One year in 2 minutes

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And vote this one UP on Reddit here.

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 eirikso.com-logo 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 flattr.com 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

Different seasons in one image

If you have been following this blog for a long time you know that I did an experiment snapping images out of my window for a year. I made a video that was hugely popular and my images have been used in several interesting projects.

At that point I snapped the images with a Sony compact camera. After buying a digital SLR I decided to do the same thing. But this time in better quality and not shooting the images through my window.

I still have a couple of months before the next year of images are captured, but I have enough to do some experiments. Mainly because I want some feedback. This time I’m shooting three exposures each time. Giving me the possibility of putting them together using HDR software.

The following video is a horrible rough cut of the images so far. The black levels are completely off, the HDR effect too strong and the video is way too long for this kind of viewing.

The audio is actual audio captured at the same spot that the images are taken, but not at all synced with the images.

Still, it would be valuable to get some feedback and ideas. That will make it easier for me to make the final video perfect when I have all the images at some point late this summer.

Seasons – testvideo from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

Go ahead. Post your ideas and thoughts!

Different seasons in one image

Cold, wet, dark, snow – some images

Norway during winter. Some images from yesterday. All of them snapped by Eirik Solheim. Creative commons licensed. Contact me for commercial use.

Volvo
Icy old Volvo in Oslo, Norway What should I say? Cool car.
(Canon 400D with Canon EF 50mm 1.4 @ 1/250 sec at f / 3.5. ISO400. Adjusted to B&W in Adobe Lightroom.)

Wet Dog
Wet Dog. At Bygdøy, Oslo, Norway
Satisfied with the fact that the dog’s eye is pretty sharp.
(Canon 400D with Canon 70-200 F4 L IS USM @200mm 1/60 sec at f / 4.0. ISO200 RAW. Adjusted to B&W in Adobe Lightroom.)

Birds
Looking at birds. Speaking in phone.
I think this one would have been better with focus on the birds. Or maybe not?
(Canon 400D with Canon 70-200 F4 L IS USM @200mm 1/125 sec at f / 4.0 ISO400 RAW)

Cold Night
Lamp. Snow. Night. Evergreen.
Yeah, right – night. Not. This is Norway at 5 PM in January.
(Canon 400D with Canon 50mm F1.4 USM @ 1/125 sec at f / 2.2 ISO1600 RAW)

Tree with heavy snow
Snow. Night.
Camera and lens. Had to survive quite a bit of snow when snapping this image. Still works fine.
(Canon 400D with Canon 50mm F1.4 USM @1/80 sec at f / 2.0 ISO800 RAW)

Cold, wet, dark, snow – some images