Journey Through the French Alps in This Beautiful 4K Timelapse

Landscape photographer Christian Möhrle has turned the majestic beauty of the French Alps into a breathtaking 4K timelapse video.

Showcasing the rugged region’s everchanging light and weather, each frame of Möhrle’s timelapse would make for a beautiful image all by itself, but by showcasing the dynamism of the French Alps, the mountains come to life.

Möhrle created the timelapse using Sony a7 III and Canon 6D cameras alongside Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS USM, Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, and Sigma 70-300mm zoom lenses. He also utilized Syrp’s Genie Motion system. “This is used for camera movement. The system consists of a slider, a panning, and a tilting unit, all motorized and synchronized with the camera,” Möhrle explains.

French Alps timelapse Christian Möhrle

Before traveling to the French Alps for a few days at the beginning of August, Möhrle tells PetaPixel he spent “hours scouting places on Google Maps and Google Earth looking for interesting locations.”

He ultimately made a list of about 50 locations, but given time constraints, only a small subset of the locations made it into the final timelapse.

“The spot I was most excited for was the Lac de Chesery, a small Mountain Lake with the Mont Blanc mountain range in the distance. This place can be seen multiple times throughout the timelapse movie. Of course, I had a lot of great locations on my Google Maps list, but sometimes, it was hard to find the right spot on site. Because I had to navigate my way through a dense forest, I missed one of the best sunsets during my trip as I wasn’t able to find the place I was looking for,” Möhrle explains.

French Alps timelapse Christian Möhrle

The project required considerable hiking, so packing the perfect gear proved extremely important. Reaching the lake in the video’s opening scene required a six-hour roundtrip hike. Möhrle’s girlfriend helped him considerably by carrying their food and water.

Having two cameras allows Möhrle to capture twice the footage in the same amount of time. He says that a timelapse sequence of about 10 seconds takes anywhere from five to 15 minutes of capture time.

“Basically, I tried to take an image every second for 300 seconds. The final movie was set to have 30 frames per second, so with 300 photos shot, I end up with 10 seconds of timelapse footage. Having a short one-second interval gives the timelapse a very smooth motion, especially with fast-moving clouds. To further improve the smoothness, I used slower shutter speeds of 0.3 seconds to add just a tiny bit of motion blur to the images. To prevent flickering later in the video, I set the aperture to around f/4 (as wide open as possible). Of course, these settings meant I had to shoot with neutral density (ND) filters; otherwise the scenes would end up overexposed! All in all I shot around 20,000 images for this movie,” Möhrle tells PetaPixel.

French Alps timelapse Christian Möhrle

The German photographer has numerous incredible timelapse videos on his YouTube channel, including recent ones from Austria, the Dolomites, Faroe Islands, Madeira, Lofoten, and Lünersee.

PetaPixel featured Möhrle’s Dolomites timelapse last October.

“The Dolomites in northern Italy are by far my most favorite mountains to photograph. The whole area is densely packed with great photo spots and many of them are very well known like the Drei Zinnen, the Seceda or Instagram’s favorite: The Seiser Alm,” Möhrle told PetaPixel last year.

Möhrle also wrote a tutorial article on PetaPixel that explains his color grading process for delivering warm, vibrant landscapes.

More of Christian Möhrle’s beautiful landscape photography is available on his website, Instagram, and YouTube. Möhrle has a separate YouTube channel where he publishes weekly photography and post-processing tutorials.

Image credits: All images © Christian Möhrle