We’re not really into fortune-telling here at photoSentinel, but I reckon we’ve at least got our finger on the pulse. I’ve taken an educated guess at some of the exciting things you can expect to see happening in the world of time-lapse this year.
1. Rob Whitworth inspired post-production
Rob Whitworth produced this amazing time-lapse last year which has clocked up over 2 million views on Vimeo and Youtube and won the Gold Prize at Timelapse Showfest 2014. The editing and effects are nothing short of brilliant, and I’m confident we’ll see people starting to emulate his work this year, pushing the envelope of what can be achieved post-production with time-lapse. Check out this recent interview with Whitworth in which he discloses a little more about his workflow (though he keeps most of it pretty close to his chest!).
Of course, it’s not just Whitworth doing some interesting editing; others are pushing the envelope too. Last year saw Jeff Frost’s incredible narrative time-lapse artwork Circle of Abstract, RalphGM and RandyGX make an LA supermoon even bigger in TimeLAX 3, and Geoff Tompkinson tease us with an introduction to his HyperZoom, while Toby Harriman has hit 2015 head on with the release of his amazing B&W Gotham City SF.
As time-lapse continues to become more popular and the barriers to entry lower, photographers are going to keep stretching the boundaries to set themselves apart from other practitioners. I’m confident we’re going to see some mind-blowing new styles of time-lapse in 2015.
Whitworth only needs 15 seconds to produce something amazing. This video he made was posted on Instagram by the Crown Prince of Dubai to welcome in the new year. Is it a teaser for some even more genre-breaking work to come from him in 2015?
EDIT: Less than 24 hours after this post was published, DubaiFilm and Whitworth released his latest ‘flow motion’ time-lapse: Dubai Flow Motion. It’s everything we hoped it would be. Check it out here.
2. Cable time-lapse
Syrp have been showing off the cable capabilities of their motion control Genie for a little while now, but late last year the Charlotte (motion control including cable system) achieved it’s Kickstarter funding goal and LineCam Systems has also joined the party. Nick Braun from LineCam has recently been posting test footage from his cable time-lapse rig, and it’s pretty impressive. The second video below shows a cable time-lapse sequence with the following specs: 150ft length, 3 hour travel time, 690 images taken, Timelapse+ Intervalometer, Auto Bulb Ramping, SOOC. Most impressively, no stabilization or exposure compensating software was used to achieve this result. If the Charlotte gets off the ground and LineCam Systems launch a time-lapse product, I’m expecting 2015 to bring some impressive time-lapses over large canyon gaps and between high-rise buildings!
3. More holy grail solutions
The last fews years have seen the launch of some impressive new products to help with automating bulb ramping and capturing that holy grail of time-lapse – day-to-night and night-to-day sequences. The most impressive so far are the Timelapse+ and Ramper Pro which both include their own light sensor and adjust the exposure automatically. I expect we will continue through 2015 to see more holy grail solutions hit the market (or at least Kickstarter), making the holy grail easier than ever to achieve.
4. More Kickstarter sliders, motion control and intervalometers
Speaking of Kickstarter, it seems that every week there is a new slider, motion control solution or intervalometer launched on Kickstarter, and it doesn’t doesn’t look to be abating. First off the rank in 2015 is the ASXY T-Set motion control system, which has been successfully funded as of yesterday. It looks very impressive (more details in prediction #5 below), which is not something you can say about every time-lapse crowd-funding campaign. As the popularisation and commodification of time-lapse continues, 2015 will see more people trying to get a piece of the pie on Kickstarter. It remains to be seen how many of the campaigns will herald new solutions actually worth following.
UPDATE (July 2015): On June 25th, ASYX announced that they could not progress any further with the development of the T-Set and will be issuing Kickstarter backers with refunds. Other than the title, the update was visible only to backers, so we don’t know the reasons the project had to be pulled.
5. All-in-one motion and bulb ramping solutions
There are some great new motion control apps hitting the market (such as Dynamic Perception’s Digital Motion), and bulb ramping is getting easier with software like DSLRDashboard and hardware like the Timelapse+ intervalometer. But generally if you want to perform both motion and bulb ramping, you need to piggyback two solutions on top of each other. While some of the players have worked to integrate (the bulb-ramping GBTimelapse can also keyframe the eMotimo TB3, for example), time-lapsers are all too familiar with the headache that often accompanies trying to get different systems to talk with each other. One of the most impressive claims about ASXY T-Set system currently on Kickstarter is that the one interface gives both control of your motion settings (key-framing and all) and USB control of your camera for bulb ramping (like the Timelapse+, it also has an external light sensor). If they pull this feature set off, it will be a really attractive feature. 2015 will hopefully see some of the major players also tackling an ‘all-in-one’ solution that will allow you to both key-frame your motion and automate the control of your camera settings, all from the one app on your smartphone or tablet.
6. More time-lapse in TV shows and movies
As time-lapse continues to rise in popularity and more commercial content creators are able to do it, so 2015 will see an increase in TV shows and movies utilising time-lapse sequences. Just last week I was approached to shoot some time-lapse for a short film, and hopefully for photographers these requests will only increase. To whet your appetite for what is to hopefully come in 2015, here’s District 7 Media’s famous sequence for House of Cards, the first time-lapse-only opening credits seen on TV.
7. Hyperlapse automation
Last year I shot a small handful of hyperlapses, which only served to turn me against them (too tedious for my low levels of patience) and give me great respect for the likes of Matt Vandeputte and Geoff Tompkinson who specialise in the technique. It seems others have felt the pain of moving a tripod one foot at a time, hundreds of times, and started making infinite motorised dollies, for automated hyperlapse. Lil Mule got their solution out early in 2013 and I expect 2015 will see other players launch motorised hyperlapse rigs onto the market. EDIT: Just a few days ago, eMotimo announced their brand new Cart, a very swish-looking dolly for use with the TB3.
8. 4G long term time-lapse
Finally, my predictions for 2015 wouldn’t be complete without some shameless self-promotion about what’s coming from photoSentinel. 2015 is going to see the introduction of a brand new photoSentinel construction camera to our range, a 4G system that will upload photo in just seconds. It will also feature USB ports, opening the way for further development of features such as remote camera control and local hard drive storage. Imagine being able to finish a long term time-lapse shoot with a holy grail sunset over the construction site, all the raw photos saved onto a multi-TB hard drive and all configured from the comfort of your arm chair! We can’t wait to get it into your hot little hands to play with it. We’ll be launching the first stage of this exciting new technology in April at NAB Show 2015 in Las Vegas. If you’re going to be there, you can grab free tickets to the expo just by clicking this link! (Select Exhibits-only Pass, non-member, and the guest pass code will be auto-filled for you.) We can’t wait to see what time-lapse innovations will hit our screens in 2015! How are you going to wow us?!
EDIT: some more predictions
When I first posted this article on social media, I asked others to also predict what will be new in time-lapse in 2015. Here are some of the suggestions that came through:
With Canon announcing their huge 50.6MP 5DS and 5DS R, we can expect a lot more people to start shooting 8K time-lapse footage. Of course, we won’t be viewing such footage in all it’s glory anytime soon, but it does give a lot more flexibility for post-production. With the right equipment you can already even 10K, but the price of the new Canons will put super high resolution within the reach of those of us who will never get our hands on a Phase One. Where price remains no barrier, even 8K seems a little wimpy, as Gerald Donovan of Dubai360 tweeted (below). While working on Dubai360, Donovan also snapped a selfie on top of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Some people have a hard job!