One year in 2 minutes

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One year in 2 minutes from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

Link to video on YouTube. Visit The Philter Lounge to download and listen to more amazing music by Magnus Gangstad.

Update: By popular demand. Both from the comments and from twitter. The version with no zoom-effect.

Link to video on youtube.

The story

Since 2005 I have done different projects documenting the change of the seasons outside our living room window. The first project was a couple of stills taken with a compact camera. The video I made got nearly 100 000 views on YouTube. Not much today, but this was in 2005…

The next video I made was done in 2007 and with a Canon 400D. Based on stills shot at irregular intervals. That video got more than two million views on YouTube, one million on Vimeo and was featured on CNN, The Weather Channel, NHK in Japan and countless other TV stations, web sites and exhibitions.

In 2009 I documented the changes with video clips shot with my Canon 5D Mark II. The three videos I made are closing in on one million views and have also been featured on TV, in commercials and music videos.

But none of these three projects have been a true time lapse. They’re not videos based on a camera that has snapped images at regular images all through one year.

The true time lapse

I placed my old SLR in our window in january last year. Hooked it up to our home server and gave it power through an adapter. Then I used software to control the camera. It has snapped one image every 30 minutes for one year now. Both the Mac and the Camera was hooked up to a UPS as well. I have lost a couple of images due to some computer crashes and camera crashes. But in general the system has been remarkably stable and given me more than 16 000 images to play with.

The first thing I did was to make a still image showing a whole year.

The system

The camera was my trusted old Canon 400D with an EF-S 10-22. Used for several years before I bought my 5D Mark II. I mounted it on a special shelf and covered it with black cloth to avoid reflections in the window. I actually glued the camera to the shelf to make sure it wouldn’t move for a year. Then I did some test shots and ended up with ISO400 and f6,3. The exposure time was set to auto along with the white balance.

I decided to shoot both RAW and high quality JPG. The only problem I’ve had with the camera is a couple of crashes while it was transferring the image to the computer. Something that could only be solved with a complete reset of the camera. Not turning it off and on again. But cutting the power completely and power it back on.

And at this point it’s time to thank my family and all people visiting us during this year. We’ve had an SLR in our living room making a clear shutter release sound every half hour for a year…

How I made the video

One of the things I wanted to do was to make a true time lapse. The first video is the two minute version that you saw at the top of this post. It’s made of images shot during the day all through 2010. First I added all the images to Apple Aperture. In general I prefer Adobe Lightroom, but I couldn’t do all the time based selections and searches I wanted in Lightroom. So, I used Aperture to select images. I exported all images taken between 0900 and 1400 because I wanted daytime images only for this video. Then I imported them to Lightroom to do some adjustments. Better white balance, some sharpening, lens correction etc.

Then I exported all the images as TIFF to a folder. To make a movie of all the stills I imported them to MPEG Streamclip and exported a QuickTime using the lossless Apple Intermediate codec. That huge 3888×2592, 30fps video went into Adobe Premiere CS5 for finishing. That’s where I added the music, text and slow zoom. Because the original image is very high resolution I could do a digital zoom even on the 1920×1080 video I wanted to make.

The downloads and commercial use?

You can download the full quality video on BitTorrent on Mininova.

It is licensed with a creative commons license. Meaning that you can use it for whatever as long as it is non commercial, you give me credit and you share any alterations with the same license.

I’ll also make a full quality version with no available for purchase to the people that want to use the video commercially.

What about the night shots?

I am working on a video based on all the images. Nine minutes in total. The geek version. That will feature images from both day and night.

How can I support your work?

Register at and push the button at the bottom of this article.

Or send me something on my wish list:
– a Canon EF 100mm F2.8 L Macro IS
– a Fujifilm FinePix X100
– or maybe a Canon S95… ;-)

Hahahaha. That last idea was kind of stupid. Can’t think of anyone that would do that, so even better: Spread the word and protect the environment. If we destroy mother nature she will stop producing wonderful stuff like this.

And follow this blog, @eirikso on twitter and my YouTube channel to see what projects I start this year.

One year in 2 minutes

One year in 90 seconds

Please digg this story here.

Link to the video in HD on YouTube.

If you like these videos then follow me on twitter: @eirikso – and you’ll be the first to know about other projects that I might do.

The story

All through 2008 I snapped still images from the same spot on my balcony to make a sort of time lapse video showing one year passing by. The video was hugely successful and has close to two million views on YouTube in addition to about one million on Vimeo and hundreds of thousands of views and downloads from other web sites.

Last year I bought a new camera. The Canon 5D Mark II. In addition to excellent quality stills you can also shoot HD video with that camera. So I decided to do the same thing all over again. But this time I recorded 30 second video clips each time. My idea was that it would be possible to dissolve between the videos to get the same kind of time lapse effect, but this time with motion all the way. Snow falling, wind blowing etc.

