One year in 2 minutes

Follow me on twitter: @eirikso 🙂

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?

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. Contact me on eirik.solheim at for pricing.

What about the night shots?

Here is the full version, nine minutes in total: A true timelapse of 2010


One year in 2 minutes

127 thoughts on “One year in 2 minutes

  1. Steve says:

    Out of curiosity have you looked into the cause of the slow drift in field of vision? At the start you can see much more of the trees than by the end. Seems to be a gradual and steady process.

  2. Ryan says:

    @Steve: In the section about editing, it says “That’s where I added the music, text and slow zoom.” So I think it’s on purpose.

      1. Unfortunately I currently don’t have Premiere on my machine and I don’t remember exactly how I did it without the software in front of me

  3. […] Eirik Solheim hatte schon die letzten beiden Jahre gezeitraffert. Nun hat er im Januar 2010 seine alte Canon 400D auf ein Fensterbrett gestellt und diese alle 30 Sekunden ein Foto machen lassen. Die dabei enstandenen 16000 Aufnahmen hat er auf 3500 reduziert und dieses Timelapse gemacht. Ein ganzes Jahr in zwei Minuten. Kinder, wie die Zeit vergeht! […]

  4. […] One Year in Two Minutes by Mark on Jan 10, 2011 • 7:53 am No Comments I am an absolute sucker for a good time-lapse video. For this one, a guy put a camera in his window and let it snap photos every 30 minutes for the entire year. (For more on his process, head here.) […]

  5. Hi! Amazing video, great job. Can you talk a little bit about the timing software you used to time the shots? And how you powered the camera for the entire room?


  6. Dave says:

    I’ve read it accurately and I’m so amazed, I always have dreamed to doing an experiment or a scientific research like that…

    I don’t have words to describe de video, please write me an email an tell me some ideas like that, if I can help you in something just say it 😉

    Pd: one question, the editing of the video was made by after effects CS5?


  7. “I’m working on the downloads. I will make the video available on BitTorrent in full HD.”

    Bittorrent is important for sharing large files, but if anyone is interested, there’s a download link in the “About this video” section of the Vimeo page.

  8. @Daniel Sloan:
    ISO400 because I wanted exposure during night as well. And the max exposure time in auto on the camera is 30 sec. At iso400 I got a pretty good exposure during night.

  9. patricia says:

    Un video pieno di pacienzia, molto bello.
    grazie per portare un messaggio de nostra madre Tierra,grazie per la sua sensibilidad,con nostri fratelli,alberi.

  10. Nogalero says:

    Así es, un vídeo maravilloso, y como dicen, con que paciencia fue hecho y la comprensión de la familia!!!
    Felicidades desde México.

  11. Jefferson Gonzalez says:

    From Merida, Venezuela: I want to congratulate for so outstanding quality job! It really is amazing! And for sure, for the Mother’s Nature Protection. Excellent! Go on! Cheers!

  12. John Doe says:

    Your full frame window ABSOLUTELY SUCKS.

    It does a SHIT JOB of displaying the web page and scrolls shit all over the place!!!!!

    This is useless!

  13. Patrick Quinn says:

    I love this, thank you. I’m downloading the torrent now.

    The web page played ok for me, I don’t know what Mr Doe is on about…

  14. Pete says:


    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! Fantastic video. I too am downloading the torrent, and I will seed for you for a couple of days to get the speed up. Least I can do after all your hard work!

    And Mr Doe? Please go and play elsewhere…

  15. Craig Schubert says:

    This is fantastic! Thanks so much for bringing this dream to fruition. 🙂

    The thing I notices was that some of the branches nearly seemed to be flapping slowly up and down (look around 1:00 for examples) not just the wind blowing them sideways… I was wondering if this could possibly be changes in the air pressure..? (Might be hard to go back and figure that out though…)

    Also, something else which I think would have been amazing (but maybe not desired from the perspective of your garden) would have been to have a reasonably fast growing plant in the frame and to watch it grow! (Maybe next time you do this for a year…) 🙂

    Thanks again.

  16. Guillermo Rivero says:

    Greetings from Venezuela!, it is almost 16 years since I visited Bergen and Oslo, and of course the fiords, places I believe are of the most beautiful that I know. Now this music, Wow!, i have no words, this song triggers deep emotions and joy.

  17. […] Qui sopra potete vedere il risultato mettendo insieme più di 3500 immagini in alta risoluzione registrate tutti i giorni dell’anno dalla stessa posizione, mentre dopo il salto potete trovare quello realizzato l’anno precedente. Un percorso attraverso tutte le fasi della natura realizzato incollando la reflex di fronte alla finestra come potete vedere nel dietro le quinte. […]

  18. Rusty Herring says:

    Can’t help but wonder how the first person who made a flip thru animation with hand drawn skethches would like this. Wow, this is great!!

