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Tilt-Shift Timelapse of Planes Leaving Light Trails at Toyko Airport

By Hanssie on July 22nd 2015

Watching planes take off and land never gets old. For me, planes signify adventure and exploration, something that I don’t get to do all that often anymore. So, I sit at my desk, staring at words on my laptop and imagine far-off journeys to strange lands with no WiFi access.  Maybe that is why airports are among the favorite places for photographers to shoot – adventure is hardwired in us.

Tokyo’s Haneda Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. Last year, over 70 million people passed through its portals. Photographer darwinfish105, who loves timelapse photography and frequently turns his lens around the city of Tokyo, set his sights on this busy hub and created the following video. Shooting mostly from the observation deck of Haneda, darwinfish105 included some tilt shift techniques to create the 4-minute timelapse.


Beginning with the arrival of an airplane to the hustle and bustle of the ground crew, and planes zipping off into the dawn, leaving a trail of light in its wake, the movement and feel makes parts of this timelapse seem like it was created using mini plane replicas. At the 2 minute mark, darwinfish105 shoots at 2-second intervals and stacks the images afterwards in StarStax to create this by day:


…and some beautiful blur by night:

Gear Used:

Camera: Panasonic GH4, SONY a7S, SONY RX100M3
Lenses: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 LensSONY FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS, Nikon Ai AF Zoom-Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF
Mount Adapter: ARAX TILT adapter for use Nikon lenses on Sony NEX

Haneda Airport Tilt Shift and Time Lapse

If you can read Japanese, check out darwinfish105’s blog post on the video here.

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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. Ralph Hightower


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  2. Colin Woods

    Really nice, and as an unrepentant plane fan its nice to see time lapse on an airport.

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  3. Peter McWade

    Those still amaze me and I love the tilt shift lens effect.

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  4. Ernesto Gonzalez

    I should give it a try in downtown Miami or just the big birds landing at MIA

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  5. Bill Bentley

    Very cool.

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  6. Brandon Dewey

    great time laps! Well done!

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