This is a short time-lapse piece I did on DC – my home for most of the last 5 years.
It took me about 3 months of shooting and plenty of editing to finally finish this project – something I’d been looking forward to for a while. Living in DC and being a photographer and time-lapse fan, my first logical choice was a time-lapse film on DC itself. All the shooting took place from Aug – Nov 2012 and was done with my trusty Canon 5D2 and Dynamic Perception time-lapse rig (a big thanks to the DP guys for making this possible). DC is definitely one of the more difficult cities to film in, given the much higher than usual security and the fact that one is instantly noticeable when walking around with a large camera and a bright blue rig. Nonetheless, shooting this project was definitely one of the most interesting and enjoyable experiences I’ve had in a while.
I did most of the shooting on nights and weekends to allow for adequate time for each shoot. As I progressed, my set-up time at each location became less and less, a skill that came in handy when I was trying to avoid attracting attention by staying in one spot for too long. The sequence that sticks out in my mind the most is the hyper-lapse sequence at 0:46. This was the most demanding sequence by far – I walked with my camera/monopod from the Lincoln Memorial all the way to the Washington Monument, taking a shot every step – and by the end, it was over 1400 steps and 3+ hours. Sounds easy, but it definitely wasn’t. Carrying a heavy SLR with your arm in the same position for 3 hours while lining a particular auto-focus point in the camera with a particular point on the horizon for each shot becomes extremely tedious after a while – but definitely worth it. For the sequences at 0:33, 0:53 and 1:28, I chose to go HDR – it definitely helped capture a greater range than a single exposure sequence would have. For the star-sequence at 1:48, I remember sitting in my car dozing intermittently (from 1 am – 4 am), waking up every 15 minutes to wipe the lens as it was October and cold enough for condensation to build up. And during the sequence at 0:28, a cop was breathing down my neck as I tried to reassure him that I would be gone in 10 minutes. Good times. Hope you all enjoy this piece as much I enjoyed making it.
Interesting facts: At 1:58, you can see the shadow of the camera/rig move on the ground as the sun set behind me. Also, I got kicked out of Union Station after spending 30 min setting everything up. Better luck next time!
Music: “Neptune” by Nicolas Major from http://www.premiumbeat.com.
Canon 24-105mm f4.0 L / Canon 14mm / Canon 70-200mm f2.8 / Zeiss Distagon 21mm F2.8
Dynamic Perception Stage Zero Rig
Adobe Lightroom / After Effects / Premiere
1. Import files into LRTimelapse and Lightroom.
2. Initialize metadata in LRTimelapse/use Lightroom to read metadata and make edits to certain key frames/use LRTimelapse to extrapolate edits over entire sequence.
3. Use Lightroom to export video file.
4. Stabilization (if necessary) with After Effects.
5. Video-editing in Premiere.
Dynamic Perception (time-lapse rig): https://www.facebook.com/DynPerception?fref=ts
Gunther Wegner (LRTimelapse): https://www.facebook.com/lrtimelapse
Nicolas Major (Music – “Neptune”): http://www.premiumbeat.com
For the full blogpost and behind the scenes shots, check out: http://uzcmedia.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/dc-in-motion-time-lapse/