Magnificent Time-Lapse Captures California Like You’ve Never Seen it Before

When National Geographic not only picks up your time-lapse, but also insists on interviewing you about it, you know you’re doing something right. Then again, when you’re time-lapse master Michael Shainblum, you probably don’t need reminding.

Which brings us to Shainblum’s fourth and most recent creation, a video dubbed “Into the Atmosphere” that is receiving praise left and right for capturing the parts of California you won’t see in your typical time-lapse film.


When you think time-lapse of California, several of the state’s most famous landmarks come to mind, but Shainblum studiously avoided those and instead sought out California’s hidden gems and lesser-visited vistas. The result is breathtaking.

“The main goal was to showcase these natural areas, but not the shots that everyone has seen before, like Yosemite,” Shainblum told National Geographic. “I wanted to showcase all of California. I just wanted to travel and hit every spot that I thought people might enjoy, all sorts of places that aren’t that far from a normal city.”

So far, California has been Shainblum’s sole subject. It’s where he was born and raised and he feels a connection to the state that explains why he’s so keen on capturing it in new ways. Now, however, he thinks it might be time to move on.


Concluding his short interview with Nat Geo he explains, “I want to take time-lapse in a new direction. The market for time-lapse in the past year or two has been completely oversaturated. I want to try and reshape it.” We don’t know about you, but we’re excited to see where he takes the genre.

To see more of Shainblum’s work, head over to his website by clicking here. And if you’d like to get to know the man behind the time-lapse, check out this BTS video from The Creators Project.

(via National Geographic)

  • MS

    Why is everyone so siked for time lapses? Honestly, I would rather look at 5 really good landscape photographs that highlight the best of these 2000 spliced together. Ive seen enough clouds bubbling across the frame on Petapixel to last me a lifetime.

  • Michael Shainblum

    No one is holding you down forcing you to watch the Timelapses. I have a ton of Landscape photography you can check out on my site instead.

  • Michael Shainblum

    Thanks for posting PetaPixel, I really appreciate it.

  • DLCade

    Thank you for creating something beautiful that is worth sharing! We look forward to featuring more of your work :)


    4 or 5K projected onto IMAX screen, now that would be something.

  • Gregory Schern

    Great job Michael. Absolutely gorgeous work that is no doubt the result of dedication and hard work.

  • RobLeslie

    Incredible. The only problem I have with it is that it is just so damn epic and makes me jealous.

    Can’t imagine how much work and travelling that must have been for you. Gotta be creepy late at night setting up and hanging out in the dark while the timelapses worked away. Did you ever set it up and leave? It takes me about one minute or more to do a single good night time shot with the stars. Would love to know more about what you do to create such brilliant work. Very inspiring.

    – Rob

  • Michael Shainblum

    I shot and edited the whole thing in 4K, so that might be a possibility :D

  • Michael Shainblum

    I spend a lot of time out at night, alone or with people. I enjoy just hanging out and taking images when my other camera shoots Timelapse. If you are curious to know more Vice did a really cool behind the scenes piece you can check out here.

  • Sayyadina

    It’s not merely light and time that have been combined and captured, it’s awe and wonder; the epic beauty of the Earth, the Sky, the Universe. Thank you for this, and thank you for the inspiration it provides for me to further my own time-lapse craft in this new year.

  • Shanna @ pineapple and coconut

    LOVE. I am always in awe of timelapses – always fun to see the “shooting stars taking u-turns in the skies during these.