Time-lapse video shows the electric life of St. John’s

Feb 20 2013

Electric City Timelapse – Teaser from Crockwell Photography on Vimeo.

A seed growing into a plant. Stars moving as the Earth rotates. Tidal shift.

The world is constantly changing around us, but with time-lapse photography this secret movement is something we can watch with our own eyes.

Local photographer Chris Crockwell was so fascinated by time-lapse videos online that he decided to give St. John’s a similar treatment. He grabbed his tripod and camera and started snapping. And the results are amazing.

I sent him a few quick questions after watching the video above.

So why did you decide to start doing time lapses?
There are some amazing time-lapse videos online showing exotic locations all around the world. I love the effect of the videos as well as the process of creating them. I have been creating landscape photographs around St. John’s and Newfoundland for many years, so I already knew of some great places to set up and create my own.

How long did each of these shots take you to set up?
Each scene is comprised of approximately 30 minutes of shooting, with a photo taken every second. That’s almost 2000 photographs. Of course it takes time in getting to the locations, setting up the equipment, and experimenting to find the best composition… 30 minutes of shooting results in a 1.5 minute video clip. Combining the clips and adding music is the last stage and definitely the longest part of the process.

Which clip of yours is your favourite?
My favourite time-lapse is probably the Signal Hill scene, where the passing cars are reflected in the pond below. It looks like energy pulses or electricity passing through. I haven’t seen a clip like that before. It’s a modern perspective of an historical scene.

Did anything unusual happen as you were taking these?
The world looks so different when recorded through a time-lapse, and you don’t always know how it will look until the video has been processed. As the time-lapse recording was getting close to the end I would get excited to watch the final video. And I’m often really amused by the unusual results, like the ferry peeling out of the harbour or planes flying around the city.

The other day I did a time-lapse of people sliding at Pippy Park and the final video was somewhat boring except for this one kid who stood out who was flopping around the bottom of the hill for a long time, being cranky with his snowboard, and finally he kicked his snowboard all the way back up the hill.

There’s nothing better than watching a beautiful evening unfold in front of your camera knowing that everything that happens in that 30 minutes will be a part of your time-lapse forever.

Find out more at www.crockwellphotography.com

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