This Incredible Flower Timelapse Took 3 Years and 8TB of Photos to Create

Filmmaker Jamie Scott made his name in the timelapse space with Fall, a Central Park timelapse of epic proportions that took 6 months of dedication to capture. And yet his followup timelapse, titled Spring, somehow puts his first creation to shame.

Spring is the flower timelapse to end all flower timelapses. “All in all this took 3 years to shoot,” writes Jamie on Vimeo. “I shot over 8TB of 5k footage.”

The goal, says Jamie, was to create the “polar opposite” of the Fall timelapse. “Not just the Fall vs Spring. But wide shots vs close ups, everything in focus vs shallow depth of field, very cuty vs one shot, contemporary music vs classical, static camera vs moving camera.”

So Jamie popped his Canon 5D Mark II and a 24mm lens onto a Dynamic Perception Stage One slider and started shooting… and shooting… and shooting some more. Indoors and out, battling tricky framing situations, flowers that bloom at different rates, and issues of availability, somehow he managed to create something phenomenal.

Perhaps the most stunning aspect of the whole short film is Jamie’s seamless transitions. Different angles, different flowers, and the transition from indoor to outdoor locations and back again happen as if by magic. Of course, “magic” is often just another word for “hard work and technical skill” when it comes to incredible filmmaking.

In this case, it meant meticulous camera angle and lighting prep in varied locations, followed by post-production that made it possible to composite several plates together seamlessly.

Finally, the timeline. The main reason this took so darn long to shoot wasn’t just technical difficulty—of which there was plenty—but also because flowers are so finicky. Lighting from the side was not really possible, because the flowers would bend towards the grow light if he did that; and as he tells FStoppers, he sometimes had only a couple of chances per year to get something right:

The cherry blossoms, for example, take at least two weeks to bloom and are only available for about six weeks of the year. I only got three attempts per year.

Truly a flower timelapse to end all flower timelapses. Take 5 minutes to watch this impressive creation up top, and then, if you want to see more of Jamie’s work, visit his website or give him a follow on Vimeo.

Image credits: All photographs and video by Jamie Scott, and used with permission.