One year worth of images give some amazing videos

I made three new videos of 2009 with my 5D Mark II last year.
One year in 40 seconds from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

So far I’ve made two videos of the images I describe in this article. The one here at the top and another two minutes version. Read on to learn how I did this, to see the other video and to download the videos and images in high quality. And if you want to watch this video here at the top in HD quality you have to click through to Vimeo.

The story

Back in 2005 I did an experiment shooting images out of my window for one year. It turned out pretty cool and in the end of 2007 I decided to do the same. But in much better quality.


So I started shooting images with my Canon 400D. From the same spot each time, but not through my window. I found a spot outside that gave more or less the same framing each time I placed my camera. So, I went out on our balcony snapping some images at pretty irregular intervals all through 2008 .



Each time I snapped the following images:

3 exposures @10mm (Canon EF-S 10-22 F3.5-4.5 USM)
3 exposures @17mm (Canon EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS USM)
3 exposures @55mm (Canon EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS USM)

All images shot in RAW. The three exposures where: normal, +2 EV and -2 EV.

In addition to the images I decided to record some audio at the same place. Using my Canon S2 IS and my Canon HF10 I recorded simple background sounds trough 2008 as well. Not with exact connections to each image. More with a focus on getting audio from winter, spring, summer and autumn.

All together giving me a pretty decent range of material to put together some experiments.

Then what? The videos…

Link to this video in HD on YouTube.

At the top of this article you find a 40 second version that show one year. Using the 10mm wide angle images. Right above you find a two minute version made from the 55mm zoomed in images.

First I used Photomatix to make HDR images of the ones I decided to use. Mostly because the HDR effect makes the images flat so that the difference in light and shadows won’t disturb the transitions in my video.

Then I used Photoshop to align all the images. Placing the camera manually at the same spot each time won’t give the exact same spot. So I needed some fine adjustment. Photoshop does this. Here’s how:

First load the images you have chosen into layers by using “File->Scripts->Load files into stack

When you have found all your files make sure to check “Attempt to automatically align…

Give your computer huge amounts of time and get back when it has finished. Now Photoshop has adjusted all the images and put them on separate layers in one file. The next thing you have to do is to crop the image. Because of the adjustments the images are not the exact same size. A crop will do the trick.

When the computer is done cropping you export the layers to files. “File->Scripts->Export Layers to files

Now you have a folder with a bunch of images with the same framing. I decided to do simple dissolves between them.


And ended up with a project in Final Cut Express that looked like the image above. I didn’t want one dissolve at a time. I wanted to make some kind of flow where one dissolve is taken over by the new one before it is finished. As you can see from the timeline my dissolves overlap.

The free downloads

First of all: please comment here or contact me if you use the images. I’ll link to all cool projects made from these files!

All the images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license. In other words: Use them non commercially as long as you give me credit and as long as you share the work you do under the same license.

For commercial use please contact me. Or you can simply buy non exclusive royalty free use by purchasing the full quality file here: OneYear40seconds1920x1080.30p.H264.mp4
It’s $99,- and the money will be spent on hosting for my projects.

For commercial use of the full quality non branded still images you can buy the complete package of high resolution stills here:


And where are the files?

10mm wide angle aligned HDR images in this flickr set.
All the images from that Flickr set in a ZIP file.
55mm zoomed in aligned HDR images in this flickr set.
All the images from that Flickr set in a ZIP file.

The audio as WAV in a ZIP file

40 second movie, 8 mbit/s H264, 1280×720 25p
Two minutes movie, 8 mbit/s H264, 1280×720 25p

But I know what I’m doing and want the full resolution RAW files to make something really cool!

Please comment here or contact me and I’ll provide you with what you want. RAW files, video footage, more audio from the same spot etc…

Whats’s next?

Eh. Well. I just upgraded my camera to a Canon 5D Mark II. Giving me a possibility of getting even higher quality footage from this nice view of some trees… Guess I’ll snap some images on my balcony through 2009 as well. :-)

One year worth of images give some amazing videos

How wide is wide?

About as wide as this:

Wide angle test
Link to a bigger version of the image.

I snapped the same image with the following lenses:
Canon 15 mm f2.8 fisheye
Canon 16-35 mm f2.8 L USM II @16mm
Canon 24 mm f1.4 L USM II

And marked the reach of the different lenses on the 15 mm image. But I also wanted to see how a Sigma 8 mm circular fisheye did:

Link to a bigger version of the image.