  19. To commence earning dollars with your blog, initially use Google adsense but gradually as your traffic
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    thanks !! very useful publish!

  20. Tami says:

    I just wanted to say it was truly amazing and then thinking about all the things that happened over the year, not to diminish it in any way, but just really how fast time does go by us! I loved it for showing me that and really how important it is to live in the minute! Thank you for your talent ans for sharing!

  21. You have done a great job!I love the nature a lot and i discover something new in 2 minutes only!Thank you,Eirik!

    I wish you good luck in the futur! 🙂


  22. Junior Pascual says:

    Amazing, Eirik!!! I didn’t realize that this current work is a NEW one! I loved the one you originally made in 2006!

  23. Piero ARMANDO says:

    My best appreciation for your video: technically outstanding, but at the same time very inspiring from aesthetic point of view. I’m waiting for your next project!
    Best wishes

  24. Really cool photo. It reminds me a lot my own photos (check my page, In Transit series). How did you manage to put the photos together?

  25. OldMiser says:

    Could you make the full quality video of the no-zoom version of “Two Minutes” available for BitTorrent download on Mininova?

    Thanks in advance!

  26. Chiara says:

    Wonderful video! I have one question, I am just curious about the location: is it Sognsvann or some place around Frognerseteret? Ha det 🙂

  27. Bernard says:

    Interesting is, aint there any rainy days in the whole year ? As the if there’s any rain, the window will having droplets…

  28. Hi, I´m speechless! Great idea and very well done work! I have always asked myself how I can make this – you give me the answer! Thanks and have a good time. Ben

  29. Hi Eirikso,

    It is great to attend your talk at SIGGRAPH Asia 2011, really amazing design projects. It seems that your TRACKBACKS found the usage of your pics in my blog, since I have written an essay to introduce your nice work to my Chinese friends. Kindly tell me if it violates any policy 🙂

    Look forwards to your future works.

    Besides, I am a researcher on computer vision. The ideas in your projects bring me brand new research ideas! Thank you man.

  30. Jarik says:

    i’d love to request a video, about 30 seconds, depicting 2 full day and night cycles in mid summer. The way the trees move their limbs up and down in that cycle is amazing to me, and want to see it closer!

  31. I really like your thinking around these projects, with an attention to seeing large cycles from an individual’s place in it all.

    I did a somewhat similar video project a while back when I was living on a ranch on the central coast of California. Using a crude mounting system on a fence post, I rolled a few seconds of video every two weeks, but always 5 minutes later in the day. So the piece is called One Day/One year because seasons change as shadows change.
    It’s crunchy standard-def video, but I thought you’d find it interesting.

    I look forward to seeing more.


  32. Sasha says:

    Hi Eirikso,

    We want to use ur “One year in 2 minutes” in a commercial project. Could u please send me the quotation about HD price?
    Waitting for ur Email.thx!!!

  33. I haven’t decided what to do with the originals yet. Donate them to wikimedia commons, publish them on Flickr or something else… It is roughly 17 000 images and quite a bit of work to publish them.

  34. […] Since 2005, Eirik Solheim has captured the changing seasons from his living room window using a number of techniques, including time-study (you can see that video at the end of this post). In 2010, Eirik again captured the changing seasons, this time with true time-lapse , taking one photo every 30 seconds for the whole year. He compiled a cool composite still image from the photos and then sifted through the 1600 images to create this video. You can also read about how he did it. […]

  35. guidar01 says:

    While today was not first time I saw this photograph, it was the first time I found it on your site. I love the picture, but I wish there were more of them! Eirikso, have you ever thought of making a video of the changing of the seasons over time in the format of this image?

    Consider this image as the starting point, where the left-most column is an image from January, and the right-most image is from December. Now the next frame of the image would shift time time of each slide over to the right by one. Now the left-most column is an image from the last day of December, and the right-most column is an image from the second to last day of December. This shifting of the time frame would continue until the first day of January is the right-most column and the second day of January.

    I think it would be great if you did this right circular shifting technique on the time axis because the contents of the image would remain where they are (The tree in the middle would stay in the middle) but it would show how the seasons effected each part of the image.

    I hope that made sense, and if I had access to the raw images I would like to try myself. Maybe I will download your one year in two minutes video and try it with the frames of the video.

    Keep doing cool stuff Eirikso!

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