Exploring Cotonou, Benin (Africa) with Timelapse Photography

Thanks to modern technology, anyone anywhere can get a glimpse of life in other parts of the world. Pictures and movies help us daydream about what it would be like to spend a day in a place we’ve never traveled, all from the comforts of our own homes. This timelapse video of Cotonou, Benin’s largest city, is an armchair traveler’s dream:

The photographer, Mayeul Akpovi, behind this gorgeous work of art, used a combination of lenses, filters, and post-procesing software to create this timelapse and stop motion sequence. He shot the frames for “Cotonou in Motion” with a Canon 5D Mark III. His complete gear list included the following:


Neutral Density Filters


Changing lenses throughout his shooting resulted in a dynamic timelapse video featuring many different compelling angles of view. Some scenes even feature tilt-shift perspectives that make the subjects look as if they’re miniatures. The neutral density filters allowed for long exposures in bright conditions, a technique many photographers use to make their timelapse images flow together more fluidly. Post-production software gave Akpovi the freedom to edit the video in an artistic style.




With the right tools, photographers can show people all over the world a day in the life of their everyday surroundings.

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