Motion: Landscapes and Cityscapes, Modern and Ancient

By David Schonauer   Tuesday September 11, 2018

Time lapse. Hyperlapse. Infrared. Even time travel (sort of).

In an age when everyone has a camera in their pocket that can also shoot video, photographers and filmmakers are using a gamut of techniques to grab the attention of viewers. This is especially the case when it comes to travel photography. Impressive views of all the corners of the globe, including many most of us have never heard of, are a couple of clicks away on YouTube.

Today we’ve gathered together several short videos that have been getting attention on the web for their creative (and astonishing) depictions of landscapes and cityscapes around the world. Director Mwita Chaca takes us on a tour of Hong Kong by mixing time lapse, hyperlapse, and real-time footage. German photographer Christian Möhrle captures landscapes in an entirely new way: His video Infrascapes may be the first 8K infrared time lapse. Sound like something you’d like to try? Möhrle helpfully provides a “how-to” video.

Drones have certainly changed the way travel videos are made. Today we feature an aerial view of Scotland from Edinburgh-based filmmaker John Duncan. And we’ve got a drone flyover of Pompeii that provides a new perspective on the scale and complexity of the ancient city.

1. Welcome To Hong Kong

Many filmmakers these days are mixing time-lapse photography with hyperlapse techniques — a time lapse in which the camera is moving through a space. Director Mwita Chaca of the Mwendo production group also incorporates real-time footage reverse footage, and drone shots in this tour of Hong Kong. He shot with a variety of cameras, including the Sony RX100 V, a7 III and  a7SII mirrorless cameras, along with Sony 10-18mm f/4 and 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses. The aerial footage was shot with a DJI Mavic Pro.

“Time lapses and hyperlapses can be great things. But sometimes it’s nice to just stop and slow down. To observe. And mixing in real-time footage and even reverse footage with that is a great way to let the viewer do that while still keeping them interested in the story,” declares DIY Photography.

2. Infrascapes

Germany-based landscape photographer Christian Möhrle’s video Infrascapes was made from around 20,000 images shot over the course of four months in his free time. The images were created throughout southern Germany using a modified Canon EOS 750D and a variety of lenses. For camera movement, he used the Syrp 3-axis motion system. Möhrle tells DIYP that the project took around 300 hours to complete. That includes post-processing and editing, which was was done using Lightroom and After Effects.

Take note: The infrared was not created in post. Möhrle has also created a behind-the-scenes video showing how he made some of his infrared sequences.

See more of Möhrle work at his YouTube channel.

3. Ancient Scotland

This three-minute film is the third in a series from John Duncan, an Edinburgh-based filmmaker. “My first film, Beautiful Scotland, was really just a collection of beautiful shots,” notes Duncan at Vimeo, which made the video a Staff Pick. “My second, Wild Scotland, embraced the wild theme of this country, featuring many of our wild animals. So for this third installment I had to look deeper at what defines Scotland for me. It soon dawned on me that Scotland has so much of the ancient about it, not just in terms of architecture but far older geology.”

Duncan shot at 20 locations, making extensive use of a DJI Inspire  2 drone along with the DJI X7 camera and X5S gimbal stabilizer. He also created a behind-the-scenes video:

“The process of filming this has led to personal experiences which defy superlatives, not least the simple, awe inspiring, moments surrounded by silence as the sun rises over the horizon,” notes Duncan.

4. A Pompeii Flyover

The year 79 was not a good one for the folks living in Pompeii. The ancient Roman city was buried under volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, trapping many before they could flee. Modern archeologists have spent years unearthing the doomed city, providing an extraordinary glimpse into life at the time. This video was shot and published by the Porta Stabia archaeological group led by Professor Steven Ellis of the University of Cincinnati.

By using a drone, Ellis’s group capture a perspective many of us have never seen, one that shows the scale and complexity of Pompeii. (Mount Vesuvius can be seen on the horizon toward the end of the video as the drone rises up into the sky.) The takeaway: Drones aren’t just for art, but also for understanding our world better.


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