How to Create a Hyper-Lapse Photography Sequence Around a Building

In this perspective-shifting short, photographers Kevin Parry and Andrea Nesbitt of Candy Glass Productions share their tips on creating a circling shot of any building. This uses similar techniques as a new trend now known as hyperlapse photography. For this project they photograph Toronto’s prolific Canadian National Tower—the largest and most iconic building in Canada. At 1,815 feet tall, it held the record for the world’s tallest free-standing structure, until it was surpassed in 2010 by both the Canton Tower in Guangdong, China and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai:

The technique is similar to a constructed timelapse, except that the photographer is capturing their own movement, as opposed to the subject. The shooter first maps out perspectives in a circle around the building and takes a couple of shots from each, making sure to keep the building always lined up the same. The images are then imported into Photoshop where they are perfectly aligned, slightly blurred, and then assembled together in video editing software. The technique is straightforward; the art is all in the precision, in how cleanly the lines match, and how convincingly the illusion of motion can be created.

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This technique produces an effect not easily matched by other methods. The finished product has a feeling of flight, like a bird circling low, and with a building as perfectly round and symmetrical as the CN Tower, the visual impact is quite moving; one can’t help but imagine what the result would be applied to other buildings of different shapes and forms.

This is only one of many pieces inspired by optical illusion that Nesbitt and Parry have been working on over at Hypno SF along with musician and collaborator Kalle Mattson, whose gentle melodies are featured in this video, as well. This trio, based jointly in San Francisco and Toronto, is working hard to innovate new ways of creating images, and new ways of seeing the same things that many of us take for granted.

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