Once in a very great while, we photographers come across a work that is truly magnificent, one that both inspires and leaves us a little bit amazed. Paul Richardson‘s recent timelapse video of Paris is one such work. Equal parts visually stunning and technically masterful, Paul’s video shows timelapse photography at its best:
This was Richardson’s first trip to Paris, and to create this video, he first did hours of research on what to shoot. When he got to Paris, he spent the daytime hours cycling around location scouting and spent the “blue” and “golden” hours shooting. His ultimate goal was to capture the classic sights and contrast them to the modern business side of Paris, but the result was far more than that.
As stunning as his still photography is, with its spot-on composition and perspective, the most incredible parts of the video are where the whole screen seems to be in motion. The zooms and motion control sequences were achieved with a home-built dolly (controlled by an Emotimo TB3), but the long shots were created through a photographic technique called “hyperlapse,” which, in this case, meant literally moving the camera and its tripod from position to position. (Hyperlapse is an exposure technique used in timelapse photography where the position of the camera is moved over very long distances to create an extended tracking shot.
Shot only with a Canon 6D (with 17-40 f/4, 50mm f/1.8, and 70-200 f/4 lenses), two tripods, and a handmade dolly, J’adore Paris took over 400 hours to create (approx 2.5 hours per second of footage), including three weeks of shooting and five weeks of editing. Although Richardson is a professional timelapse photographer, this particular trip was done on his own dime. When asked why, he said,
“I think I would go mad if I wasn’t creating something. I made it because I love trying to show things that people don’t normally see… and timelapse is the perfect medium.”
Having discovered timelapse photography just two years ago, Richardson’s work has reached stunning height in a very short amount of time. When asked for his advice for newbies to the timelapse world, his response was to not worry too much about the technical aspects and the gear when you’re just starting out. Rather search around for timelapse videos that inspire you:
“Look at their compositions, camera movement, pace, colors, etc.. You can learn a lot by studying the greats.”
It seems that Paul Richardson has taken his own advice, producing one of those videos that experienced photographers and newbies alike can look to for inspiration. If you’re looking for some serious “wow” moments in timelapse photography, you could certainly do worse than J’adore Paris.
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