Spotlight: A NYC Time Lapse, Droning the Alps, and the Aurora Australis

By David Schonauer   Thursday May 9, 2019

Today’s spotlight of remarkable motion art is a world tour.

We start in New York City, with time-lapse video from photographer Michael Shainblum. The video was inspired by Shainblum’s first visit to New York as a kid, when he encountered the “sheer sense of scale” of the city — not just its skyscrapers, but the pace of life there.

“Ever since then, it has been my dream to recreate that feeling into a short time-lapse film,” he writes. “From the sensory overload of standing on a busy New York street corner. To the tranquility of standing on a skyscraper, like being on top of the world. This is a dedication to my favorite city in the world.”

From New York we go to Europe for a pre-dawn drone ride through the snow-covered Alps, courtesy of the aerial cinematography specialists at the Austria-based 5kdigitalfilm production company.

And we end with photographer Martin Heck’s glimpse of two heavenly sights — the Milky Way and Aurora Australis, as captured over the South Pole by German filmmaker and  photographer Martin Heck.

1. Michael Shainblum: Liberty - New York City Timelapse 4K

“Anyone who has ever been to New York City remembers their first impression, amazement, and awe. Photographer Michael Shainblum credits this feeling as one of the main reasons he got into photography in the first place.” So noted Fstoppers, which recently spotlighted Shainblum’s video Liberty - New York City Timelapse 4K, which captures the scale, the lights, and the dynamism of the city.

The time-lapse and hyperlapse tour of NYC is made up of some 15,000 still images captured from 2015 to 2018.

Shainblum has also created a behind-the-scenes video showing how he made the NYC time lapse.
As Shainblum notes, it was his early experience in colorful New York that inspired him to become a photographer and filmmaker.

2. 5kdigitalfilm: Before Sunrise - Winter in the Alps

Based in Austria and the U.K., the 5kdigitalflm production company features the work of British cameraman Chris Boyes and drone pilot Peter Roesner. Boyes worked on the BBC's Wildlife on One series before going on the work on a variety documentaries, commercials and short films. Rosener, who has flown RC planes since his was a boy, has worked on numerous documentaries and feature films.

Their latest effort, Before Sunrise - Winter in the Alps, was shot on location in Tirol, Austria, in the golden alpine hours. “The Alps, meters of snow and the early morning light..Thank you to Pete my pilot for waiting hours with me on cold mountainsides and for flying the drone in some of the most unbelievably hostile conditions,” writes Boyes at Vimeo, which featured the film as a Staff Pick.

3. Martin Heck: South Pole—Night In Antarctica

“The South Pole is one of the coldest, driest and harshest places on earth,” writes Martin Heck, a time-lapse specialists and cinematographer based in Germany. Those conditions may not make for comfortable travel, but they are ideal for capturing two heavenly sights: the Milky Way and the Aurora Australis.

“The temperatures can go all the way below -70°C/-95°F during the polar nights, so you can imagine how challenging it is to shoot a time lapse there,” notes DIY Photography. “In addition to the extreme cold, strong winds and high aridity made it even harder to shoot.” The images were shot by Robert Schwarz, a technician at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, using Canon 6D and 5DIII cameras. (As Heck notes at Vimeo, specially built and modified gear was also needed to work in the cold conditions.) Martin curated the images, then pulled them together in post-production using Adobe Lightroom, AE, DaVinci Resolve and LRTimelapse programs.


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