work was shot on a Canon 6D with the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 II and the Canon 24-105mm f4 also being used a few times.

The artist has this to say about his project: “Traditional time-lapses are constrained by the idea that there is a single universal clock. In the spirit of Einstein’s relativity theory, layer-lapses assign distinct clocks to any number of objects or regions in a scene. Each of these clocks may start at any point in time, and tick at any rate. The result is a visual time dilation effect known as layer-lapse.” Tryba recognizes that his art is very similar to other pieces out there; even citing Fong Qi Wei “Time In Motion” and Geoff Tompkinson’s “Chicago toccata & fugue” as inspiration.


With the inclusion of intervalometers in modern cameras, more and more people are doing time-lapses. It is becoming increasingly difficult to weed through the generic to find the exceptional.  Tryba shows us what can be accomplished if we take the standard perception of time out of the time-lapse. To check out more form Tryba, check out his website and head over to Kessler for some behind-the-scenes action.

[Via Sploid / Images Screen Captures]

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Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Nick Buchholz

    Simply amazing! Great respect!
    Who has the time to invest in a project like this anymore.
    450+ hours is almost 2-3 months work.

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  2. Brian Stalter

    I think it is innovative, but it isn’t something I would want to do… just not quite to my taste.

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  3. Michael Moe

    This movie took timelapse to a hole new level! AWESOME! :D

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  4. Ipek Amdahl

    Incredible! Such a great idea and execution. I can’t even imagine the patience that went into this…

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  5. Michał Obuchowski

    That’s awesome! A beautiful time-lapse which can’t be approximated by a free phone app, not even close :D
    Great job to the photographer and huge props for the patience and hard work!

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  6. Joram J

    D@mn, that’s awesome. Must be an immense amount of work.

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  7. Rui Pinto

    The coolest thing I’ve seen in many days! 5*

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  8. Pye

    This is super cool, super time consuming, but super cool.

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  9. Brian Song

    This is pretty darn cool. Very clever.

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  10. Sathiaseelan Pitchai

    It needs a lot of patience .

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  11. Jason Viglione

    Is layer lapse available for use or download?

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  12. Peter McWade

    Most unique I’ve ever seen. It would be cool to give it a try. I do have the patience to at least try it on a much smaller scale. Im passing this along to some others who will find it pretty cool.

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  13. Andrew Van Arb

    This officially the coolest thing I have seen on the internet today! Awesome job.

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  14. Brandon Dewey

    Awesome Timelaps!

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  15. Steven Pellegrino

    Very cool! I love this stuff because I know I don’t have the patience (or talent) to create it.

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