Time Lapse Photography; or, Death to the Narrative

Vimeo Staff Pick

Time lapse photography is on the rise! With motion control equipment becoming ever more affordable photographers and filmmakers alike are flocking to either the major cities or the wild outback to capture and share some of the most beautiful short films around. It has made its most notable appearance lately in David Fincher’s award winning series “House of Cards” as the intro credits roll over a time lapse montage of the D.C. area. It is not quite as beautiful as the ones posted below (purposely so, I am sure) but the fact that the time-lapse medium has worked itself into an acclaimed David Fincher production is significant. (See it here)

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that time lapse photography has been around for quite a while (especially during transition scenes in TV shows: Breaking Bad) and it has always garnered the respect that it is due but while perusing Vimeo the other day I began to notice an interesting trend. In my humble opinion from what I came across, if you uploaded a high quality time-lapse film (utilizing some sort of motion control) you simply stood a much better chance of receiving thousands of more views, likes and comments than if you had uploaded a narrative driven short film of equal production value.

I am not sure if the sudden bloom in interest is due to the increased affordability (and portability) of motion time lapse rigs or if it is more of a testament to the ever decreasing attention span of our generation who simply prefers to watch a sunset in California, a thunderstorm in the mid-west or the arctic lights in the northern tip of Norway in 30 seconds or less. Obviously not everyone has the opportunity to visit these beautiful places in person and this is the closest some of us will ever get but the trend is interesting and noteworthy to us filmmakers nonetheless.

Whatever the reason may be, these videos and short films are absolutely stunning and we should be thankful to the photographers who spend countless hours capturing and compiling the footage for all of us to enjoy.

Here are a few of my favorites that I have seen and don’t tell me you don’t have the time…. every one of us can afford 10 minutes out of our day to escape into this world of beauty that is out there surrounding us but we never take the time to appreciate.

The Mountain

The Mountain was shot by TSO Photography, a landscape photographer from Norway.

Here is an excerpt from his “making of” summary:

“The goal was to capture the beautiful Milky Way galaxy along with one of the most amazing mountains I know El Teide. I have to say this was one of the most exhausting trips I have done. There was a lot of hiking at high altitudes and probably less than 10 hours of sleep in total for the whole week. Having been here 10-11 times before I had a long list of must-see locations I wanted to capture for this movie, but I am still not 100% used to carrying around so much gear required for time-lapse movies.”

Midnight Sun | Iceland

Midnight Sun was shot by Michael Levy an international travel photographer.

“For 17 days I traveled solo around the entire island shooting almost 24 hours, sleeping in the car, and eating whenever I had the time. During my days shooting this film I shot 38,000 images, traveled some 2900 miles, and saw some of the most amazing, beautiful, and indescribable landscapes on the planet. Iceland is absolutely one of the most beautiful and unusual places you could ever imagine.”


Tom Lowe is one of the most well known (if not the most) time-lapse photographers out there. Please take the time to check out his website http://www.timescapes.org or give him some support on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TimeScapes.

It was the light

“It was the light” was created by local photography genius Jeff Morris.

Check out his photography at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ineeddadrink/

Here is an excerpt from his short summary:

“… is a time lapse piece consisting of over 40,000 still photographs shot on the Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 5D MarkII. I’ve always been fascinated by how diverse San Diego county is. You can visit the beach, mountains and desert in less than a two hour drive. I could take you to every single location in this film in the same day!”

Farewell to Norway, goodbye for now…

The past month I have read so many farewell posts from my fellow exchange students and now it is sadly my turn.  The last six months I’ve made new friends from all over the world and went on adventures to 7 different countries and many cities all over western Europe. I want to thank all of the friends I’ve made in Oslo this semester, I’m sure none of us will forget this experience and please know that you will always have a friend in San Diego if you are ever in the states. Secondly I want to thank Irene who made these past six months the best I have had. This is an ending to another chapter for us and while it is sad for now, remember this is not our last adventure and we will see each other very soon!!

It’s just crazy how time flies, looking over my pictures of the past six months I can remember the moments as though they were yesterday and how we hoped our time here would never end…. but here we are. Andy Bernard said it best in The Office series finale, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days, before you’ve actually left them.”

