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Stunning Timelapse of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Shows Filmmaker’s ‘Voyage’

By Hanssie on June 17th 2015

They say that as business owners, we need to evolve or die. If we aren’t changing with the trends or times, then we become stagnant, and at the speed the world moves these days, it’s going to run over anyone not moving. The same could be said about photographers and filmmakers to an extent. As artists, we should always be evolving; that doesn’t necessarily mean having the latest equipment or the newest this or that, but we should always be improving on our craft, learning and experimenting, creating.



On a voyage to improve on his craft, Emmy Award-nominated filmmaker Beno Saradzic, began shooting a bunch of “disjointed timelapse sequences.” Constantly looking for ways to improve his craft, the UAE-based Saradzic spends much of his free time watching films and learning techniques to become a better storyteller. A fan of famed filmmakers, David Lean and Stanley Kubrick, Saradzic has translated the techniques of these masterful storytellers into his own timelapse films. For this project, he was experimenting with motion control systems and practicing “new ways to move the camera,” and got special access to Abu Dhabi’s most recognized structure, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Putting all of these disjointed sequences together, Saradzic created this short film.

The following timelapse, ‘THE VOYAGE,’  “represents [Saradzic’s] coming of age as a filmmaker with a profound passion for the craft.” He takes us masterfully through the massive Mosque using motion-controlled timelapse techniques on a beautiful and surreal journey through the architectural wonder that is the Mosque. It took around 4,000 images at about 25 frames per second to create the 2-minute timelapse, which was chosen as a vimeo Staff Pick. It also won first place in the ‘Spaces of Light’ Photography Award in Abu Dhabi. It’s not hard to see why as the visual imagery is simple and stunning as it sweeps through the Mosque from sunrise to sunset, color to black and white.

Gear Used

Canon 5DS
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 60D

Canon 24-105mm f/4
Canon 50mm f/1.2L
Canon 100mm F2.8L
Canon 70-300mm f/3.5-4.5L
Canon TS-E 17mm f/4
Canon TS-E 24mm II f/3.5L
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8

Motion Control:
CamBlock Modular System
Syrp Genie / Magic Carpet
Lil’ Mule

Watch and Enjoy ‘THE VOYAGE’ below, and see more ofBeno Saradzic’s work on Facebook and 500px.

[ViaBeno Saradzic on Vimeo/additional info: The National]

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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. Fahad Jafarullah

    Really nice timelapse and the music went perfect with the video. It was very soothing to watch this.

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  2. Graham Curran

    I remember seeing this mosque about 12 years ago when it was still under construction. It looked magnificent at night even with just the construction lights.

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  3. Thomas Horton

    Interesting use of shadows. That looked like a fantastic place to photograph. Awesome architecture.

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