So now you know. That’s the difference between these different lenses on a Canon 5D MkII fullframe camera. And if you don’t like the distortion of the fisheye you can remove it.

How wide is wide?

How to remove distortion on a Fisheye image


I recently bought the Canon 15mm f2.8 Fisheye for my new 5D Mark II. It’s extremely wide angle and gives the characteristic fisheye distortion.

Here’s a gallery of images shot with that lens:

In some images you want the fisheye distortion, but in other images you might want to remove it.

15mm Fisheye Original

And there are several applications that can help you with that. Regardless of what fisheye you’re using.


The most common way to remove the distortion is to squeeze the image in the middle. Something like what PTlens will do for you. In addition you can adjust perspective, rotation and a couple of other settings.

But this leaves you with an image that has to be cropped and if there are people along the edges of the image they will look very distorted.

Another program called Fisheye Hemi aim to fix that problem. And will try to remove the fisheye distortion using advanced algorithms to keep as much as possible and do the adjustments but keeping people and other details in the image without distortion.

I’ve made a simple flash animation to show the different images. Click the buttons below the image to change from original, to the one corrected with fisheye hemi to the one corrected with PTlens.

[kml_flashembed movie=”” height=”400″ width=”500″ /]

There are a lot of programs that is made to help you adjust lens distortions. I’ve also tried DxO, but simply found it too difficult to use. For people using Windows I’ve heard positive remarks of RectFish.

Please leave a comment if you have a favourite that I haven’t mentioned.

How to remove distortion on a Fisheye image

A nice place to work in Stavanger

I do quite a bit of traveling and I am dependent on a way to work while on the road. Thanks to a 3G/Edge USB-stick for my MacBook I have some kind of internet connection most places. But I really prefer WLAN. And because I usually empty the battery of my MacBook on the plane/train/bus-ride to my destination I also like to find a spot with a power outlet.

And if you find yourself in Stavanger, Norway at some point I have a spot for you. First of all: Stavanger is pretty well covered with free public WLAN. Good city! And among all the nice restaurants and cafes I found a nice spot at “Godt Brød”:

Nice place to work

Godt Brød Stavanger AS avd Utsalg
Sølvberggata 9
4006 Stavanger
Tel: +47 51844080

The table by the door. Covered well by the free public WIFI. A power outlet near by. Good coffee, good food. Well, with a couple of minutes off while traveling I don’t need more than that.

A nice place to work in Stavanger

Aperture, shutter speed and ISO – Explained visually


First of all: my entry into visualization using Flash in my last article was less than perfect. Mainly because I didn’t shoot every image in my sequence with the same aperture. Meaning that the background changed because the depth of field change.

So, I’ve made a new ISO-test of the 5D Mk II. Slightly better. At least the aperture stayed at 5.6 at all ISO values. The flash file is big, and I’ve not made any kind of download indicator. So when you click the link you need some patience while the page load.

Link to: Flash animation showing ISO-change


But what about that aperture stuff? Did you say depth of field? Yes. When you change that thing called aperture on your camera things happen to your image. To put it short: a low value, like 1.4 gives more blur in your image. A high value, like 22 gives less blur. The detail that you focus on will stay sharp, but the amount of detail around that point change.


Huh? Exactly. This is easier to show with an image. Or, actually several images. In an animation like the ISO-experiment. Where you can click the row of f-numbers at the bottom and see the image change. And it’s the same as with the ISO-animation. When you click the link you have to wait a while for the page to load.

Link to: Flash animation showing aperture change

Shutter Speed


But hey! I can also adjust something called “shutter speed”. Yes, in addition to ISO and aperture the shutter speed adjust the amount of light you will let in at the CMOS- or CCD-chip. And the effect on the image? A long shutter speed gives motion blur. And if you are shooting without a tripod or something to support your camera a long shutter speed mostly means a completely blurred image.

To show the difference that the shutter speed makes I did the test again. With a train moving in the image. So now you can see the effect of both the shutter speed and the aperture. And you know what? When you click the link you need patience. Let the page load…

Link to: Flash animation showing aperture and shutter speed change

But your flash animations are crap

Indeed. I haven’t coded flash since 1999 and used Apple KeyNote to make these. So, if you want to make them better I have provided you with all the original images. Full resolution:
ISO-test Originals
Aperture Test Originals
Aperture and shutter speed test Originals

These are zipped archives of the images. And please let me know in the comments if you use these images. They’re licensed under a creative commons license.

Aperture, shutter speed and ISO – Explained visually