I want to end my last blog post from Norway with a quick look back over my adventure. Here are a few of the highlights from the last six months, I have used them in my previous posts but they are some of my favorite memories.


michelberger welcomesledding 2bus trip 1photoshoot

new shoessnow climbthese are the timesluke ryan and Ispellcheck

east sidephoto automatcross country 2this guyboat coming!our groupus jumpingirene and itphone booths

Norway’s independence day and a trip to London!

london banner

May was quite the month, just two weeks after getting back from Brussels and Amsterdam I found myself hopping back on a plane headed for London, but not before pausing to celebrate Norway’s independence day on the 17th of May!

The 17th of May

Here is Irene in her national suit on our way to breakfast

irene outfit 2It’s tradition to have a champagne breakfast buffet with friends and/or family on the 17th. Here is the table setting for all 20+ guests invited to our friend’s house that we celebrated at.

breakfast on the 17thOur host, Line, and Irene prepping for breakfast!

irene and line breakfastAfter breakfast it’s custom to head down to the palace and Karl Johans Gate (street) where there is a parade and you can wave to the king and the queen

17th paradeThere were thousands of people lining the main street!


Line and øyvind on their way to the parade

the couple and mickey

Irene and Line in front of the palace

irene and line paradeThe rest of the day we spent in the park bbq’ing and hanging out with friends. It was interesting to see the whole city come alive, I think almost every single person had the day off work and were out and about!

Off to London

Everyone knows that vehicles are driven from the opposite side of the car and road in London. However, what I never really took into consideration is how confusing this is when you are a pedestrian walking around the streets, especially when you have never been there before and might be following directions on a map or on your phone. Thankfully, London thought of this and each crosswalk was clearly labeled which way to look before playing frogger with the London taxi company.

froggerSince it was my first time in London I wanted to see the main tourist attractions before we explored the rest of the city. The first place we went to was the Old Spitalfields Market. Irene had never tried price haggling before but once she finally got up the courage there was no stopping her!


spitalfields marketLater we headed across town to the London Eye and Big Ben!

london eye

big benGrowing up with James Bond films I of course had to visit the famous Mi6 headquarters!

mi6We took a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

the old globeDuring our tour they were rehearsing for Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and our tour guide let us watch for half an hour, which she told us is a very rare occurrence but they were opening the play that weekend and we just happened to be caught in the theater when they were rehearsing!

globe theatre rehearsel

After seeing the main sights it was time to explore the rest of the city!

imm018_18A imm020_20A

imm021_21ADon’t think she noticed the sign I stood her next to….

imm011_11AAWLF in London!

imm023_23AWe of course had to stop for some snacks during our adventure

midday snackWaiting for my “proper burger”

imm017_17AHere we ate a traditional English breakfast, the lighting was super dark in the restaurant but I still love this picture!

imm016_16AWe can’t go to any city without browsing through some clothing stores and thrift shops. Irene was absolutely not leaving London without visiting the Underground store so we made it our first destination.

imm012_12ABrick Lane was amazing for thrift store shopping, somehow this is the only picture of the street I took…..

brick laneUnfortunately this little treasure was a bit small, such a shame….

thrift shoppingmom you’ll appreciate this one

elvisThe London taxi’s were so cool! The backseats were hot tub style haha

london taxi 2london taxiYou can’t go to London without seeing a musical so we purchased tickets to see The Lion King a couple weeks early to make sure we got great seats. To make a long story short, we of course booked tickets for the same night (after) we were leaving London, so we had to scramble to find tickets to a different play. A box office had a couple good seats left for Wicked which had great reviews so we were saved!

wicked exterior

wicked posterThis picture is pretty blurry and doesn’t do the setting justice but the performance was amazing!

wicked interiorUnfortunately, I was past due for another haircut and there was no way I could make it another month and a half until I got back from San Diego. So, I decided I would save some money and have it cut in London rather than back in Oslo. We had walked by a fun looking salon the first day called Pimps & Pinups so we headed back there to see if they had any availabilities (luckily they did!)

After embarrassingly admitting our little mishap with the Lion King tickets we asked if they knew anywhere that would buy our tickets off of us. Luckily one of the girls had a friend who wanted to go last minute so they bought the tickets, jackpot!

pimps and pinups

Pimps and pinups 2

It was surreal actually walking the historic streets of London. Irene and I had talked of visiting London someday together back when we met in 2011 and now we finally have! It was very sad heading back to Oslo, especially since I knew it would be my last journey during my time in Europe but we knew we had sunshine, bbq’s in the park and beach trips to look forward to!


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