The Magic of Timelapse and Filmmaking by Euan Preston
One of the joys of life is the opportunity to meet great people wherever you are. On my recent adventure in Norway we were being filmed for a documentary. The man behind the camera and responsible for getting great shots has so much to think about. Euan was our man and quite frankly he is one superb fellow. His dedication, attention to detail, his ideas even quick decisions were a joy to have along. Meeting him and realising his worth I looked at his work! Wow! And I am so honoured he has taken time to show you some of his work here and his thoughts behind it. I find it inspirational and thought provoking. Some of this was on location with us and I thank him also for capturing some of my own memories of Norway:
From the desk of Euan….
I’m very grateful to Paul for his invitation to contribute to Bald Hiker. I had the pleasure of working with Paul last month, documenting his trip around Norway for www.visitnorway.com
I’m a filmmaker and the work that I create is, on the whole, commissioned by organisations and production companies, therefore I’m generally unable to post my professional work online. On occasion I do find the time to be able to film for my own pleasure, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to ramble on about some of it here.
“Hong Kong Time Lords” filmed in Hong Kong while on assignment for www.pukkafilms.com
So that I’ve something to populate what would otherwise be an entirely barren website, I like to create short montage clips, sometimes containing footage intended for Stock Libraries. These very often contain slow motion and timelapse video. I’ve been shooting timelapse for a few years now. It’s a technique which requires a lot of planning, patience and some specialist equipment.
Timelapse is the process of capturing images at a slower frame rate than that of playback. A typical capture speed for say, a landscape with passing clouds, might be one frame per four seconds. Once processed, five minutes spent capturing footage will result in around three seconds of finished video.
“Isle” filmed at Lindisfarne while on holiday with my very patient wife Sarah.
“Cumbria in a Hurry” filmed in The Lake Disctrict while on holiday with my very patient wife Sarah.
Capturing slower phenomena, such as a starry sky, requires a longer period between frames. This is both due to the longer exposure time required to capture the night sky, as well as the long time it takes for the earth to rotate and therefore give a perceptible motion. The following clip captured for www.visitnorway.com and www.iceni.tv was captured at 1 frame per 30 seconds (shots 1 & 2) and at 1 frame per 10 seconds (Northern Lights).
It may (often rightly) be considered a gimmick and a cliché, but timelapse photography is magical. I believe this is because it can create a sense of separation between the viewer an otherwise familiar subject. It enables us to view the everyday with fresh eyes. It can make the mundane suddenly alien; simply changing the flow of time can give us new insight into the nature of things: Growth and decline, birth and death, day and night, ebb and flow.
You can follow Euan on Twitter at http://twitter.com/euanpreston
His website with lots of his work can be found here