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

Visual thinking

I like to read and I like to write. But I have admit something. I’ve always tried to solve problems and explain complex issues by using images and visual aids. I love comics and I love photography. I try to follow Seth Godin’s rule of “no more than six words pr. slide” when making presentations. I try to tell myself: “don’t tell it, show it”.

I’m also deeply fascinated by physics and mathematics. The first thing I did when I learned to code was to make software that visualized the mathematical problems we tried to solve at school.

So I’m not surprised of the fact that I love data visualization and ways to show complex patterns and huge amounts of data visually.

And here are two of my best resources:

Information Aesthetics.

“Inspired by Lev Manovich’s definition of “information aesthetics”, this weblog explores the symbiotic relationship between creative design and the field of information visualization. More specifically, it collects projects that represent data or information in original or intriguing ways.”


An example from Information Aesthetics
An article about Open Street Map and a visualization of how people have edited the growing database of maps in their open and free to use database.
OSM 2008: A Year of Edits from ItoWorld on Vimeo.

A wonderful visualization of the collective force behind a site like openstreetmap.

FlowingData explores how designers, statisticians, and computer scientists are using data to understand ourselves better – mainly through data visualization.


An example? How about “5 Best Data Visualization Projects of the Year“?

And of course. I can’t write anything about data visualization without mentioning Hans Rosling and his amazing presentations.

So what’s your favorite data visualization sites?

Visual thinking

Making miniatures of your images

Tilt-shift miniature faking has been around for a while. But I hadn’t seen Tiltshiftmaker before. And decided to give it a go. It’s a web site where you can upload an image or give it the URL of an image. Then it adds a simple blur effect and adjust the color to make the illusion of a miniature model. Works pretty good.

The miniature:
Quick test of tiltshiftmaker

The original:

Pretty cool.

And by the way. The image is from Ljubljana in Slovenia. Fantastic city.

And if you want to do it with photoshop you can try one of the many tutorials out there.

Making miniatures of your images

Recommended reading

I’m currently working my way through these:

Clay Shirky, Here comes everybody. I’m only half way through, but this book is essential. A very nice analysis of how the crowds of the internet turns into well organized groups that can solve tasks that traditional organisations can’t solve.

Dan Roam, The back of the napkin. A very nice book on how to use visuals to explain complex stuff.

Garr Reynolds, Presentation Zen. Currently the best book about presentation skills out there. Period.

Recommended reading

Hybrid images

I’m at Siggraph 2006 and will try to post some of the stuff that I find interesting through the week. No particular order or focus. Just notes along the way during this highly interesting conference. You can read more about Siggraph over at the official ACM Siggraph site. To put it short, this annual conference is the world’s biggest conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques.

So for my first little note. I just finished a session by Dr. Aude Oliva, Antonio Torralba and Philippe G. Schyns. It was about what they call hybrid images.

Images that change based on the distance from where it is viewed. Have a look at the two pictures below:

Angry and nice
Pictures copyright © 1999-2006 Aude Oliva & Philippe G. Schyns. MIT

Now step away from your computer screen while looking at the pictures. Depending on the size of your screen and the quality of your vision the pictures will change at a certain distance. For those of you that is just too lazy to step away from the screen I can simulate this by simpy reducing the size of the image. This is a small version of the exact same image:

Nice and angry

Suggested uses are commercial billboards that change depending on the distance to the viewer. and fonts that can only be read at a close distance to avoid people reading “over your shoulder”.

You find more examples and information over at the GALLERY OF HYBRID IMAGES.

Hybrid images