Every day it feels like there are another hundred or so timelapses posted online. While some of this is just the illusion of more exposure and access caused by the Internet, some of it is definitely real. The abundance of rapidly evolving technology and constantly dropping DSLR prices have created the perfect atmosphere for even the least experienced photographers to churn out a decent timelapse. And while some people will complain about this fact, it’s really just the natural order of things.
This is how art is elevated. More competition means it’s harder to get noticed, which means you better make your videos extra amazing if you hope to stand out. And the fact of the matter is, it’s working — just look at the video featured here last week showing the mirrored cityscapes.
That said, it can still be a tall order to sift through the dozens of timelapse channels on Vimeo just to find a couple good ones. Hopefully I can help though: as a fan of timelapses, I’ve spent a lot of time sifting through work from dozens of photographers. While I’m sure there are a lot of other very talented people working on timelapse photography, these are five people who have stood out to me and who that I think you should check out too.
#1. Randy Halverson
I imagine if you’re lucky enough to shoot timelapse photography professionally one of the biggest perks would be the breathtaking locales you’d get to visit. While this could probably be said about several types of photography, there’s just something about certain timelapses that really sells it and leads me to believe they’re enjoying it just a little bit more than everybody else. Randy Halverson is one of the people creating timelapses just like that.
Watching his videos it’s easy to get lost in the picture perfect worlds painted on screen. And while doing so you may start to think you’re actually in some computer rendered world created for a summer blockbuster. Thus is the strength of his photography, it’s so beautiful it’s almost hard to believe it’s real.
One particularly interesting variation on the timelapse is the Hyperlapse which is essentially a traveling timelapse that spans a long distance. And while you may have seen some interesting ones even featured here on this site perhaps the most interesting people working with them right now are Teehan+Lax, the company behind the Google Street View Hyperlapse site. In this instance it’s not so much that they’re creating an interesting hyperlapse as much as they’re allowing you to do it. Yes, using the site the power is put in your hands and experimenting with it is equal parts gorgeous and fun. Be warned though, it can get addictive.
#3. Enrique Pacheco
Enrique Pacheco’s timelapses are amazing because apparently they’re shot on other planets. Or at least that’s what you’ll think after watching them. Perhaps the reason he titled one of his most popular videos Made on Earth, is because otherwise you may have no idea. The alien vistas, warping clouds, and hazy cityscapes are breathtaking and easily re-watchable. Luckily Enrique doesn’t horde his talents and actually offers workshops and tours to help others travel to some of these locations and learn how to get the same amazing results he captures on a regular basis.
Don’t have the money for a workshop? Well Enrique is still generous enough to include his technical specs and production workflow so you can try it yourself. You may also notice he uses a little program called LRTimelapse I mentioned in my timelapse piece a few weeks ago. I told you it was a tool you needed to start using!
#4. Tom Lowe
One of the biggest issues with the current glut of timelapse photography is how similar the editing styles of every video seems to be. Listen I love dreamy floating dolly shots while watching the sun set over the New Utahrizona desert but sometimes it’s nice to get a little variety. This is where Tom Lowe really stands out. While he still has plenty of the beloved desert dolly shots, he mixes them up with some of the most impressive cutting I’ve seen in a timelapse. Just check out the 1:10 mark and try not to be wowed by the synchronized satellite dance number.
His timelapse film, TimeScapes, also features several other impressively cut sections including a hot air balloon festival and a very well timed wind power turbine section that was also one of my favorites. One other thing that sets his work above others is the fact that TimeScapes is the first 4k timelapse film sold to the public. While it would be criminal to give all the credit for how good the film looks to the use of 4k, you’ll definitely appreciate it while watching.
#5. Christopher Malin
What makes Christopher Malin’s work so exceptional is that at first glance it could easily be lost in the shuffle of other cloud formation and night sky timelapses, and yet despite this they tend to stand out in amazing ways once you start to watch them. My theory is that this intangible element coming across in Christopher’s work is his passion for the environments in which he’s working. This isn’t just a technically proficient photographer setting his camera down and capturing an amazing landscape over several hours, this is clearly someone who loves and appreciates the outdoors and is happy to share his view of these beautiful worlds with others so they can share his appreciation as well. And it’s working quite well.
Honorable Mention: Aaron Koblin and Company
While I didn’t think this one technically counted because it really only uses a little bit of satellite photography, it still uses the traditional timelapse photography technique. Oh — and it’s incredibly interesting and gorgeous to watch. In the video, the creator, Aaron Koblin used flight data to create a timelapse-eque effect of all the planes traveling over the US at any given moment. He then went about illustrating that in a series of different ways, with a concept so unique and an execution so well done that I had to include it.