Exploring Wild California with Timelapse Photography

California has many incredible attractions; photographers are rarely caught with nothing to photograph. Take the following timelapse video, for example. Photographer Michael Shainblum, a California native, has spent a lifetime exploring the natural beauty of the western state and a year collecting all the footage you see in Into the Atmosphere:

As you may know, timelapse is a photography technique that is accomplished by compiling thousands of photographs together to make a moving picture. Into the Atmosphere is the product of 12,400 still images. If that sounds like a lot, take into consideration that Shainblum started with 75,000 images to choose from.


A lot of the pan movements you see throughout the timelapse are made using a Dynamic Perception Dolly which is motor-controlled and helps to automate the the task with a camera trigger. Shainblum also utilized a motion control robot made by eMotimo, to help insure smooth transitions and changes.


It’s not just the tedious hours spent going through, curating, and editing the final images. Michael Shainblum also adds:

“There is a common misconception about timelapse shooters that we quickly set up cameras and go sleep in the car for hours at a time, which is far from the truth. We are constantly hiking heavy equipment through dangerous areas and spending time camping in uncomfortable situations…”

For Further Training on Timelapse Photography:

There is a complete guide (146 pages) to shooting, processing and rendering time-lapses using a dslr camera. It can be found here: The Timelapse Photography Guide

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