Mind-Bending Time-Lapse of Cityscapes Mirrored Into Kaleidoscopic Patterns

Photographer Michael Shainblum has been mirroring images and video for about five years now. So when he decided to explore the world of time-lapse, that naturally meant exploring it in Kaleidoscopic fashion. The result was the psychedelic cityscape time-lapse Mirror City.

Given the amount of post-processing required to create something like this, Mirror City took a long time to make. Speaking with planet5D about the process, Shainblum explained that the time-lapse took him some 4-5 months to take from concept and completion.

His goal was to “showcase something unique and artistic, which takes time-lapse photography into a more abstract direction,” says Shainblum in the video description. “I wanted to emulate these urban landscapes in a way that nobody has even seen before.”


The final time-lapse consists of footage shot in San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Chicago. Some of the shots are mirrored only 2 or 4 times. In the Q&A with planet5D Shainblum explains that his dolly shots often look better this way. When he wants to get really psychedelic, however, he’ll mirror a shot as many as 8 to 16 times.

Gear-wise, Shainblum used three different Canon DSLR models (a few 5DIIs, 5DIIIs and a T2i) accompanied by whatever lens best fit the scenario — his selection included the 17-40mm f/4.0, 16-35mm f/2.8, 20mm f/1.8, 14mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/4.0, 70-200mm f/2.8, 85mm f/1.2 and 85mm f/1.8.

Check out the time-lapse at the top to see the kaleidoscopic madness for yourself, or learn more about Michael Shainblum and his work by visiting his website here.

P.S. For more mirrored time-lapse action, check out these trippy hyperlapses shot on the Japanese monorail system.