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Time-lapse videos have always interested me. It’s amazing how different the world looks when you speed up or slow things down. You’ll notice trends or sights that your normal perception wouldn’t or possibly couldn’t have seen. I find myself utterly captivated whenever I find time-lapse/time-warp footage.

I’ve wanted to do more with time-lapse myself, but never truly dedicated the time. I dabbled many years ago filming sunset over the Elizabeth river by setting up a Panasonic HVX-200. Using a FPS hack you could do with the SD card, I made my first attempt. It’s rough and the light wasn’t consistent due to my changing of the ND filter twice :) But it was fun practice:

My first time-lapse attempt

Fast forward to last year, and I found myself presented with the undeniable urge to make more. The biggest source of inspiration was the release of TimeScapes. I can only describe it as “Visually stunning, time-warp porn”. I mean that in the most ‘G’ rated sense, of course. Check out the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/33110953

Someone else’s better time-lapse

TimeScapes and my buddy Rahmin were sources of inspiration for a project I’ve had in mind for the last year. I want to film a long-term time-lapse of Washington DC over an entire year. The idea stemmed the fact that my buddy Rahmin has this fantastic apartment that overlooks the city. It’s on one of the upper floors and happens to be on the side of the building that faces DC. It’s got a balcony and an amazing view! I approached him with the idea and he was on-board.

Well, the technology a year ago made this endeavor tough, and we weren’t able to find a solution that worked. I’m happy to announce that modern technology makes “DC in a year” not only feasible, but a reality in the making. I’ve got two test videos to share. I’ve got my GoPro Hero 2 setup on the balcony at my office. It’s set to capture a 5MP picture every 10 seconds, and it remotely dumps them to my computer inside the building.

Vid 1, Nighttime Time-lapse test

Vid 2, Sunrise Time-lapse test

The recordings were limited to a few hours at a time due to the battery. I’ll wire in an ‘indefinite’ power source and have the footage dumped to an on-site linux box that can manage remote backups & error reporting. This is going to be quite exciting :) Stay tuned for more.

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