2009 is over and I have now put all the clips I recorded through the year into a couple of videos.

I recorded clips with a 15mm fisheye, a 24mm wide angle and a 50mm lens. I’ve made three different versions. The first one is the one at the top of this article. Shot with the 15mm fisheye and “defished” using Fisheye Hemi in Photoshop. To do that I exported the video as an image sequence and did a batch job in Photoshop to run the fisheye hemi filter and some cropping.

The 50mm gives a closer look at the trees and I decided to make a longer video that gives a better view of how nature evolves with that footage. I ended up with 120 seconds.

Link to the video in HD on YouTube.

The last video is a version from the 24mm footage. That’s the short one. One year in 60 seconds…

Link to the video in HD on YouTube.

Download the full quality versions through BitTorrent:

All the videos are available on Mininova for download through BitTorrent in HD:

24 mm – One Year in 60 seconds (1280×720 30P)
15 mm – One Year in 90 seconds (1280×720 30P)
50 mm – One Year in 120 seconds (1280×720 30P)

How To-video (english) (1280×720 30P)

How did you do it?

The way I did it is actually quite simple. I found a spot on my balcony where I could place the camera in the exact same spot each time. Then I recorded video clips at irregular intervals. More or less once a week all thorugh 2009. More often during spring and autumn and not that often during summer and winter. All the videos are then put together using lots of dissolves.

It’s easier to explain the process in a video, so here it is:

Link to the video in HD on YouTube.

The audio

The sound was simply recorded with the Canon 5D Mark II as well. And left as it was recorded on all the clips in the video.

Can I use the videos in my projects?

Yes. All the videos are licensed with a Creative Commons License. To be exact: by attribution, share alike, non commercial.

Creative Commons License
This work by Eirik Solheim is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Norway License.

But what about commercial use?

If you want to use the video commercially I’ve decided to test a feature called Files Forever. At my hosting company, Dreamhost. You can buy a royalty-free, free, totally clean full quality version of the file. It’s a ridiculous $99,- and the money will cover parts of my hosting fees for this website. Buy the files here:

One year in 60 seconds (24 mm)
One year in 90 seconds (15 mm)
One year in 120 seconds (50 mm)

Yeah. But I want to buy the original footage. The files directly from your 5D. I want to edit this myself. No problem. Please contact me at:
eirikso (at) eirikso (dot) com

Where was this filmed?

In Oslo, Norway

I don’t believe you, this is fake.

If you think the video was made in post production using fancy graphics software… Well, that’s your problem. Not mine.

I want to make something amazing from the raw clips

Contact me, and we’ll see what we can do.

I have other questions

Use the comments, so that I can answer to all the other people with the same questions.

…and by the way: if you’re into geocaching I’ve actually placed a cache in the area you see in the videos.

One year in 90 seconds

Thunderstorm in Oslo

Thunderstorm in Oslo – July 2009 from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

We’ve had 30 degrees Celsius and fantastic weather for the last couple of weeks. But today we had the most serious thunderstorm I’ve seen so far in the five years we’ve been living in this flat. A couple of minutes later and I have learned that my 5D Mark II survives huge amounts of rain. And it is capable of capturing lightning in HD…

At the end of the video I helped the storm stopping using a simple dissolve…

Thunderstorm in Oslo

Passing a subway station

You need:
1. One train
2. A subway station
3. The Canon 5D Mark II
4. And a Canon 15mm f2.8 Fisheye
Passing a subway station from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

Place the camera firmly against the window. Start video recording just before you approach the station. Add a stupid sound from the default Apple audio library.

Exact location: Nationalteateret station, Oslo, Norway.

…and you can click through to Vimeo to watch the video in HD.

Passing a subway station

Five seconds in 5 seconds

An excellent parody of my “One year in 40 seconds“.

Direct link to the video on YouTube.

And if you dare, you might want to have a look at this version as well.

I’m also working on a couple of articles about my experience around having a video roam around the internet. With millions of views and thousands of comments. I’ll give you statistics, and helpful advice on what to do and what not to do.

And by the way: I’ll never overwhelm you with articles here, so I can safely recommend subscribing to my RSS-feed or email update.

I’ve also had several questions about adding music to my video. Here’s one example.

Five seconds in 5 seconds

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

Invites to Medioh!


I am currently trying out a video aggregation service called Medioh. And I have a couple of invites for the people that would like to try it out. The only thing I ask for is that after you get the invite you test the service and give me some feedback on what you think. I must admit that I am not really impressed yet, but have only given the site a couple of minutes.

And how do you get the invite? Post a comment here asking for one. Use the email you want the invite sent to when posting the comment. Emails are not published and I will never spam you.

Medioh gives you a possibility of searching for and subscribing to videos across the web. Not tied to only one site. You find more information about Medioh here.

Invites to Medioh!