Hyper-lapse, the art of time-lapse with a LOT of dynamic movement, i.e. a travelling time-lapse, has been described as “time-lapse photography on speed.” While I don’t recommend capturing a hyper-lapse while on speed (your photos will end up too shaky for even Warp Stabilizer to correct…) I’m definitely excited by some of the hyper-lapses hitting the web.
Here are the movies, at time of posting, that I reckon deserve a spot, in no particular order, in a top twelve (‘cos I liked more than ten!) of the best and most novel hyper-lapses. (Warning: I don’t recommend watching them all at once, or you’re likely to walk away from the computer feeling a little motion sick!)
1. Google Street View Hyperlapse
Utilising WebGL rendering technology and Google Maps, the folk at Teehan and Lax Labs prove that you don’t need a camera, or to even get off your couch, to make a great looking hyper-lapse. As well as having their own video go viral, they’ve generously given everyone else the tools to make our own at hyperlapse.tllabs.io.
2. HyperLapse 2012
This video from Geoff Tompkinson recently made the Official Selection of the 2013 Chronos Film Festival, and deservedly so. The video features the usual hyper-lapse fare of travelling along crowded city streets and rotating around public monuments (all done very well!), but it also starts and ends with some beautiful river-cruise hyper-lapse sequences. And, it’s the only hyper-lapse I’ve seen that goes under a public monument instead of just around it!
Geoff is currently filming Around the World in Timelapse (you can register your pre-release interest), and another of his films, The Lake, was the overall winner of the 2013 Chronos Film Festival. This Vimeo album shows off his other hyper-lapses.
3. Paris 2013 TimeLapse in Motion
It’s no surprise that when looking for beautiful monuments to hyper-lapse around, photographer Kirill Neiezhmakov chose Paris. The Seine, Eiffel Tower, Louvre Pyramid and Arc de Triomphe all feature in this superbly shot and edited hyper-lapse.
Speaking of famous European monuments, Luke Shepard wasn’t content with just Paris (where he filmed his previous hyper-lapse movie La Flâneur) and set out for three months to hyper-lapse monuments, at night time, all over the continent. 36 cities, 21 countries and thousands of photos later, the resulting video is nothing short of breath-taking.
5. Brooklyn Brewery Mash – A trip through BK in 3000 photos
Technically more stop-motion than hyper-lapse, this promotional video was created by filmmakers Landon Van Soest and Paul Trillo to promote the Brooklyn Brewery Mash. I like how it plays with both forms of time manipulation – speeding up and slow-mo. You can also watch the breakdown of some of the sequences. Most recently, Paul Trillo received fame for NY 41X41 in which he used 41 photos, shot on a smartphone, to created a continuous zoom through Manhattan (and, here’s how he made that video).
6. PRETTY LIGHTS around the block (directors cut)
Another stop-motion-cum-hyper-lapse, this music video by Anthony Dickenson also takes viewers on a journey around Brooklyn. This creative project stands out from the others because the video was created for the music, rather than the usual process of music being added to the video. Though it doesn’t include the smoothest hyper-lapses we’ve seen, the result is an interesting collaboration of art-forms that makes for good viewing.
7. Georgia | Hyper-travel
Polish creatives Timelapse Media have made this highly enjoyable hyper-lapse that takes viewers through some of Georgia’s most stunning locations. Beautiful photography, clever transitions and fun musicality make this video great viewing… though the transitions through the eye-ball are a little disconcerting! The team have also made a similarly fun stop-motion video of Peru and Bolivia.
8. California/Arizona Time Lapse
Hyper-lapse normally involves moving up your tripod (picking it up or pushing it on wheels) a fraction between each photo,. Either that, or a really, really long dolly track. Luckily for Dan Ekhart, some engineers had already built him a really, really long dolly track through the desert in the form of a railway line (we like that his dolly doubles as a child-transporter). It wasn’t all as easy as riding a train-track dolly – he did also use Camtrac (a kind of skateboard for cameras) and the ol’ fashioned walking-the-tripod methodology (aka ‘walk-lapsing’).
9. Vienna Time Lapse 2012 / 2013 (Hyperlapse)
This hyper-lapse, from the team Film Spektakel, is worth watching just for the effort that’s gone into post-production (48 hours of photo processing and 40 hours of editing!). Be warned though: the intense music, strobe-like transitions and speed changes make it a hyper-hyper-lapse (which would make it time-lapse on speed squared); don’t sit too close to your monitor if viewing in full screen!
10. NOVALAPSE – USA Trip 2012 (Impressions)
When they visited the US for the 2013 NAB Show, the guys from German production company Novalapse gave themselves an extra two weeks vacation… if you can call moving a tripod inches at a time for hours on end a ‘vacation’. Whether or not it was restful for them, it’s nice of them to share their vacation with the rest of us. A mash-up of lots of three weeks of footage, this video is worth watching if only for the cool ‘vertigo effect’ at 2:07, for which Novalapse generously provides an After Effects tutorial (they make it look surprisingly easy!). Much of the footage is doubly impressive when you know they used no sliders/dollies on the trip; every linear dynamic shot was made by walk-lapsing.
11. Tomorrowland 2013 Hyperlapse Compilation
Epic Cinema commissioned Tjoez (aka Matthew Vandeputte; perhaps the first to list ‘hyperlapse photographer’ on his resume) and Phil Arntz to hyper-lapse the huge Belgium electronic music festival, Tomorrowland. In the Vimeo description Tjoez writes “Have a look at Tomorrowland 2013 through the eyes of a hyper-lapse photographer”, and that’s just what it feels like to watch this movie. While other hyper-lapses show off the beauty of a location, this video really gives a great ‘feel’ for what it must be like to be at Tomorrowland (did someone say ‘wild’?!). And, like many very generous time-lapsers, Tjoez and Phil have made a behind-the-scenes video to give us less creative commoners some insight into their process (and show off their own crazy dance moves).
12. Berlin Hyper-lapse
The last, but by no means least, hyper-lapse video is from German video-artist and filmmaker b-zOOmi. Watch this one for some very cool vertigo effect sequences (see if you can work out how 0:50 was shot and edited). b-zOOmi even got his video featured on television!
Bonus video: How-to: Hyperlapse! (DIY Motion Timelapsing)
Still wondering how on earth the photographers capture these cool hyper-lapses? Then check out this great introduction how-to video. It will either inspire you to get out there and give it a go, or give you a new respect for those with enough patience to make great videos for the rest of us!
There are lots of other great hyper-lapses out there; it was hard to limit our list to just twelve! Have we missed any? What’s your favourite hyper-lapse? Let us know!