Midtown: A Stunning New York City Timelapse Photography Project

Many of us complain that we don’t have enough time to do the things that we want. With a heavy workload of taking photos for clients, communicating with clients, traveling, doing finances, etc., it’s often hard to find any time to work on our own personal projects. But none of this stopped Drew Geraci and his team from creating an incredible timelapse of Manhattan. In his spare time, traveling back and forth from D.C. to New York to shoot for clients, Geraci was able to capture 50,000 frames. After six months of shooting, this was the final result:

The gear used in this production: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 IICanon 24-105mm f/4Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 II and a Dynamic Perception Stage Zero dolly for motion control.

While many of us find it difficult to squeeze in 30 minutes for our favorite TV series, Geraci was patient enough to shoot on and off for six months to work on his own personal project. Geraci, however, was not alone, and you might argue that this helped him quite a bit. But even with the extra help, finding a time to fit around everyone’s schedule can be tricky. If you don’t feel like you can find the time, try doing a few of these things:

  • Schedule Down-Time – Everyone needs a break from work. If you just work, work, work all the time, you’ll get bogged down, your work will get sloppy, and you will stress yourself out. Schedule some mandatory break time to wind down and take your mind off of work.
  • Condense Your Errands – Everybody’s got errands to run, but it’s much more efficient if you can do them all at once. Make a list of everything you need to do and see if you can clump them together by time and/or location. This way you won’t be running back and forth across town all day.
  • Eliminate Time-Wasting Habits – This is a tricky one, but if you want some extra time, it can be the best one. Cut down on your internet browsing (Facebook and Reddit can be big timewasters), record your favorite shows for later, don’t go out for drinks every night, etc. These things, while relaxing and appropriate at times, can end up taking a lot of our time.
new york city manhattan timelapse night day

A slower shutter speed allows for the car lights to streak across the frame

Another great tip is to write down what you wish to accomplish in your spare time. Write this on a sticky note and place it somewhere where you will see it everyday. This will give you a constant reminder of what you want to get done.

“There were multiple times during this shoot that we were chased off, either by cops or the cold. The subway shots were particularly difficult to get, especially in the wake of the Boston bombings. We were led out and in some cases followed by police officers or MTA officials who seemed intent on getting us for using tripods.”

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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